Sunday, 10 June 2012

Melican goes riding...and survives!!

I am currently sitting down trying to stay as still as I possibly can and hoping I don't need to laugh or sneeze in the near future.

The reason being?

When I try to sit down I face such agony I don't want to risk aggravating any muscles and causing myself any more pain. I have what I think they refer to as 'saddle sores'.

This morning I did it. I got up early (well early for me!) on a Sunday morning and went horse riding. Funnily enough as I nodded off to sleep last night I was feeling excited about my little adventure and remembered various moves and exercises we used to do when I went as a child.

In typical me-style though as soon as I woke up this morning (numerous times before my alarm) I was panicking and feeling nervous. My hands were clammy and my legs were shaky.

I'd been round my parents yesterday to collect my riding hat - which remarkably still fits, my boots (sadly my legs are too big for them now) and my crop. I'd come home and found a pair of boots which I felt would be suitable and put together a brown leggings and pink polo shirt ensemble as my riding outfit.

Of course when I got up this morning I started to doubt my outfit, worried my boots wouldn't be right and felt petrified at the thought of getting on or off one of these huge animals.

Still I got on with it and before I knew it we were at my local riding school and I was signing the registration form. What did I think my riding ability was? Ride with stirrups, ride without stirrups, trot, canter, etc, etc, etc... I was worrying just about getting on so I simply ticked 'ride with stirrups' and nothing else.

My horse for the day was Guy, quite an old horse but of course huge, as the horses always were when I was young, being 5ft 11 you're never going to get a pony I know.

I hesitantly climbed up the steps of the block to get on the horse. My boyfriend was there and kindly said I looked fine. Well I know myself I was a wobbly worrying mess and it took me a good two attempts, nearly three to get my leg over and not worry about flinging myself straight over across the other side to the floor!

Finally on I tried to keep calm as my horse kept trying to move off and I realised I was wrong about beginners lessons for adults. No the reason they led you in beginners classes was because you were young and little and not because you were simply beginners. Nobody was leading us or holding our reins today. We were in charge of our own horse.

I also remembered my first few lessons being led round an indoor undercover arena - we walked past that. There was the outdoor sand area, we walked past that. We walked into a field. This I admit made me panic, what if the horse decided to gallop off? Nobody was holding me and controlling my horse if it did.

As you've probably guessed, we were fine. Our thirty minute lesson was taken by a lovely instructor. She encouraged us and let you know when you'd been doing well and what characteristics your horse had so you knew how best to work with them.

After a few circular laps of walking, we went into trotting, movements whilst trotting with your reins tied (ie touch your head, your hips, your knees), sitting trots (wow that hurts your bum!), riding without stirrups and sitting trotting without stirrups. And you know what? Once my nerves subsided I thoroughly enjoyed it. When the lesson ended it seemed to be over way too quick.

Of course my dismount was pretty comical too. One of the girls helping out led me over to some of the stables near the back and waited for me to jump off. Again two attempts to swing my leg over and then a very undignified jump down. Still at least I made it.

Then I even got to put Guy back in his stable and learn how to remove his bridle and loosen his saddle to allow him to get comfy whilst he rested.

I met my boyfriend beaming from ear to ear and then went over to the office to let them know I'd be back next week.

Yes my bottom was in agony, yes my legs ache, yes I kept sneezing from the horse hair and hayfever, but I still loved it.

I even felt so full of energy that I came back to the flat and did my workout DVD (for day 6 of the 30 day shred plan I am doing). After all I did have a day off yesterday to let my calves heal in prep for riding today.

However, I do regret my enthusiasm somewhat since I'm left so tired and achey tonight and I can just about sit down and no I'm not exaggerating. I'm hoping after sleeping tonight things will ease up for my workout in the morning before work as I can't really take another day's break from the shred plan.

So time to waddle off to bed and try and find a position to lie in which doesn't cause me to cry out in pain. If at this moment in time that's even possible...

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