Thursday, December 18, 2014

Night walking

Over the past several months, I’ve very inconsistently been doing some hand walking with Nimo on days that I don’t ride.  I really did quite a bit of hand walking for several days after our Fort Valley ride in October, and I realized that it might be a good way to incorporate some exercise for me too.  I used to think that running around after a two-year old should be enough, but over time, I have come to the conclusion that I really need to be doing something that is really designed as exercise.  Riding is certainly a work-out, particularly when we have a dressage lesson, but I feel like I need something that doesn’t involve me also paying attention to someone else (either my daughter or my horse).  Unfortunately, I really don’t have a lot of free time, and I don’t actually like going to the gym or running.  But I do like walking.

So, starting at the end of last month, I’ve really been making a commitment to hand walk Nimo down the driveway at the barn (which is a half-mile) a couple of times a week.  Sometimes I just have time to do a mile, but I feel like that is better than nothing.  I’m hoping to get up to doing 3-4 miles in the next couple of months, and possibly, maybe, adding in very short amounts of slowly jogging.  I really despise running, but I think it’s important for me to improve my fitness level and I’m sort of thinking that jogging/running will be helpful for cardio improvement.

You might have noticed that I’m still attached to my horse for this activity, but he’s really good at staying with me now that he’s used to what we’re doing, so he doesn’t require much of my attention.  And particularly when we’re headed back to the barn, he really moves out at the walk, so I use that as motivation to pick up the pace.  And there is something about the darkness that makes what we’re doing feel different, which I like.  Somehow it doesn’t seem as tedious to be doing the walking when we’re surrounded by the dark, and Nimo always acts a little more alert when we walk at night instead of during the day.  I also like hanging out with my horse when he isn’t under saddle.  I know that there is a saying about lots of wet saddle blankets being necessary for the training of a horse, but I feel like we might actually be getting enough of those now and it’s time to work on other parts of our relationship.

1 comment:

  1. I love walking with Chrome!! Walking a horse is more pleasant than most dogs! I need to get back to walking too. :-)