Monday, September 10, 2012

Fitness and Flares

Thanks to Mel, and this book, I have begun a fitness program. I'm not an unhealthy person by any means, but I've been feeling like I should do a little more for myself...especially as I put so much work into my animals' fitness. Q especially, she carries my butt around and puts up with me, the least I can do is be in shape enough to keep up with her and help her out! I'm really excited about getting into everything and feeling good. I miss my competitive swimming days. I felt like such a badass being so strong and fit and ready for anything. I want that back.

Oh, the days of being bizzarrely fit. I miss swimming...
&& those Aviators.

Its going to be a rough journey in the beginning, but I'm really determined to keep with it this time (Mel, you've totally convinced me...and as I read more and more into this book I'm even more convinced!).

And part of me keeping with it is being accountable to a larger audience - you, the reader. I will update as time goes on my progress; I've started, and that's the most important thing. I know things will evolve a bit here in the first two weeks as I read the book, so more on my rider/skier ('cause YES ski season is imminent!) fitness program as I continue!

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I had such an "oh duh" this week with my horses' feet. This whole learning to trim thing is a process - much as trimming is a process and not an "immediate fix". I've slowly taught myself one concept at a time, doing little things as I go along, never doing an excess, always being rewarded by the licking and chewing comfort of my horses after a trim.

She's got a fairly balanced natural stance.
 Both of my horses feet are in pretty good shape compared to most horses around my area. I'm lucky in that aspect. Q's especially are really phenomenal when compared to others. And I think because I'm accustomed to seeing such extreme feet that need so much in the way of...well, everything, I don't notice the same errors on my own horses' feet. For instance, flares! Griffin's are more noticeable, and I know that they are there, but I'm trying to let his feet grow a bit more than I would normally just to see what kind of hoof he wants to grow on his own. This way I can have a heads up on what is normal for him now and know what I need to remedy to help him grow a better hoof.

Q's flaring though? Very minor, but definitely noticeable. I'm ashamed in myself for not noticing it sooner! Its slight, and its on the lateral side of each front foot and the medial side of each back foot. She's had minor cracks in her front right since I had her and its absolutely because of the flare that occurs there, it became SO obvious to me when I started looking at it the other day. The flare is causing the stress and thus the crack. DUH, Liz. Le sigh.

Lol @ Kenai
 Overall I'm paying more attention to medio-lateral balance in their feet now. It was a concept that blew by me before, but suddenly the light has decided to shine through and I get it. Better late than never, but honestly? Not so late really. I've fully taken over trimming their feet since mid-June. How many trim cycles have there been since then? Three? Maybe? Its not like their feet have grown into horrible masses of disarray!

I know I'm helping Q out a lot. Griffin is content, but its a little harder to notice what is great for him and not-so-great as he isn't in full work under saddle like Miss Q. Q's feet are awesome, but she was tender on gravel when I brought her home. I tweaked her diet. She got better. I trimmed her routinely. She got better. Then after the endurance ride I had tweaked her feed again, she got worse on pea gravel than she'd been. I removed all sugar from her diet. She got better. I trimmed her some more and kept up with training rides completely bare...  And the other day? Do you know what we did the other day?!  WE GALLOPED ON GRAVEL! Like, next-size-up-from-pea-sized gravel. Your typical road gravel. BOOM. (Okay, so it was for like a ¼-mile, but still pretty sweet!) No issues. No tenderness the next day. Win!

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Annnnnnddd finally, I've decided I will likely not do the 50 in October at the Kentucky Stampede. I don't want to put myself through the mental and physical wringer of getting her and myself ready by making certain we get proper training days under our belts before the ride. I want to play more. I want to put more time into Griffin. I want to work more on my own fitness program. And I really don't want to break the monthly budget I'm trying to keep myself on - which would be hard to do as I plan to go ahead and buy the Woolback pad for Q in hopes that its superiority to our cotton pads will help with her skin sensitivity issues.

All of these things snowball into not doing the 50. But I do plan to do the 25 and potentially a 15 mile fun ride the next day depending on how things go. I think a two day thing would be fun.

50s will come. I can't wait for them to come. I have no desire to ever be a top finisher. Ever. I just want to be a finisher who does the distance. It all stems back to being a kid... I was seriously this crazy little girl who dreamed of traveling everywhere on my horse. I wanted to go absolutely everywhere - no matter how many days it took me. For me it wasn't about speed so much as doing it on my horse. And I still harbor dreams of traveling across the country on my horse like Linny Kenney did a few years ago. And who remembers Flash? A Disney Channel original movie where a boy in love with a horse rides through a few different states to get to his dad? Its totally on YouTube for those who don't remember. I think this movie is to blame for a lot of my cross-country horse dreams.

Okay, now I want to go watch that movie again...writing this post has come to a screeching halt. Nostalgia's like that though.

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