Taking the Long Way
3:58 p.m. - 2007-01-10
I rode again today, and as a result, I feel awesome.
Funny how exercise--especially exercise that you LOVE doing, which makes it not really feel like exercise at all--can make such a difference in your mood. To me, at least.
I was worried that I'd be pretty incapacitated after my ride the other day, but aside from the expected stretchy-soreness in my inner thighs (which is actually a *good* feeling to me, perhaps because I get the same feeling after a round of really good...well, you know) and my right shoulder (from tightening the girth), I was fine. Still, going without riding yesterday was incredibly dull and boring, and I felt really depressed and grouchy as a result.
I left the house about 10:30 this morning, Ali in tow, and headed straight to my parents' house. It seems really ridiculous to me that even though I live out in the country now, I can't keep my horse here. My parents live in a subdivision, for crying out loud, and yet they've got two fenced in pastures and more than enough room for two horses. There's twice as much acreage where we live, but my grandparents tore down the fence that my parents paid to put up (to keep the horses here) ten or so years ago, and they're totally against the idea of putting another up. Ah, well, I suppose I should just be grateful to be able to ride at all.
I dropped Ali off with my mom and headed outside. Instead of taking time to curry and lunge her, I decided to saddle up and get on straight away. I know that I said that I was comfortable once on her back last time, but truth be told, I felt a little wary and uncomfortable. I'm totally out of shape for riding, and I really, really didn't want to get thrown off. Something tells me that my nearly 27 year old body wouldn't handle it as good as I did when I was 22.
Today was totally different. I was completely at ease when I swung into the saddle, and I decided that instead of staying in the pasture, I'd head out around the neighborhood for a different view. She was noticeably skittish around the barking dogs and unfamiliar sights, but a few calming words helped settle her down enough for us to make it around the block without incident. I need to get her shod, though, because she stumbled quite a few times on the asphalt and gravel.
When we got back to the pasture, I nudged her into a lope, and then into a full on gallop. I didn't really run her full blast on Monday because I was nervous, but today it just felt right. There's nothing more exhilirating to me than that. We headed out to the back pasture, and I was thrilled to see some fallen trees there. I gathered my reins, coaxed her into a lope, and hung on as tightly as I could with my legs as she jumped. My wrist took a bit of a beating on the saddle horn as we cleared the third log, but after I pulled her to a stop and shook it a bit, it was fine. Back over the logs once again, and then a trip through the woods to cool her down, and that was about all she could handle for the day. She's as out of shape as I am, but that'll change for both of us during the next few weeks.