Skip to main content

Personal Fitness

Anyone who knows any member of my family knows that we are all obsessive :-) It makes family gatherings interesting, to say the least, but it has made us all successful in our chosen fields. When we go for something we throw ourselves fully into it and don't look back. When by brother chose to join the Marines a few years ago he started working out, on his own with no trainer, and kept it up for two full years before he was actually enlisted. My sisters routinely practice, they are both successful violinists, up to seven hours a day on their own and my mom decided a year ago that she wanted to run in a marathon and has signed up and ready for one early this next year.

I have always felt that it is important for the rider to be as much of an athlete as we expect the horse to be and have always been fairly fit. When riding larger horses I felt as though I was strong and fit enough, now I realize that I wasn't, but when I changed to riding smaller equines I started to feel differently. Since I bought Myshla in April I have lost over thirty pounds and in October I added a gym membership. This is the first time I have EVER worked out at a gym. In the past I have walked, run, done sit ups, some stretching and even lifted some weights but never in any real sort of routine. However, when I decided that my goal with Katai was to earn my bronze medal I knew that I would have to do something more.

The first few times that I went to the gym were incredibly intimidating. I had two sessions with a personal trainer to teach my how to use the equipment so that I wouldn't do anything wrong and then started working out on my own. It is amazing the difference that a month and a half of routinely working out will make! I've only lost a pound or two, partially because my diet suffered when I initially started working out, but I've lost several inches and for the first time I can actually truly claim to have at least some core strength. I went from barely being able to do 20 crunches on the ground to being able to do over 50 on the inversion table thing :-) I have a long way to go to be really fit but I'm on my way.

For anyone that is curious about an adult riding a pony there are several things that I personally keep in mind. It is widely known that riders should weigh no more than 20%-25% of a horse's body weight. Some people say that ponies can go up to 30% but in my mind that is too much especially if you are asking them to be very athletic. Currently I am right around 20% of Katai's weight but when I loose the rest of the weight to meet my goal I will be closer to 18%.  I would also be curious to know the ratio of some cowboys on reining horses. To me they seem much more unbalanced size wise than me on my ponies but it is hard to know. Secondly there is the amount of bone and build of the pony. Some ponies are built more like small horses and are very dainty, others are built more like small drafts. Both Katai and Myshla are more like the second although of the two Myshla is built much heavier. Finally there is the balance of the rider. The smaller the horse the more you can through off their balance with your upper body. I can feel this when I ride Myshla especially when she wasn't in as good of shape as she is now. This just means that you have to be much more aware of your balance and how you use your upper body.

I truly adore riding my little girls and want them to have the best health, comfort and happiness that they can. I am always aware of how they are doing both health wise and emotionally and pay careful attention to their needs. I know that riding ponies isn't for everyone but I truly enjoy them so much more than bigger equines that I am happy to pay for a gym membership to keep my ponies :-)


Popular posts from this blog

They Came! and Other Updates

I mentioned awhile back that I'd ordered a couple of Mattes pads, one for schooling and one for show, and that they hadn't shown up quite in time for my last show of the year. Then they were scheduled to arrive while I was in NY so I had to have them re-delivered when I got back. They showed up last week but I've been so distracted by farrier related things that I haven't shared yet.

I like them so much!! The dark grey one with the logo is for schooling/clinics etc. The light grey one is for shows. It honestly is a bit flashier than I expected but I think in the show ring it will be ok. I also LOVE the color of both of them :)

I'm really happy with both of them. The only thing I'm not happy about is that they're both longer from spine to girth loop than my other Mattes euro fit pad. I'm hoping that after they got washed a few times they'll shrink a bit but otherwise they'll work, they're just longer than I'd prefer.
Along with my new far…

Long Time, No Post

Last week was nuts. Opening a new site like that just is, especially when you’ve got 25+ brand new employees being trained in a site that is still being moved into. Add to that the fact that I had some short nights, early mornings, and I didn’t sleep that well and I’m still exhausted even after a nice quiet weekend. Pretty much the only thing I did outside of relaxing at home was grocery shopping and going to the barn.

I made it out both Saturday and Sunday and Katai was so good! On Saturday I rode (after lunging :) and just focused on forward, stretching, and lots of bending and flexion. I did a bit of lateral work but otherwise just kept it simple at walk, trot, and canter. Her canter, though, was seriously the best it’s been. I guess the two weeks off was a good break for her! She was really moving forward rather than up into the transitions and was stretchy and carrying herself. Her back felt great and solidly strong and she was really through rather than just running with he…

PS of Sweden Flying Change Bridle Review

I've been doing my seasonal "favorites" posts but haven't had much to review recently since I haven't been purchasing much. Thanks to saving up some money I was able to spend a bit more on presents (for everyone including myself) this Christmas and finally got the PS of Sweden bridle that's been on my list for over a year.

Based on the information I had I decided to order the pony sized bridle. I had messaged asking for the bridle size but never heard back. I really should have messaged again before ordering as you're about to see.

Unfortunately when the bridle arrived and I compared it with a bridle I had at home that fit Katai I was pretty sure it was going to be too small. I brought it out to the barn, tried it on her and sure enough it was way too small. Not even close enough to be able to punch extra holes. So, I brought it back home and got it packaged up to return.

After a couple of emails back and forth and many days later (I shipped it back on 12…