I need to get out more

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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I went out on Sid this morning for a little hack. We were out about an hour, walk and lots of nice brisk trot and a little tiny canter to test the Cavallo hoof boots that @diplomaticandtactful so kindly lent us. It was just lovely, nice and cool. Sid was a doughnut, looking at everything as if it would eat him. Full on cob trot to rock standstill in one stride because a house on the lane has had their bushes trimmed into balls (I realise that sounds a bit rude, but honestly, that is what they have done). Waving his head about and being a numpty, but he never worries me, he is a dude. I had a great time, I enjoyed every second.

If I wanted to I could ride every day. Why don't I? I only get out to ride a couple of times a week, take him out for a walk a couple of times, my friend works him on the line a couple of times. I don't understand myself. It's so easy to make an excuse - I am pretty busy and riding for an hour means a good 2 hours out of the day - and I have always loved keeping a horse more than just riding a horse, but I really don't understand myself.

I do get nerves when I am tacking up, I always have. I'm not good with tack and whenever the saddle is skew or too far back or I put the bridle on back to front (I do not exaggerate) I feel ridiculous. But I don't feel ridiculous when I am riding, I feel secure and strong, I love the way being on a horse feels. Especially Sid, I love the power of him, he is such a chunk. Why not ride more? Heaven knows. If I did then maybe my legs wouldn't turn into jellyfish when I get off.

Does anyone else relate to this?
 
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Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I went out on Sid this morning for a little hack. We were out about an hour, walk and lots of nice brisk trot and a little tiny canter to test the Cavallo hoof boots that @diplomaticandtactful so kindly lent us. It was just lovely, nice and cool. Sid was a doughnut, looking at everything as if it would eat him. Full on cob trot to rock standstill in one stride because a house on the lane has had their bushes trimmed into balls (I realise that sounds a bit rude, but honestly, that is what they have done). Waving his head about and being a numpty, but he never worries me, he is a dude. I had a great time, I enjoyed every second.

If I wanted to I could ride every day. Why don't I? I only get out to ride a couple of times a week, take him out for a walk a couple of times, my friend works him on the line a couple of times. I don't understand myself. It's so easy to make an excuse - I am pretty busy and riding for an hour means a good 2 hours out of the day - and I have always loved keeping a horse more than just riding a horse, but I really don't understand myself.

I do get nerves when I am tacking up, I always have. I'm not good with tack and whenever the saddle is skew or too far back or I put the bridle on back to front (I do not exaggerate) I feel ridiculous. But I don't feel ridiculous when I am riding, I feel secure and strong, I love the way being on a horse feels. Especially Sid, I love the power of him, he is such a chunk. Why not ride more? Heaven knows. If I did then maybe my legs wouldn't turn into jellyfish when I get off.

Does anyone else relate to this?
TOTALLY!!! I'm the same with the nerves before I get on. Really don't know why. I think thats what stops me riding every day - that horrible nervy tummy beforehand. What's even more stupid, is that I get edgy and grumpy if I haven't ridden for more than a day. I've resigned myself to the nervous tum - I don't think that'll ever go now. Also with the tack - I faff with the saddle. Too far back? Too far forward? Is the bit over his tongue? Are the stirrups level? Aaargh! The saddle' s lightweight, I'm lightweight and he's built like a tank - an inch here or there isn't going to bother him. But like you, corny though it sounds, when I'm on, it's just me and him and the world can go hang.
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I don't know! once I get going, if life doesn't get in the way, I will ride as much as I can. I enjoy the looking after, and going for walks etc. but I'd rather be riding so will when I can. But life can easily get in the way, 2 hours a day is like having another part time job, so it's not insignificant!
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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I can relate too. 2 hours is a lot and if you have a full time job, dogs to walk and a OH who wants their evening meal (mine does the cooking but he wants me to be on time to eat it šŸ˜‚ ) it's flipping hard to fit in.

I no longer get the nerves and I love being out on my horse but quite often I go intending to ride and I think what's the point, I only have time for a short ride and we'll just end up going down the same route that we're both bored with and I'm sure Raf would rather just have his carrots and a snooze.

I like exploring and Raf likes exciting rides where 'herd galloping' is involved Anything that doesn't float at least one of us boat's feels a bit, well, pointless.
 
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domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
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Yep, I can definitely relate to this! I only work 2 mornings x 3 hours so I have SO much spare time, but my enthusiasm waxes and wanes. I always enjoy riding G so, like you, I do wonder where my head is at when I can't be bothered. šŸ¤¦ā€ā™€ļø
 
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GaryB

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Mar 23, 2015
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I have no desire to ride every day, and I think it would actually be a chore if I had to. I generally ride 3 times a week, but if I don't feel like it I don't (Its supposed to be fun after all!)
 
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PePo

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Jun 4, 2014
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Whilst I'm not advocating riding when you really don't feel like it. If you want to do more, for me a lot of it comes down to just getting into & finding the routine that works for you.

And finding ways to make it easy - would it really be 2 hours each time or could you find a way to make that quicker? I certainly don't bother with a proper groom or anything vaguely faffy before we head out. I keep my girth attached to the saddle, clip my high viz breastplate to my saddle, my hat to my stirrups and my gloves to my hat when it's off the horse so I always know where everything is & I only need to pick up my saddle and all my extra's are there. If I need a new numnah or anything, it goes on the night before.

I ride 6 or 7 days a week at this time of year, largely to keep Pete healthy. Does Sid still need to lose weight? Could that be a motivation?

I ride mostly in the mornings so it's done & I can't make excuses later on in the day - a bit tired, a bit hot, dinner is due ....

5 days is probably my personal preference (and will be what I drop down to over winter) but I've never regretted riding when I'm done :)

Would having something to aim for help? Virtually, the Horses for Health relay is about to kick off in the SE leg, there's a Hack 1000 Miles challenge run by Your Horse magazine & there's Activequine that run different challenges - almost all for that are hacking & mileage based (or were when I tried it).

Or even aiming for say, a pleasure or charity ride? Where he'll need a certain level of fitness.

Of course, there's nothing to say you have to ride X times a week - or even at all - so if you're not feeling it, equally don't push yourself too much.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Whilst I'm not advocating riding when you really don't feel like it. If you want to do more, for me a lot of it comes down to just getting into & finding the routine that works for you.

And finding ways to make it easy - would it really be 2 hours each time or could you find a way to make that quicker? I certainly don't bother with a proper groom or anything vaguely faffy before we head out.
I do believe this is very true. You know what they say. If you want a job doing ask a busy person. They will find a way.

I use to ride lots. My mum said to me when i wanted to bring the horses home. I worry you will do less with them. I said no if anything i will be able to do more. In the beginning do you know i was doing more. With the extra help of the girls riding one. However since covid and the lose of nearly half my work hours im actually doing less riding currently.

Some of that does have to do with Billy having his hock injury. So im conscious of not over doing the exercise and crippling him. So maybe i use it as an excuse.

But when i was on livery, i use to go straight from work to the yard and ride, i also poo picked daily. Now there at home i tend to come home have a cuppa. Come on here etc. Interuption or stop to do jobs. So by the time i get round to riding all i have time for is a quick ride.

In terms of time. Of a weekend when i was at the livery yard, i use to say it was a mimimum of 2hrs to leave home, poo pick, ride and feed. That was also when i only had one horse. I tried to ride for about 40-50 minutes, during the week. 1hr at weekends. Obviously i have 2 horses and it was my choice but it then took longer to exercise two. Honestly with a full time job, part time running my small holding. Could i really spend 3hrs plus a day exclusively devoted to two horses. The simple answer was no. Thats why i need help exercising. It actually sent me into depression and i started to have a break down trying to do two. Getting the girls helped me cope.

Since having the horses at home, to start with it was still ok as i had the girls. But when they deserted me and then covid i sort of said oh well chunky will just have to retire even though i had more time with loosing work, but i knew i could not go back to spending 3hrs a day exercising and playing horses, but i also hated having Chunky stood doing nothing. Especially as he loved getting out. In the last couple of months i have actually felt better having another rider for him, since chunky has come back out of retirement and part of him seems very much happier in himself too.

As far as nerves, you and sid are still getting to know one another. I think you previously said you hadnt really ridden for a while so it could well be nerves and being rusty. Give yourself more time.

I wouldnt set yourself a goal of saying im going to ride for an hour a day. Unless your super dedicated. Life just has a habit of getting in the way.
I know @PePo put up her work schedule a few weeks back. Do you know I looked at it and said full credit to you and the work you do with Pete, but theres no way i could commit to it with all my other stuff going on. If you have the time then go for it.
I cant have a proper schedule, i did draw up one and within two weeks it went out the window. I would say though im happier to get out regularly even if it does mean only 20 or 30 minutes hack. Rather than nothing at all for a week. Then get on and have more excited/dangerous horse. Im more nervous before getting on because i wonder how hyper he will be not being ridden all week. Regular hacks im never as worried. The boys also seem contenter in the field with regular work.
Perhaps try weekdays if your working for a few weeks doing daily short hacks. Mega quick groom, foot pick. Tack up and go. Make weekends your longer hacks, time to faff.
We had one lady at the yard who wanted to hack with me as she was nervous about going out on her own. I will happily go out to help someone. However she spent so long faffing and getting every bit of mud off, had to groom his tail. That by the time it got to the hack she'd say oh do you mind if we just go down the road and back. I need to go pick up the kids from school etc. I got to the point of hating riding with her as it was when i wanted to get out a ride all the time. I really let chunky get unfit because i was being controlled. She even hated it if i went out without her. I got texts from her. In the end i said to hell with it. I will hack on my own. Why should i let myself and my horse suffer. I felt such a relief making this decision. I found riding enjoyable again.
 
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