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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Procrastinating Rider Fitness

If you missed my ramblings on how I'm preparing Farley for our upcoming LD (THIS Saturday!!!!), go back a few posts and read " What I'm up to..." (Aug 14th publish date). My rider fittness "program" is going to be awfully reminicent of Farley's program....

But first, in the spirit of this entire afternoon which is apparently dedicated to procrastination (should be studying and instead I'm writing blog posts, visiting my mom, and now taking my own sweet time about getting to the point of this post!), I'm going to self-servingly brag about a little ride I had the other night.

That's right, NIGHT. With a MOON.

Let's see how you do on a little multiple choice question:

"Night+moon+new saddle+galloping = "

a. Insanity

b. what an adrenaline rush!!!!

c. broken bones

d. only in my worst nightmare

*I* picked up a saddle from my dad that he has for sale that I thought might work for Farley, and got the stable a bit later than I anticipated.

The problem is it gets dark so dang fast. 8:30 and BOOM, sun is over and down below the horizon. Considering that I did my 5am run in the DARK, I did think it was a bit unfair that I ended my day doing something physical in the dark.

I will say that darkness+saddle is WAY MORE fun than darkness+running shoes. At least in my everyone-owns-a-pit-bull-and-is-probably-manufacturing-meth neighborhood.


Went out to the stable, tacked up, and screwed around with leathers, stirrups, breast collars, and girths for far longer than I care to admit. (which is how I can explain my stirrup leathers being a full 2 holes too long). By this time it was dark, the owner was feeding and I was debating whether I should head on out to the trails. The owner mentioned that the moon lights up the area quite well. I realized she was right - the levee and river bottoms where I ride have no "curfew", there's no traffic, and I could actually ride on the trails quite safely.

That is if the dang coyotes/deer/turkeys/hawks/owls/rabbits etc. weren't intent on killing both me and Farley. Apparently they didn't quite believe their senses as a dark horse and rider thundered towards them on the trail.

I was really interested in how much more secure this saddle was than the english type than I have been using, and my seat is good enough that the only way was to get Farley to do something fairly naughty - like ubruptly slide to a halt (thank you Mr. Coyote that refused to move), shy side wise at a gallop (I swear the owl was going to land on my head), and maybe throw in a happy buck or two as she did some flying lead changes down the back stretch (she still can't change leads on the fly without bucking through it).

How much fun were me and Farley having?

We both galloped past the barn and didn't realize it.

We both sorta looked at each other, than looked back and then walked to the barn.

First night ride since I got pulled at 20MT 100 Feb 2011.

And the best part? Farley's legs, just like every other ride I've put on her this training cycle, were absolutely, completely clean the next day.

The verdict on the saddle? It's a maybe. Definitely keeps me in the middle of the motion, but I'm not quite sure it's going to work just yet. A few more rides are needed. I'm loth to give up something as familiar as the english saddle, but on the other hand the price is right on this one, it gives me more options, and if it keeps me centered better when I'm tired, than that's less wear and tear on Farley's body and back near the end of a 100.

I'm being deliberately vague about the saddle because you guys are going to make fun of me when you see it. :(. You will snicker and not have any mercy. Dad and mom - no fair giving away anything in the comments. That would just be mean.

Now on to rider fitness - how did I lose over 10 pounds since the end of June, am close to the best shape of my life, and achieved this WITHOUT ANY INJURIES? I'll share in my next post (unless I find something more interesting to post about in the meantime....) what I've been doing and how "20 minute" book that covers the most recent exercise physiology research that I keep mentioning (way too long of a name, in my fitness post I will link to it in amazon) has applied to my routine.

Until next time!

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