Friday, October 16, 2015

Weebles Wobble But They Don't Fall Down

I have a confession to make:

Getting back into riding is absolutely one of the most exhausting and painful things I think I've ever put myself through.

 Currently, I am the Human Weeble. Flooping here, leaning there, clamping my thighs, sitting crooked, bouncing. I *know* how all my body parts should go, but my body parts aren't always in agreeance with me. 

Different Weebl, same concept.

I *know* where all of my body parts are supposed to be. I know how to feels when you are sitting just right and working in harmony with your horse. I have these things deeply ingrained in my mind.
But apparently, not in my muscle memory.

Thank you for not bucking me off when I floop around

It has been a solid year since I put my butt into any saddle of any sort, save for 10 minutes one time when a client told me to try out her TWH and see what the gaits felt like. And it has been five years since I really was in saddle shape. And it SHOWS.

I also have the problem of my non-bending ankle. In that picture above, you can see the amount that the leg flexes. That's it. That's all I get now. I don't know that I will ever gain full flexibility back in that leg. I have to ride with that stirrup 3 holes longer than the other one in order to feel like I am sitting up straight in the saddle. As my body progressively warms up over the course of a ride, my calf doesn't stretch - instead, my ankle rolls progressively outward.

This is all a side product from limping around from the pain in my bad hip for so long. The good news is, as long as I ride in a saddle with a very narrow twist, the hip doesn't hurt at all. K sent Dylan with his Schleese - a brand designed specifically for women - but even that is too much pressure on my hips. I put my Prestige on him two days ago and felt a WORLD better. It fits about as well as the Schleese, which was due for a fitting anwyay, so I think what I will end up doing is fitting the Prestige to him instead of the Schleese. My Prestige was custom molded for my butt by angels, I am completely convinced of this.

I've been able to go to WD three whole days in a row this week. Three days in a row!! That is a rare treat. Every day I feel a little better, every day I am not quite so awkward. I'm still stuck in a chair seat with rounded shoulders flooping around and it looks ridiculous. but I am sitting cleanly enough that Dylan mostly understands what the hell I am asking him to do. He tries very hard.

Overly enthusiastic changes... he gets really excited about what's happening up front and forgets about his back end a bit!

It's hard. Everything is hard. Everything hurts. 

But, I understand that this is how bodies work. When you're not in shape for something, it is really freaking hard. And it hurts. Everything is painful. And everything kind of flops around. Nothing goes quite where you expect it should. You stretch it out, put it there, and then find that it has gone off somewhere else in just a few minutes. So, you put it back again. And again. And again.

And I know that eventually my body will go where it is supposed to. I will feel better and sit nicer. I know that I will feel like less of a floopy fool and more like someone who is not only fit to ride, but can be an effective rider.

And the only place where I can get those things is in the saddle. Logging hours in the saddle is the only way.

Everything is hard and everything hurts, but I ride on.


On a cuter note, here are two sassy babes running amok last night in the pasture. I actually got to see Pax trot yesterday - really trot - and I think there may be hope for her movement yet. It wasn't sustained or long but it was quite attractive! Alas, it was not caught on video.


  1. Right there with ya girl! Five months riding preggo, then six months off and I'm a mess! Starting lessons next week to help fix things up now that Pongo is sort of in shape. the struggle is real!!! Those babies are adorbs!!!

  2. I'm doing some work-related stuff that is really mentally hard for me right now, and I find it makes me so much more sympathetic to my horse. It's the exact same thing--asking him to do something he's technically capable of, but just doesn't understand.

    So. Maybe that helps?

  3. omg that baby mini donk is tooooo much - and she seems to loove jumping that little rock pile haha! also, fwiw i took 4 yrs off riding after college (broke ppl problems) and getting back into the saddle was one of the most difficult and frustrating experiences ever... like you said, *knowing* how to do a thing, but being physically unable to do so... ugh. it gets better tho. dylan certainly looks like the perfect horse to get back into a groove with!

  4. I don't know the specifics of your leg issue, but there are minor surgeries that can cut the ligaments in the leg to give them more stretch. Basically mimic the injury that causes the fetlock to drop in the horse, but in the case where the ligament is too short anyway it's beneficial for some people. Might be something to talk to a dr. about.

  5. Ermahgawd bebeh mini ears!

    RE body not doing what you want, I feel your pain and HIGHLY recommend some gentle yoga. PM me and I'll share my fav short workouts (like 10 mins or less).

  6. Uma is the cutest thing everrrr. Hahaha. So glad Pax has a little friend.

  7. Even though you have a lot of experience it may be good to take some lessons to get back into things and fully utilize Dylan's training. Even pros take plenty of lessons. Pax and Uma are super cute!

    1. Oh yes, don't worry, I will be! I just need to get fit enough to make it through longer than 15 panting exhausted minutes of riding at a time :)

  8.! Oh the cuteness :D

    Dylan is lovely. Re your ankle - thinking of lifting the toe rather than dropping the heel (Mary Wanless I think) can help with limbering up the lower leg.

    1. Mini mule, not donkey ;)

      About lifting the toe - alas, I can't. Physically I can't do it no matter how hard I try. Each successive attempt to raise the toe tighens the calf more and more until it ends up pointing down. It sucks :/

    2. Mini mule, not donkey ;)

      About lifting the toe - alas, I can't. Physically I can't do it no matter how hard I try. Each successive attempt to raise the toe tighens the calf more and more until it ends up pointing down. It sucks :/

  9. They are SO CUTE!!!! Pax has such a gorgeous face. I love the picture of Uma rearing. So cute! Don't give up hope on Pax's movement. You never know. :D

    Keep up the hard work on the riding and it will pay off. It sucks to get older and painful and to lose muscle memory, but I know you're the type who won't give up.