Sunday, December 29, 2013

Couch to 5k

I've wanted to run a 5k with my husband for a few years now because running is one of his things the way rock climbing is one of my things.  Not like horses because I'm obsessed with them.  It's more like something he really likes to do but doesn't have a lot of time to do it and wants to do it more - which is what rock climbing is to me.  For rock climbing it is lack of time and money and for running for him it is lack of time and decent weather to run in.

I haven't had the motivation to really stick to getting in shape with running on my own, so I finally decided to download a running app.  I chose the Couch to 5k app although I've heard there are others which are just as good.  I'm kind of regretting it but I'm also proud of myself for starting it and am going to stick to it.  After all pilates seriously sucked the first couple times I did it and now I am hooked, so hopefully running will be the same way.  Right now it's not.  In fact on my first little training run yesterday by the fourth round of that happy little voice announcing, "Now jog!" I found myself muttering to my iPhone "evil f-ing b--ch".  But I did it.  And now I'm sore.  But I'm going to keep doing it because I've never had good cardio endurance and now that I'm a (choke) middle-aged lady I imagine for my own health I'd better get with it.

My daughter went out with me to ride her new horse Geir for the second time yesterday.  She was nervous about it because he wasn't listening well the first time she rode him a month ago because he wanted to chase the other horses in the arena.   They did so much better together yesterday but then two of the school's previous instructors came out to exercise a couple of our lesson horses who are on break and my daughter got scared and didn't want to ride any more.  Plus, her dad forgot to make her wear her warm coat so she was cold so I sent her home with him and stayed and rode for a bit with the two former instructors.

They don't work there anymore because they went off to college and I must say it's too bad because I think there is a special connection for kids with older teens that they don't get with adults.  But I think we have a pretty good team right now even if we are all adults.  Miss C. is in her late twenties and Miss T. is in her thirties but we're all on the same page about teaching and have similar experience with enough differences that I think we can compliment each others styles with our little bit of differences.  So, I'm happy with our little team but the energy the two former instructors bring when they're home from college is pretty cool too.

I had never ridden Bandit and I use him in some of my classes so I asked to swap horses after my daughter left so I could ride him.  I've been wondering about him because he's a horse who the younger kids I work with have had trouble getting to trot and he also can be a challenge in group classes with some of the beginners when he decides he wants to not listen and go heckle other horses in the class.  He tried that once with me and I gave him a strong (but fair) correction and then he didn't try it again.  And the other two instructors sat in the middle of the arena and chatted on their horses and I trotted Bandit around the outside of the arena a few times - something some of the kids have struggled with because he wants to dive into the middle and hang with his friends.  But it appears you just have to make it clear to him once that you will not put up with it and you are in charge and then he's a perfect dream.  So, with my students that ride him at least, we'll work on "gentle assertiveness" - not that any of my students who ride him are capable of being mean - they more need to work on the "assertive" part.  But I want to make it clear in my lessons that assertive means "firm" and "authoratative" but not "angry" or "mean".  There is a fine line and I know for a lot of people understanding that line takes some time.  It did for me at least.

As far as difficulty in getting him to trot, he's a sweet, old babysitter like so many of our other lesson horses.  And he trotted just fine for me  - a beautiful, slow, rhythmic trot that was kind of surprising for such a big guy.  But the sense I get from him is that if you are at all unsure of yourself or nervous or unbalanced he's not going to trot because he's being very cautious of the situation.  So, now that I was able to see that for myself - that he's not lazy or stubborn about it but just cautious - it gives me more of a framework to work from.  My horse, Geir on the other hand is lazy.  Or more appropriately out of shape from getting to have the last couple years not having to do more than trot a couple times around the arena under saddle maybe three times a week at most.  So, I don't fault Geir for that, it just means he and I are on the same page for getting in shape.  I thought of him throughout my first training run yesterday and made a point to give him some treats yesterday and tell him "I feel your pain, Brother."

A sadly blurry shot of my daughter and her pony yesterday.

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