Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Someday I'll Look Back and Laugh

At least I fervently hope so. Yesterday was all about embarrassment for me. I got my horse tacked up and walked out to the arena. After leading her around a few times I got ready to mount. The instructor asked me if my cinch was tight enough and I assured her it was.

I have always had a horrible time mounting. The instructor will stand on the opposite side and hold onto the saddle to counter my weight. My legs don't want to support me and it invariably takes me at least two attempts to get astride. My right foot almost always bumps the horse's rump on the way up and again when I dismount.

So, this is my big moment to get on the horse without assistance. I put my left foot in the stirrup, start to heave myself up (there really is no better way to describe it) and the saddle slipped sideways. My foot caught in the stirrup for a second before I fell backwards hitting the mounting block before the arena floor where my head smacked onto the ground (thank goodness for helmets) Bless my horse for the rock solid mount she is. She just took a couple of steps forward and then stopped. As they say, the worst thing hurt was my pride. Needless to say the instructor once again had to assist me to mount.

I asked her for some suggestions to help strengthen my legs. She told me to hop on one foot for about five hops, then the other foot and gradually increase the number of hops. She said she would rather I only manage a couple without assistance than twenty holding onto something. Imagine my humiliation when I got home and discovered that I can't do this simple exercise. I can't hop on one foot! I played hopscotch as a kid. Where did that ability go?

One positive thing is that I am really motivated to lose some of my excess weight. I was hoping that taking up riding would do it for me but I'm obviously going to have to get in some other daily exercises. Wish me luck and if anyone knows good leg strengthening exercises I would love to hear them.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August Update

Screw you, Dell, I'm getting a Mac. My husband is downright giddy at this development and has literally spent hours compiling information, programs and I don't know what-all that he will put into this new (used) computer when it arrives.

My first word processing experience was with a machine by CPT. It was like magic. Up until then a memory Selectric typewriter was the most advanced device I had access to. I loved my CPT and even bought a used one for home, although we never got it up and running because personal computers had arrived. My boss had Macs installed at work so that's what we got for our home computer also. I attended several classes and was somewhat of a power user. Then the powers that be at City Hall decided the city would only use Microsoft computers. Oh, the hair pulling and hate this caused those of us who had to switch. But, as with all things, we adapted with time and I eventually got a Dell for my laptop at home. My husband stuck with Macs and now I'm going back to one. I know I'll like it better once I reacquaint myself with it.

So, on the horseback riding front I've ridden twice at my new stable. I've arranged for twice weekly lessons and really like my new instructor. She is making me ride totally without stirrups to get a really good seat. I'd done that sporadically at my old barn. Man, keeping the horse in line when trotting is a challenge for me. I did do better yesterday than last week so things are slowly coming together. Thankfully my chafe marks will have a few days to heal before I ride again. I really need to work on leg strength also. I had to let out the stirrup in order to be able to reach it to mount from a three step block yesterday. Even then it took me a couple of attempts to hoist my fat ass in the saddle. Thank goodness the horse is part draft and dead broke. I keep apologizing to her and thanking her for her patience with me. I do wonder if the chafeing isn't somewhat caused by her wider girth. I never had this issue with the thoroughbred/quarter horse cross I used to ride.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


My Dell is still infected so I'm using my HP netbook. I installed McAfee on July 3 after using AVG Free for years. McAfee obviously did not catch this malware and now wants almost $90.00 for a one-time fix. I think I'll just get a Mac instead. Windows has too many kinks. Can hardly wait for the gloating from my husband who is a die-hard Mac addict.