Saturday 18 October 2014

HGBH - Fit To Ride (and a small weather related rant)

Due to weather/vet day/life, we've had a rather slow week around here riding wise. As in I haven't ridden since Sunday's lesson, and not for lack of trying. Today we are under yet another weather alert and are officially getting hurricane force wind gusts and a heap of rain. So both the horses and I continue to go stir crazy. While the horses dream of pasture turnout on all that green grass coming in,  I dream about indoor riding arenas (or at least a trailer to get to one!). I don't mind some wind and rain to ride in, but the past few non-busy elsewhere mornings have been way excessive. Stupid West Coast weather. /rant

I need to toughen up and just get out there!

Maybe tomorrow? Don't be fooled - apparently tomorrow is always going to be 'the day'. Also I am unsure as to how Tuesday supposedly is 'light rain' yet has up to 40mm predicted. Maybe that 1 hour of sunshine will make it seem less?

Thank goodness Stephanie at Hand Gallop has another great blog hop for us (and a timely one considering the weather and that my last post was all about my favorite comfort food)!

She asks:
What do you do to try to stay fit to ride?

I feel like a bit of a fraud posting to this one, because I recently took about a month long vacation from any real diet or exercise program. I've just getting back into the swing of things the past couple of weeks, so I'm just going to list where I'm at currently rather than where I was/want to get back to.

Why This Is An Important Topic To Me:

It's not fair to my horses for me to not be riding fit! Particularly with young, green ones. I make enough mistakes without adding issues related to weakness or one sidedness. I also don't think it's fair for my horses to pack around any more weight than they have to. Having a smaller horse now means my weight and fitness for riding are more important to me they've ever been At 5'1" tall, I'm hardly big by conventional standards, but to say I'm 'sturdy' for my height would be generous. A pony Bridget's size was not was I was searching for, but since she's otherwise excellent I will use it as further motivation. Embarrassed to admit I've lost a substantial amount of weight in the past couple of years, and would like to trim down a couple more sizes yet. To give you an idea, I wear a size 10 or 12 currently, depending where I shop and would love to be back to a 6/ 8, although my emphasis remains on fit and healthy rather than the number.

I've been religious about going to the gym for about 3 years now, but haven't renewed my gym membership here yet because honestly I got really bored with it. Maybe once winter sets in?
So currently:
-30 minutes min every night on the treadmill. Currently just a slow jog, working my way back up to more, 
-Walk anywhere feasibly possible. Average about 4km a day.
-Stay physically active. Hard to put an actual # on that, but policy to myself is that I 'work' a minimum 8 hour day while I have this time off. That can include barn time, but also house renos, yard work, volunteer hours, etc. Anything where I'm actively moving.With me bring gone for so long, there are no shortage of projects waiting, and I would feel guilty if G was at work while I sat around or went to the barn all day.
-On G's days off we usually manage at least one hike/bike/other outdoor adventure. Again, pretty easy pace wise and 2 hour max outing.

-I'm vegetarian and have time, so feel like the majority of meals I cook are really well thought out and healthy. It's the snacking and eating out with friends I need to watch! I do keep a count in my head of the general amount of calories I'm consuming - if I don't, I find my idea of portion size and my consumption of not so great choices gradually increases.

Mental Game:

Seriously the most important piece of the puzzle for me. If I can keep the mental game in a good place, the rest just falls into place - I want to be out doing stuff, I want to look after myself, I want to be strong, look good, etc. I try not to get down on myself or beat myself up too hard for my mistakes. I keep the negative people out. Also, it's a bit lame to admit, but I keep a picture of myself from when I was in amazing shape as a motivator - proof that I was there once and have no excuses not to be there again. Also, recently a friend of mine posted a pic of us from the same time frame on facebook. Some of my newer friends didn't recognize me and were like "who is that hot chick (ie me) in your photo?". Ouch. Awkward. Motivation levels increased!



  1. Mental game is so important! I found that the more I used my willpower, the easier it became. When Johnny and I did Whole 30, we would both get super strong junk food cravings around 9 PM; we'd force ourselves to just eat a banana and almond butter. By the end of the month, we were totally satisfied with that snack and didn't really even want it half the time!

    1. It's amazing! I did a total 180 in my eating habits and like you say, it felt normal after the first month or so. Also, just knowing I can do it has helped so much!

  2. oh man, that rain would totally bum me out too :( but yea, re: fitness etc, the mental game really is everything. actually, it's everything for riding too, it seems....

    1. Funny how that works! Sigh...all the same things I struggle with mentally in my riding are the same things I struggle with in various forms elsewhere.

  3. We've also had a lot of rain. Definitely makes the ponies stir crazy and makes it hard to find motivation to exercise!

    1. Yeah. It's been either the elliptical machine and treadmill in our dark and uninviting basement for me. Can't wait to get outdoors again!

  4. Upside to hurricanes... Fallen trees to jump on trail rides.

    1. Exactly! It's probably bad of me to not chip in to clear things right away after we get a big storm, but it's so fun to jump all the things!