The mare and I hope everyone had a most wonderful holiday season. Now that it’s all over, I also hope you’re not finding your riding breeches a bit too tight like I am. For me, it’s time to get in high gear.
Since October, I have been “thinking about” outlining and charting my winter training plan. To quote my grandmother “I thought about it and then I sat down until the thought went away”
As I sat cleaning tack and sipping a glass of wine on New Year’s Eve, I decided it’s time to stop thinking and start doing, winter is definitely here.
With no kids around to suck up my time and energy I should be at that point in my life where I can really devote lots of time to my passion for riding. I want to move forward with my training, I want to push myself harder and move up.
To do this, I need to make some serious changes not only in my horses, but in me….
I need to lose weight, get in better shape and be more agile. It’s now three years out since I had surgery for herniated and shattered L4 & L5. I am able to accept that the accident has left permanent physical changes to my body, having gone from running 3 miles a day and riding 6 days a week, to a year of steroids and time in a wheelchair. It was amazing how fast my body deteriorated. What is more frustrating, is how slowly it’s taking to coming back.
This past year was great. The mare and I got out there and rode in several shows. We had a great time and I really embraced that I still love doing this, maybe more now than when I was a kid. I also discovered that my low back is really stiff while riding and the nerve damage causes my legs too occasionally to flop forward. I need to rebuild the strength in my left leg to withstand longer periods of rising trot and two point. I recently found out, that the mare loves to jump. I’m in no shape to jump without “the rag doll flopping around= all kinds of ugly.” None of this is fair to the horses.
I found a new trainer that pushes me in lessons, and is bringing out really great things, but I only get to work with her once or maybe twice a month.
The cold winter weather for the next 6 to 8 weeks, most likely won’t allow me to ride 5 days a week even with the indoor arena. It’s too hard in below-zero temperatures. So rather than going home each night to watch clinic videos, live feeds, sip wine and dream about spring, I’m hitting the floor.
I found a great yoga workout: BioRider Fitness Yoga Sequence. I wasn’t too happy to discover just how difficult it was to just sit crossed legged on the floor. But after just a few days, I’m already noticing a difference in the saddle from these exercises. As I wince every night getting into these insane positions, I remind myself this will payoff.
Stretching, yoga and really focusing on building my core is my winter training plan – part one.
Come spring, I hope there is less rider at X in this team.