I’ve had the Equilab app for just over a week and used it a couple of times to track our rides. I’d like to use it to see how Abbey’s fitness is improving over the coming season. Previously I have used Map My Run…which did the job….kinda.
The first time that I’d used a new app we had a rather exciting hack round the ‘big block’ as it is known on the yard.
It’s been over a month since my last post which shows just how busy the holiday season has been. I hope yours has been as filled with fun, family and friends as mine.
That last post talked about how I was going to bring Abbey back into work after a short break, getting her back up to fitness so that we could continue our journey with dressage and jumping.
It hasn’t quite happened that way, we’ve not been as focused and dedicated as perhaps we should. Instead we’ve been big kids, having fun and not worrying too much as ‘progress’.
Instead we’ve enjoyed winter wobbles around the fields. In England it’s not been a winter wonderland, more of a muddy sploshy swamp.
As we approached the Christmas break our hacks took to the roads and became increasingly festive.
Every cloud has a silver lining; the rain did provide some cross country water opportunities.
Abbey enjoyed some time with her fieldmate’s owner who hacked her, schooled her and even popped her over a fence or two.
We squeezed in a little schooling but it was all very low key, The main focus was to focus on stretching over her topline and using that back end.
Today we welcomed the New Year with interval training. We shouldn’t really be cantering at this point but, hey, it’s still the holidays and there’s nothing quite like a good canter in an open space to blow the cobwebs (self induced with alcohol!) away!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the holidays as much as I have. Here’s to a fabulous 2019!
At first glance yoga isn’t an obvious complimentary fitness activity to horse riding. But as I’ve discovered over the last two months, it’s a perfect way to build strength, physically and mentally, and develop awareness (and therefore control) of your body.
Every pose and sequence in yoga requires core strength. From the moment you hit the mat you’re asked to engage the same muscles that are critical to securing a good dressage position.
Many poses increase flexibility, particularly in the hips. They also stretch your hamstrings. If like me you’ve struggled to open your hips, bring your legs back or lengthen them, check out the appropriately named, “hip opener” poses.
We’re less than two weeks into 2018 and so far it’s going well.
Abbey is back in work and she’s remembered the vast majority of the novice work that we were doing last year. It’ll be a while before she’s fit enough and strong enough to move the work on but it’s a great start.
The fitness work is hacking only at the moment – a) it’s supposed to be the best way to start them off, and b) the fields are a swamp.
Thursday was dressage schooling. I’m having to get used to Abbey’s new way of going. She’s so chilled that I’m having to generate energy and engage her hind end through exercises rather than containing the anxious energy that she’s been giving me for the last couple of months.
Determined to get more ‘ping’, Abbey and I headed to the school again on Friday evening and I’m please to report that there was a small improvement.
…it’s just a shame I don’t! For a while now I’ve been struggling with inside bend on the left rein and quite frankly I’ve been more or less ignoring it.
A little while ago (after a particularly bad schooling session where I tried to wrestle Abbey into left bend!) I decided enough was enough. So Abbey’s been having regular treatments (with Lisa Bartley) and so have I (with Jess Shemmans). I am also getting fitter (HIIT pilates and running) and we’ve started having lessons with a lady called Leonie Alldrick, who is an Equipilates Affiliated Instructor and Biomechanics Coach.
Since my last post it’s, quite frankly, all gone to pot!
I’m not too ashamed to say that the cold dark nights have dampened my enthusiasm to ride of an evening. I’ve been struggling for motivation for a month or two and our training has become a little sporadic.
As a result Abbey’s fitness has gradually decreased and then last week I caught a cold. So I have declared us on holiday! I think it will do us good.
Horses have a way of bringing an over confident person back to earth…sometime quite literally and sometimes with a bump!
The weekend following our first ODE I did something stoopid. The OH had a new camera and wanted to test it out so I persuaded him to take pictures of Abbey and I galloping in the fields at home.
Over the past two summers I cannot count how many times we’ve galloped at home without incident….yet when someone’s got a camera…..
On the Saturday in question we headed to the fields, we warmed up, the OH got into position and I took Abbey down the bottom to canter back up the hill towards the camera.
As we turned the corner, I simultaneously got up out the saddle and gave Abbey a great big kick and yelled “go on girl!”. Goodness knows what possessed me. Normally we establish a steady rhythmical pace before I politely ask for a bit more. I must have taken Abbey by surprise as she bucked once, twice and then a third time which landed me rather un-graciously on the floor with a thud.