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.


  1. All the time I had Blue, I used an upside-down five-gallon bucket to mount. Bad knees, you know. What, you're not allowed to use a mounting block?

  2. Yes, unfortunately I was using a three step mounting block. How disgraceful is that?

  3. You know, yoga is incredibly strengthening and the best part is you don't even know you are getting stronger. Plus you feel positively aglow afterwards.

    And it helps you get nice and centered for riding too! :)