We’re Getting There…

Nicole and I have been saying these words a lot lately.  Things are really coming together for Savy and me.  After two plus years of training, I can finally ride my horse on the bit and over her back consistently. I can make her neck longer and rounder, and I can raise her poll.  We can comfortably and consistently have nice work at the walk, trot, and canter, both directions.  I can’t tell you happy our progress makes me.  Sure, we still have tough rides every now and then.  Savy is still an Arabian mare after all, but we work through the tough spots.

horeIn addition to having a good grasp on the basics, we’ve been working first level stuff pretty comfortably too.  Lenthenings are getting easier. Savy kicks ass at leg yields.  The work is there for first level, now we just have to polish it – i.e. keeping her rounder and completely through during the more difficult movements.  During my last lesson we worked a tiny bit of passage.  It’s so difficult, but after just a few steps of passage, the regular trot work was so much better and uphill (and easier).

There are two major reasons I think that have made all the difference in the world for us.  The first was Savy’s bone-deep cut at the end of December.  My mentality towards Savy and training has totally changed since then.  Mainly, I don’t take the training as seriously.  If we have a bad ride, it doesn’t upset me.  I know that tomorrow is a new day, and every day I get to ride Savy is a gift.  She could hurt herself today and be out of commission for the rest of her life, and it can happen in an instant.  I forgot that riding was a privilege.  A privilege that I have yearned for my whole life.  I find myself rewarding Savy a lot more now, and focusing on all the positive parts of our ride.  As a result, Savy works for me, she tries for me.  We’re better partners now.

The second is my fitness level.  It’s hard to make progress when you’re trying to work through a movement and your muscles are shaky and ready to give out, and then you have to take a walk break.  I expect Savy to be an athlete and it’s only fair that I do the same myself.  I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but Beachbody has made all of the difference for me.  Before I bought Savy I used to workout 5 days a week and eat low calorie meals.  I got stronger, but I never really got the results I wanted.  After Savy I thought my rides would be enough of a workout, but they’re not.  The meal plans and the workouts, combined with coaching from Beachbody have really worked for me.  I push myself harder than I would if I didn’t have a coach and other people doing the programs with me.  I find myself becoming increasingly more passionate about the company and the programs, and that’s why I decided to become a coach.  If I make a little extra money from doing it, then that’s great, but mostly I want to share this feeling with other people.  I’m going to continue my fitness journey with Beachbody, and it would be great to have people doing it with me.  Enough about that 🙂

Our first show of the season is THIS weekend.  We’re showing Training 2 & 3 to get our feet wet.  Depending on how things go, I’d like to show First Level at the next show.  I’m still super nervous about the show, even though I feel pretty confident at Training Level now.  My biggest worry is that Savy is going to jig in the walk.  Jigging – for my non-horsey friends is somewhere between a walk and trot, and judges do not like it.  Sometimes Savy jigs in our rides and sometimes she doesn’t.  So I’m practicing positive visualization by running through our tests, and visualizing them going perfectly. I’ve read a lot about the power of positive visualization.

Also, I washed my comforter so that I can show everyone the re-decorating projects I’ve done lately and it shrunk 😦  Once my new one comes in I’ll get some pics up here.

 

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Hand Grazing Musings

With beautiful spring weather comes spring rains, and spring rains bring gorgeous, bright green candy-grass.  Hand-grazing season is upon us.  For those of us who’s horses are in a mud paddock all winter, we have to spend several weeks in spring getting the horses built up to the grass.  Meaning, we can’t just let the horses run wild in acres of this delicious looking grass without over eating and causing themselves health problems.  Hand grazing provides a great opportunity for introspection, since basically you’re just watching your horse gobble up the grass as fast as possible.

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And boy have I had a lot to think about!  For a brief moment in time it looked as though Clay and I might be moving to Wellington, Fl.  I know!  Crazy right!  But that job opportunity seems to be going no where, so the excitement is over.  And these last few months I’ve discovered I still have interests outside of horses.  I’ve actually cooked a few times!  I literally hadn’t cooked since before I bought Savy.  I re-decorated several rooms in our house.  Most importantly I’ve made becoming an athlete a priority.  I’m sick of having to take walk breaks during my lesson because I’m not fit enough to keep up with Nicole and Savy.

Savannah

I’ve been looking for a way to get fit.  I joined a gym closer to my work.  I went a few times and got bored.  I went to a barre class.  Nothing stuck.  Randomly, my husbands step-sister became a Beachbody coach and started a PIYO challenge.  I was intrigued.  PIYO combines Pilates and yoga, two exercises that are great for riders.  I did PIYO, saw some changes, and now I’m doing the 21 day fix.

I really, really like the 21 day fix.  I like the meal plan, it’s super easy to follow.  And the workouts are just the right amount of challenging.  Autumn seems to read my mind and gives me motivation right when I’m ready to quit.  I plan on doing the fix until I reach my goals.  Then I’d like to try another Beachbody program.

quoteWhat I like about Beachbody are that they’re no gimmicks.  It’s coaching, meal plans, and workouts out that are designed to help people lose weight correctly.  The meal plans emphasis fruits, veggies and whole grains.  The workouts incorporate stretching.  It feels healthy and sustainable.  I know I sound like a walking advertisement, but the more I do with this company the more passionate I become about them.  My coach has suggested I become a coach myself, but I’m not sure.  I don’t want to feel like I have to sell something.  I will post final results after  the three week challenge, but right now things are looking good.

And I will have a training update and some pics of my redecorating projects up here soon.