Sunday, February 8, 2015

Binge riding my horses

I apologize for not having posted in a long time.  I have been very busy and haven't been riding more than about once every week or two, which is not enough for either me or my horses.  I have a leaser now who rides Rondo every weekend, and she is great with him, but Panama has gotten fat and out of shape -- and so have I, although to a lesser extent.  So it's time to rethink my habits.

It makes it easier that right now we're enjoying some unseasonably warm weather, with temperatures in the 60s and low 70s.  As a result, I rode Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons, and am now sore and tired, but happy.

Pan is definitely out of shape though.  On Thursday I turned him out first and he wore himself out more quickly than he once would have, although he was still amped up and at least thinks he can still behave as he used to.  Then I rode him inside (as it was getting dark).  It took a while to get him to calm down and focus well enough to get three good gaits in each direction, but we did it, with lots of cantering for the exercise.

I finished up Thursday's ride by desensitizing him to a tarp.  There are tarps everywhere around the barn, even right next to his corral, but that's different.  Tarps inside are Scary with a capital S.  Even so, after watching in horror as I laid it out on the ground, he stepped on it the second time I asked, and then put a second foot on it too.  We were more or less stuck at that point for a little while, but he eventually did cross the tarp three times -- the first time in a full panic, but by the third time, just hurrying a little, so I let him quit with that.

On Friday I started with Rondo, and put a fellow boarder's daughter on him -- she is afraid of their horse, who is flighty, rather like Panama, and has been giving his owner some trouble lately.  She did great and so did Rondo, up until a coyote started running around the back pasture and scaring all the horses.  Rondo started snorting, and L. opted to get off, especially since all the other horses were melting down.

After that, I rode him, and he was a little bit up and lacked focus, possibly still because of the coyote, but apparently he's also been like that lately for my leaser, H., in the outdoor arena.  All the horses have spring fever with this great weather lately, and I can't say I blame them!  Anyway, I got a good ride in on him, my first in months, and then I rode Panama inside too.  Pan being out of shape, we did some trot and canter work again, as I'm hoping to build his endurance back up, and then called it quits.

Yesterday I took V. out to the barn to ride Rondo, probably the first time she's ridden in at least a month.  While she rode, I rode Panama again, and did lots of trot work this time, as it was very windy and he (and every other horse) was amped up again.  Toward the end we got some good canter work in to each direction, and I called it quits, as he was starting to move a bit stiffly, like he was tired and sore.  I was very concerned and checked him over, but found nothing the matter, so I think he is just feeling the effects of three days in a row of riding.  None of the rides were as long or as strenuous as our rides used to be, but he is as out of practice as I am, and I know I was sore after each ride.

I had an opportunity to ride with my leaser today, but when I went to the barn Panama was decidedly unexcited to see me.  I was feeling pretty tired still myself, so I decided to give us both a day off (or possibly two, since I may not be riding again until Tuesday, when I have a riding date with a fellow boarder).

I don't know that I can necessarily keep up this riding every day thing, as I need to find a way to balance it with the other things I still have to do, such as babysitting and writing work for my clients, and with any luck some writing work for myself at some point here too.  But I know that I do want to find a way to work riding back into my life on a regular basis, and possibly show again this summer (I didn't get to at all last summer), so hopefully it won't be as long this time before my next post!



At February 9, 2015 at 4:19 AM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Oh yeah, I forgot about how fresh the horses got coming out of winter hibernation when I lived in a cold area. I bought that book on writing that you recommended and have learned a few things I wasn't aware of previously. I'm only about 15% of the way through it. Getting time to read has been a struggle because every time I sit down, either the dogs insist they have to be taken outside or my husband points out something that needs my attention. I'm like a trouble magnet whenever I pick up a book. I'm trying to read the whole thing before switching to KDP Select for 90 days. I want to make sure it is worth it before going to the trouble of unpublishing it in other locations.

At February 25, 2015 at 9:37 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

NM, you're lucky not to have to worry about fresh horses in the spring! Let me know what you think of the book. It was so packed with information that my e-copy is full of highlighting, and I feel like I could benefit by reading it through a second time and making a written plan for myself based on the information in the book!

At February 26, 2015 at 5:04 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

NM, I just ran across an article about Amazon/Kindle that I thought you might also be interested in:

The Top 10 Things All Authors Should Know About Amazon

Less detail than that book, but maybe you'll find some of the information helpful!

At February 27, 2015 at 2:52 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Ugh, NM, I am so sorry, but I deleted your comment by accident. :( I have yet to use Smashwords myself, so I found your feedback regarding the flaws of their system interesting. The authors of Write. Publish. Repeat. don't think much of Smashwords either, but note that it does have its uses.

At March 3, 2015 at 9:35 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Another potential resource for you, NM! Remembering your comments about Smashwords's flaws, I thought you'd be interested in the comments on this post:

I hadn't heard of Draft2Digital, but it sounds like it may improve upon some of the issues you experienced with Smashwords. I'll be looking into it myself, but since I'm super busy right now and won't have time right away, I thought I should pass the info on to you in the meantime.


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