Horse Dirt

While I can’t really ride right now (see ‘a laughable lack of core strength’, scheduling & access to a trained equine) I have found something almost as awesome: volunteering for Sound Equine Options, a local equine rescue which is tied to the Oregon Humane Society (which means their reputation is solid, they aren’t backyard rescuers, & their volunteer program is excellent). Their horses in training are boarded at a Mustang Millions trainer’s barn in Eagle Creek, & we get out there once or twice a week to muck stalls, groom horses & join a ground training class taught by Stacey Riggs.

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Carlos! He’s green (should be grey) but such a personality!

And I say “we” as in the kiddo & I-yes, finally a barn I feel (mostly) okay bringing him too! Stacey, the trainer who owns the barn, has kids of her own not much older than Kade, & actually has a room set up full of toys & a TV! So between that, the iPad, the gravel piles & puddles, Kade has a blast & stays out from underfoot for hours. But I did finally have to break down & buy him his own pair of Muck Boots (just like the ones I’ve had since my first year of college & still going strong 10 years later…only purple because that’s the last one Cabella’s had on sale!). Kade has never met a puddle, especially the deep ones, that he didn’t feel compelled to become one with. So Muck boots will help keep his feet a tiny bit drier & warmer & hopefully avoid changing his pants three times in one barn session.

So while I’m not riding (yet) I’m getting the rest of the package, once again working with horses & building core strength mucking out stalls! I spent over a half hour detangling a mare’s wretched mane yesterday, which wouldn’t have been possible without Cowboy Magic Detangler (stuff is magic, trust me!) This wonderful mare stood & sighed & didn’t even flinch as I teased out snarled braids & brushed out half her mane, even with the rain pouring down in buckets on the giant metal roof & horses playing & bucking & farting in the indoor arena.

Fitness Tracker-read on only if interested!

My workouts & ability to actually do them each week are improving. I run three times a week, hit the barn once or twice, & fit in random other exercises as needed-such as Wii Fit or Youtube videos of Biggest Looser workouts. We also go on a hike about once a month, & once the weather gets better we’ll be camping as well. I’m aiming for at least one marathon this summer, & possibly a ride & tie if I can find someone with a horse who’s interested & not overly impatient, as I still have a 16-17 minute mile overall. I ran three times this week & managed three & a half miles in just under an hour without crying or falling on my face-watch out Flash, I’m catching up!

I track everything I put in my face with MyFitnessPal, & so far almost every day I’ve managed a calorie deficit (helps that I’ve cut out soda completely, & try to drink only tea & water & my morning coffee).  One of my best purchases so far as been a FitBit Charge HR (I had a basic Fitbit but it just didn’t go far enough). The Charge is just what I need in a tracker for now-it keeps track of distance, pace & heart rate throughout the day so I can figure out where my base is. It can also track my actual exercise, & lets me know my recovery is actually pretty good. A minute of walking & drinking in the middle of a workout sets me up for a 10 minute jog-which is better than when I started over a month ago, I had to walk for 2 to jog for 5, so progress!

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Tryon Creek crazy selfie

My next step is going to a store to get fitted for running shoes- I have two pairs now, a lighter ‘street’ pair of Nikes & a trail pair of Saucony’s which I love but are too heavy for the treadmill. In both pairs I can feel myself landing on the outside of my foot & pushing in, & that starts hurting the outside of my legs at about mile 4, so I hope to find something to help support that until I loose some weight.

Now time to burn calories by cleaning the apartment top to bottom, clearing old toys & clothes out of the kids room, & heading to the mall to run the crazy out of said kid!

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He built it all by himself! *sobs* He’s growing up!

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After years of borrowing horses, working to ride and catch riding, I finally have my own horse, a spicy chocolate mare...but also a demanding day job (who doesn't?), a nerdy husband, a soccer loving kid who needs to be parented (by me, duh), and the ultimate trail buddy, a chocolate Labradork!

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