And Streeeetch


My thigh muscles are burning.

Today, I rode Jack. The short fat one with the Mohawk. The width of this pony is such that sitting on him is something akin to having ones knees forced further apart than they are ever meant to go. Especially if you’re trying to train yourself to ride with a longer stirrup. Not. Productive.

He did, however, work really quite hard for me today. We got some lovely trot work, keeping a steady rhythm with a nice amount of rounding and listening. His transitions were pretty sharp for a pony with so many layers of chub in between my leg and his nerves that it must take about half an hour for anything to process. And the crème de la crème, we got right-lead canter. Twice. In a row. Without needing any help or anything. And the second time he even did it from walk. I mean…wow. This from a pony who says “nope, right lead canter? what’s that?” most days. He did me proud.

Until, that is, we were told to cross over our stirrups and prepare for some no-stirrup work. I think my face must have shown exactly what was going through my mind, as Becky got the giggles when she looked at me. Although to be fair, whenever anyone has to do no-stirrup work on Jack it’s pretty funny. Unless it’s me, of course. It was fine in walk, we even got a couple of strides of shoulder in. But then we had to trot. “Oh dear lord” went my  brain.

Boing boing boing. Off we went. Everyone else was there, calmly allowing their lower backs and hips to go with the movement and absorb it. And there I was, bombing around the school bobbling around on the smallest fattest racehorse wannabe you’ve ever seen. In the end I gave up trying to do it properly because my back started hurting. So I just let go and had a bit of fun instead. So while everyone was very seriously trying to maintain their positions and focus on getting the horses to work, Jack and I just went “triptraptrot” around the arena, me grinning and giggling, and him probably sticking his tongue out over the bit.

What I was quite pleased to rediscover and for which I can only thank Ginny for her torturous lessons at Eclipse, is that I can still do rising trot without stirrups easily! Emma laughed at me bouncing around the school and called out “rise Meg, rise!” so I did. Much to her shock and disappointment I think. She looked at me and went “but…oh stop it.” I hadn’t been expecting to actually still be able to do as it’s been so long since I tried. But my muscles are obviously stronger and remembering more and more about what to do, so I found myself riding almost unconsciously despite not having stirrups.

So although my inner thighs are exhausted and my legs feel like they’ve been almost pulled out of their sockets, it was a good riding lesson. Both Jack and I worked pretty hard so I can only conclude that it’s done both of us some good. I may, however, be saying something completely different tomorrow morning when I wake up and can’t walk.

I also got to play with an Equissage machine today. That was fun. And funny too. They’re pretty strong machines as it turns out. Just holding it made my tummy go all funny. I think I’d like one though. Would probably do my back and shoulders the world of good; keep the muscles nice and relaxed. That’s what I need.

To chill and relax and loosen up and stop having to hold everything so tight. It would help if it was warmer too.

Come on spring, I’m looking at you!


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