Thursday, June 20, 2013

Muscles I had forgotten I had

I am just a little bit sore today. All over. And why is this? Well, A. is away being a counselor at church camp, and yesterday was her and P.'s riding lesson. So I did what every horse-obsessed 47-year-old woman who hasn't been on a horse in over 20 years would do, I took her lesson. And there were a couple of moments I thought I was going to die from fatigue and I loved every minute of it.

For those of you who have never really ridden. It uses just about every muscle in your body. Not only are my legs sore, but my back and upper arms and shoulders are also sore. It is particularly good for core muscles and I'm a little sore around the abdomen as well. It is quite a work-out and I realize that at heart I am a slug, mainly because I HATE exercising for exercising's sake. And this is how I know how much I love horses and riding. It hurts to move, but I would get back on a horse today if I could.

Getting back up on a horse after 20 years is not quite the same thing as getting back on a bicycle. It took a little while to feel comfortable and to slowly have things come back to me. It had stopped being automatic and I kept thinking how many things there were to keep track of. I was actually happy to have been given the horse that they put beginning riders on... I knew that there would be few unexpected surprises from that quarter.

If you are not horse-obsessed, I'm impressed that you've made it this far and I will stop myself from going on and on... which I am fully capable of doing. But I really do have an ulterior motive in sharing this, and it's to talk about dreams. Those really crazy, pie-in-sky, things you like to imagine, but can't ever think about them coming true dreams. I have more than a couple of these and one of mine involves horses. (You're surprised, I know.) But being on a horse again, and watching my girls learn to ride has given me a new one.

I think riding horses has huge benefits for people. It is terrific exercise, it has the side-to-side activate both parts of your brain cross-patterning benefits, you are working with an animal, and learning to control that animal humanely builds confidence. It is no wonder that equine therapy can boast such great results. How cool would it be to run a barn that offers this therapy?

But since I have no experience actually owning horses, no money or land to do so, and no experience with actual equine therapy... well, perhaps this is just an easy justification for owning horses. You think?
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Don't forget to pray for Brandi, who is still waiting for a family. She doesn't have access to anything but a crib at the moment, forget about something as unique as equine therapy.


1 comment:

Carla said...

I grew up with horses and we used a few for a local equine therapy program. I was so impressed by both the horses (and what they physically endured from these kids that couldn't control their muscles), and the results on the kids. One mother repeatedly said that her son slept the best the night after riding the horses. You are sore, but it sure worked for them!

I wonder if this kind of therapy might be in TM's future.

This post makes me miss having horses. Thanks for the memories!

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