Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon. ~Ellen DeGeneres

So I have recently decided that I need to get fit before show season.  The only way to really get fit to ride, is to ride.  My horses also need some extra training.  The solution is obvious.   So I made a plan.  A really good plan.  That had a reasonable, and possibly even achievable, amount of riding on each day, with all the horses I need to school evenly spread out and their lesson schedules accommodated.  All have days off -- even me occasionally (well, when I give Kirby my horse for the evening *g*).   All good, right?

Ok so Saturday rolls around.  Saturday I only have one horse to ride - Jack.   Sat am I got up, went to the barn, fed, turned out (in the stupidly bitterly cold wind), went to puppy class, came back, taught a couple lessons, turned in (somehow the wind hadn't abated - boooo), and was not even remotely interested in riding.  And the voice in my head was screaming: "to be fit to ride, you have to ride.  To ride well, you have to ride.  A good rider rides anything -- even the ones they don't like."     But the other voice in my head was saying "you're cold and tired and Jack's a lot of work.  Show season's still months away.  He can wait a couple days."

hmmmm yeah, much as it shames me to admit it, the wimpy voice won and I went home.  After killing as much time as it would've taken me to ride him in the first place.   But then on Sunday the guilt started in...   So I taught mounted lessons all morning, then unmounted lessons all afternoon.  Then I was tired and cold.  Do you see the trend?  There's a reason I try to never schedule rides late-afternoon -- my body just wants to SLEEP then.  Am or Pm rides are fine, but in the middle?  hmmmm less good.

However, Sunday has TWO horses on the schedule -- Athena and Lissy.   And several weeks ago I got smart and convinced Chelsea to be groom/exercise rider *g*  So she warms up Lissy while I ride Athena, then she puts Athena away while I school Lissy.   Gets both horses ridden in a fraction of the time.  Sweet eh?   It also gets me to actually *ride* since I'd feel pretty horrible if I told her she could come ride and then backed out.  I remember how excited I was at the same age to get any extra riding directed my way.  And how disappointed whenever it got cancelled.

So ride I did, and both Athena and Lissy got schooled properly.  Athena was actually even going really well; I was quite happy with that :)   Lis is still not sure this whole dressage thing is in her contract, but she still tries hard.

Now you have to understand -- once upon a time riding 3-5 horses/day was totally normal for me.  And the last year 2 was pretty standard.   But since the move -- if I ride one horse 3 days/week, I'm doing well.  Hence the lack of fitness *sigh*   So two horses both doing dressage is actually, sadly, a workout.

And then I was feeling guilty about skipping Jack the day before.  So I took a short break, took excessive care of my horse, cleaned tack, etc.  And the guilty feeling persisted.   So I rode.  Jack.  Have you met Jack?  There's a reason I usually schedule him on a "one horse" day.  He's a workout and a half.  Esp as I *haven't* been riding him lately so he's not nearly as sharp off the aids as he should be.   Riding him after riding two others...   Oh boy.  The only thing that saved me was that he HAD had the day before off so had at least some energy *g*   And he was good, and he tried really hard, and my abs outlasted his (thankfully!), and we both stopped fairly early.  hahaha

So today I woke up, fully expecting to be brutally sore.  And was pleasantly surprised.  A little stiff, esp the lower back, but not really all that bad.  Sweet.  Went and did normal barn chores.  Am - no problem.  Pm - all good till everyone was in and I was sweeping.  Felt a few twinges of sore-abs then.  But still nbd.  Quick tack store run and then taught a few lessons.  All still good.   Those lessons being dressage, their riders might be feeling it tomorrow *g*   Have to share the wealth after all.  hahaha that and we've done nothing but jump for weeks, so seemed about time -- nobody was terribly surprised to come in and see "dressage tack" on the board.   Anyways - end of the last lesson I hopped on Charlie for a few mins.  Not long - maybe 10?  Dressaged him around a bit and mostly just played.   My back was super-stiff -- sitting to the trot was, ummm, less successful *sigh* but other than that ok.   Dismount and go do night feed, not really thinking about it at all.   But after night feed, I sat down while I changed my boots.  And getting back up?  Omg did my abs ever scream at me.  Driving home -- just sitting up in the front seat was a challenge.  And sitting to type this?  Well that's really just stupid.  hahaha

So yes, tomorrow, when Jack is back on my schedule, I expect to be barely able to stand - much less ride.   Should make for an interesting day.  Ah well, to quote one of my former event coaches "get fit or die".   We shall see...


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