Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Workout on a Horse

In a way today was my reward day. First the massage and then I had an afternoon riding lesson. I have a friend, Tom, from NYC who is up visiting this weekend, so I dragged him with me to the barn. We got there and one of the barn girls showed me the lesson board and called down on the intercom to "Ro" to let her know that I was there and to find out what she wanted me to do. She asked to speak to me over the intercom and then she said, "Deb? You're really advanced." (uh, I am?) "have your jumped before?" "Sure, plenty of jumping. Like, 22 years ago." "You're going to do some jumping today." Uh, okay. Yikes. Anyway, she wanted me to ride this young pony (hey, I'm SHORT!) who is very nice, has some great potential, but still is a little green and needs a strong rider.

We did all the warm up stuff and then started working on the canter. The pony, "Scottie" apparently hadn't been ridden a lot lately and we really ended up more at a gallop most of the time (which was A-okay with me). Ro had me just go with it and ride it out in a 2-point position (which is basically up out of the saddle, a little easier to ride out that 4-beat gait). So it was so much great fun to go galloping around, especially since it had been so long since I have been able to do this, but damn. I had forgotten what hard work it can be. I was huffing & puffing and sweating like crazy. It's really much more of a workout than most people realize. After all that she put Tom to work (poor Tom) and had him help her set up a simple "gymnastic" -- series of small jumps with a slightly bigger jump at the end. The horse is meant to just bounce through the line. And so I got to jumping! It was great to be able to do it again. My form sucked, I'm really all over the place, but I felt that old rush a little bit again and felt that this is something that I probably will be able to do again with some amount of competence.

All during this lesson Ro kept talking to me about this small schooling horse show happening next weekend, trying to talk me into riding Scottie for her in the show. Gah! I'm sure I haven't shown in 30 years! I'm also embarrassed, I don't feel like I'm near enough ready and lastly, I don't have any formal riding clothes (just a couple pairs of schooling tights, a hard hat, paddock boots and gloves). She said that it is totally informal, no one dresses up and that she feels that I'm doing great. She said, 22 years since being on a horse and that I looked like I had been riding all along, completely natural. I wish I felt the same. She wants to put me in a hunter jump class, I think 2'6" fences, so nothing too scary. But I really just bounced over a few small bumps today, and rather sloppily too, so I don't know if I'm really ready for that yet. Or maybe I'm being a big baby about it, I don't know.

She also said that she doesn't have anyone to really ride Scottie at the moment and that he needs to be schooled and conditioned. She asked if there is a day or two that I can come during the week to ride him. She also asked if I would like to take a trail ride with her some day (hell, YES!) that Scottie really needs to be galloped out. She also kept mentioning that there is a horse (Romeo) that she really wants to put me up on, not sure what Romeo's deal is, but maybe I'll see one day.

So she is hot for me to ride in this show. I don't know what to do. I know most would say, "do it, it's fun". And it is. But first, I used to be pretty competitive on a horse, it's going to piss me off a lot that my form sucks and that I'm not ready for this. Also, Sunday has kind of turned into my relax day, so that will be a day that I don't get to recharge. Lastly, I wonder and suspect if most of the participants at this schooling show will be kids. I really don't want to be the only adult riding at a kids' show -- GAH! So I don't know.

I have a lot of stuff on deck for next week, particularly riding! I'm almost freaking out a little bit about it. Let's review, shall we:

Monday starts off with a face-to-face 3-hour meeting that begins at 8 AM (I just had to mention that because ... Monday morning. 8 AM. 3-hours. Face-to-face. Hello? How horrible is that?) Anyway, I also have a personal training session scheduled and a spinning class in the evening.

Tuesday -- Running & Core / Spin

Wednesday -- Running* & Spinning (* I think I might actually have a dentist appointment, I have to check my schedule, so I may miss a running day this week).

Thursday -- Running & riding after work.

Friday -- Personal training & riding after work (2nd barn that I'm trying out).

Saturday -- AM Spinning class & afternoon riding lesson.

Sunday -- Maybe a horse show.

Wow. I'm tired already. So I don't know what to do about the show, but I have to tell her this week (of course). Geez, one riding lesson and I'm suddenly completely immersed in a horsey life. I suppose if I could really ride 3-4 times a week that I'd be in riding shape in a heartbeat.

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