Saturday Tips & Tricks

Tip # 10: Listen to your body. It knows what it is talking about. I always say I don’t consider it a run if I stop. But that means stopping because I am tired or the hill is too big. If I sprain my ankle, you know I am walking home. And when I hurt my back, I didn’t do anything to antagonize it. One blogger I read continued to run in a race long after her body said no. She knew she shouldn’t, but she let the months of training for the event persuade her that she needed to finish.  Instead of maybe a week of downtime recovering, she was out of the game for months. We all need to learn from that lesson.

So, you are loving horse week and think you might want to read more about horses and their foibles. Where to go next? Here, of course!

KnP Training: a horse trainer with a relaxed style and great understanding of horses.

Encycopedia Equestria: an excellent mix of styles. Her Hunt post was fun and exciting.

Equine in Mind: a lively read from someone who grew up in the world of horses

Simply Marvelous Horse: sadly, this blog doesn’t seem to have any newer posts than December 2013. But it has an excellent backlog of posts based off beautiful pictures. Worth a look.

Red Pony Farm: a fellow Mainer’s journey through horse life and farming. Of course I had to add this one 🙂

Equine Enthusiasm: this lady not only has horses, but calves, puppies and chicks to blog about.

2 Talk Horses: I liked this blog because of the variety. The last 3 posts include a wellness clinic, an equine based book review, and a post on  Colonel Jim Eskew and his Wild West Show–now you have to go to find out about Col. Jim!

This is just a taste of what is out there. I have added several to my own Reader (not that I ever seem to find the time to read my Reader). I realized the other day that I follow many of my fellow WP bloggers plus a bunch of writing and running blogs, but I have no horse blogs to read. How did that happen?! Fortunately, that is no longer an issue. These blogs will inspire me.

And if you can’t get to your horse, you can always read about them 




Mother Nature. She looks so peaceful and wise. So what has she got against me?

Yesterday was cool and supposed to rain. I put the equine turnout (waterproof) sheets on, and sent them on out. No rain. After 3 it became sunny and warm, so I pulled them in and took the sheets off so they wouldn’t get too hot. Poured an hour later.

This morning I watched the weather; wind and sun, they said. Uh-huh. Put the fly sheets (very not waterproof–think walking around in a wet, clingy sweatsuit) on and sent them out again. Began to rain almost immediately.


Weekly Rundown

Not a bad week at all. Although it took until Saturday for me to get up and realize that my back didn’t ache, I did get a lot done during the week. And Saturday was quite lovely without pain. I fixed that, clearing land with the hubby on Sunday 😛

Monday: Took Daisy out for a 2.59 miles walk. We went down to the bottom of Blinn Hill; even she looked at me on the way back up, like “are we there yet?”! I guess its a big hill whether you have two legs or four. I rode Charby in the afternoon, making her do a little work. Then I had to walk out Christopher Robin since he ran himself into a lather trying to follow us visually as we rode around the area.

Tuesday: Busy day! I ran 2.33 mile followed by 20 minutes of yoga. I primarily did some stretching and the hip openers. I haven’t done any power poses since I hurt my back, I didn’t think my back would take the bending and holding of the poses. In the afternoon it was Christopher’s turn to be put to work. I rode him out in the back field, so Charby trailed after us. She stayed out of the way, but we were pretty bored. There are a lot of sunk in hoof prints from when it was soft and muddy,  now it is hard to avoid them when working out there.

Wednesday: 2.52 miles with Daisy again. She does so enjoy the walks, and it is so fun to watch her fuzzy butt trot down the road; tail up and head down as she searches for every and any scent!

Thursday: I did an amazing thing. I took the day off. No garden work, no walks, no horse rides. First time in several weeks.

Friday: I had to use a ‘trick’ to get myself out there and running. My first mile was 12:31, not something to be exactly proud of. But expected, seeing how I didn’t want to go in the first place! My second mile was 10:16, which is pretty good for me, especially on my hilly roads. A 2:15 minute difference seems like a good improvement to me, and I didn’t even know I was going that fast. I must be getting in better shape 🙂

Saturday: Since I had to go to town for errands, I decided to run on our local rail trail. It is conviently located in the grocery store’s parking lot. I love running the rail trail, it is mostly flat and so somooth. Ran 3.06 miles in 31:26. Very good for me, and only 2 minutes off my 5K pace from last fall. I broke into a 9 minute mile for the first time this year. Even better, it was the last mile.  I wonder when I will crack the 8 minute?  It was a short ride in the afternoon as I ran out of time (too much time spent reading in a chair!). But Mr. Christopher and I had a nice little get to know and trust each other ride. He is still getting used to his new home; and strange little things like leaky, hissing hoses; blowing dryer vents where there was no noise last time; strange farm equipment moving around the property give him pause. But I talked to him, and he decided to trust me and walk by those horrible scary things. It was a wonderful moment.

Sunday: another busy day. I did full yoga, 35 minutes, for the first time since my back went out. It felt soooooo good. I was so relaxed afterwards. Which was great, because then I went out and spent 2 hours helping my husband clear more land for the garden. Good news is, we are ready to rototill, then plant. It was supposed to be cloudy all day, but the sun came out. Which would normally be a good thing, but it just made it extremely humid and hot. It was a bit too warm to make Charby work, so I decided to long-line her.

It provides something new, so she doesn’t get bored with groundwork. She hates being lunged endlessly, and we have been over our usual groundwork exercises ad nauseaum earlier this spring before I started riding. She gets testy doing the same old thing, and then itsn’t fun for either of us. But this is new, and gives us something to do. She was very happy to do what I asked her. Gave her a good brushing and ear scratching, and she practically fell asleep while I combed out her tail. Then I brought out Mr. Christopher and gave him a good brushing and clipped his mane. His mane and tail are gorgeous, but heavy for this time of year. He didn’t enjoy quite as much as Charby, but he is a male, after all. It was a lovely hour spent with the equines–even if Christopher immediately rolled as soon as  I put him back. Men.

Saturday Tips & Tricks

Tip # 9: Get dressed! This one works along the lines of getting up and doing other things. If you are dressed for whatever exercise you feel less than motivated for; eventually you have to make the decision to exercise or take off the clothes. It is quite likely you will choose to exercise–you are dressed for it after all! If you combined this one with tip # 1 (get up and do other things to get the blood flowing), your chances of actually exercising double!

Learning the Curve

My mother is fearless.

 When we had a rabid raccoon in the barn, she caught up two bricks and headed off after it. This is where I like to say that I am the one who grabbed it by the tail and threw it when it went after the dog–all the while screaming like a girl for my mom. My dad pointed out to her that smashing  bricks into an animal carrying a blood borne disease wasn’t perhaps the best idea.  We did find another way to deal with the raccoon and had the Wardens take it for testing. Fortunately, the dog had its shots and this story ended much better than it could have.

When we ride the horses on our road, Mom is fine heading down the center of the road. I take a bit more after my dad. He was a worrier. He came by it naturally from a family of worries, so I don’t let it worry me that I also inherited the gene.

I am more of a defensive rider.

 I prefer to ride on the edge so that if a car comes I don’t have to worry getting out of the way in a hurry. Cars have a tendency to fly down the road, especially around the corners. Which is not good for the cars either as we live on a dirt road. A horse is much harder to maneuver than a dog when faced with an idiot in a vehicle.  I do like to plan ahead for any complications in most situations. Although most situations never require my well thought out plans, I feel better for having them. My dad also impressed on me the importance of planning 😉

My mother doesn’t worry about getting out of the way, she’ll do it when it’s an issue. Of course, her horse was twice the size of mine–a draft Thoroughbred cross.  Cars would think twice before getting that as a hood ornament. And this is the woman who once slid across a New Jersey highway on a horse: horse shoes and pavement don’t always get along.  After that, our little roads couldn’t possibly bother her.

My horse has never wanted to walk on the side of the road.  I used to think she was just being contrary.  You know, the other horses get to walk over there, why do I have to walk over here kind of thing.   She can be like that.

Then I started running.

And I learned about the crowning on the road. For anyone like me who never gave any thought to this, they engineer the roads so that water runs from the high point (the yellow line) to the low point (the ditches).  Obviously this makes it safer during storms for drivers.  It also makes it hard find an even surface to run (or walk with four legs) on. Running on the edge can be like running with one leg an inch shorter than the other. Hard to get a good stride going and painful when done.

Over time, I have figured out where the flattest place to run is on my local roads. It sometimes involves crossing the road several times during the miles. I feel much more sympathetic towards Charby.

 I let her walk where she wants now.