Now I'm a Human Barometer

Lately I have not posted much because my body, all of a sudden, has decided to become a weather forecaster for rain. Two days before the rains come many of my joints and muscles start suffering tearing pains and any exercise I do before the rains come ends up causing even more pain extending for days. Just one of the perils of being older I guess.

I have been lucky in that I have had a lesson every week this month.

Three weeks ago I tried something new, at the slow walk from my collecting leg aids I added light twitches of the sagging curb rein when MJ's head went up, and I felt a hint of him elevating his forehand properly. The only signs of irritation he gave me was raising his head some, not inverted with the poll the highest and Debbie said he was not fussing with the bits. I only did a few strides of this at the slow walk then I asked him, by moving my relaxed hands forward, to go back to his regular slow walk. At that moment I thought he was doing fine but I now know that I probably made a mistake. Since then his normally placid slow walk now has an element of fretfulness in it with his head higher and not really giving me good contact, with his head going up even on sagging reins with no tweaking of any rein. This fretfulness this week started long before I asked for contact at the slow walk, his head shot up when I started the collecting leg aids. Part of the reason he is more fretful at slowing down his walk this week may be because he had been used as an emergency lesson horse in a group lesson teaching a beginner how to walk, trot and canter.

This week I barely got my lesson in before it started to drizzle. Since my body was screaming at me when I woke up I just figured that MJ also had joint and muscle pains from the dropping air pressure. That in itself could explain his deterioration at the slow walk since for it he has to move his muscles precisely and slowly. They had used a titanium coated single jointed 20mm thick snaffle on MJ for the group lesson, but a beginner's hands just are not as light and sensitive as mine are and MJ did not want to do anything but normal contact at a normal speed of walking or trotting with me. Fancy stuff? Forget it lady!

Lately his slow trot had been getting a little bit, emphasis on little bit, smoother so the previous lesson I had sat his slow trot for a few strides without any major problems from him stiffening his back. So this week I tried again. He was stiff and while his back “swung” the jackhammer was back. After three strides I started posting again but the damage to my body had been done.

Thursday morning I woke up barely able to move because my body hurt so much. I piled on the F.I.R. (Far Infra-red Radiation) clothes and stuff, and the pain did not get much better until I layered my BOT, Fenwick and Incrediwear stuff over the painful areas of my body. After wearing all this stuff all day and sleeping in it all night I felt better enough on Friday morning to sit on my Anywhere Saddle Chair for 5 minutes working on my core muscles in my gut and back. By the afternoon I was back in all of my F.I.R, gear because I hurt so bad. Guess what—I will not be doing much sitting trot on MJ for a while because I end up hurting so bad the next day and it seems now to mess up my body for when I “ride” my simulators.

Getting older can be a bummer physically.

I am not getting to ride Cider lately because it has rained so much that Shannon's grass paddocks are a bit slippery and I do not want to cut up the ground, so the only time I have been riding a horse is for my lessons.

Maybe next week will be better.

I do have one bit of progress to report. Last Sunday I got up to 30 minutes on my Home Horse, in two sessions so I can rest in between. This has been my goal since I got my HH. Now all I have to do is get up to 30 minutes without resting but that will probably take me a while. Still, I finally got up to the length of my lessons. I have even started trying to do small circles with my pelvis though it will be a while before I go around on the rim of the HH platform.

Have a great ride!

Jackie Cochran

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