Monday, June 8, 2015

Sexy workout

I posted a sweaty selfie the other day.
That, in itself, isn't unusual. In order to be accountable to each other in our groups, we share a post-workout picture every day.
a typical pot-workout selfie...

On a regular basis, I change into my workout clothes after work (or riding), and I don't bother to take off the day's jewelry. If I had bothered to put on make up (and that is a HUGE if), I don't take it off, either. It will be washed away during my post-workout shower!
As a result, I sometimes get some selfies where I might actually look cute!
it takes more time to remove the bling...

In response to one of my selfies, someone commented about considering the "sexy workout". Then, I really started thinking about it.
We all know that when you feel good, you perform better. 
When you look good, you feel good.
Why not look good for your workout?
I like color!
I'm not saying you *have* to look good for your workout.
I'm going in there to sweat and grunt and breath funny...
However, sometimes, I feel my earring swing a little or my necklace bounce a little...
...and I feel just a little... fancy!
I feel pretty!  And even if noone can see it, it makes me feel good, and I push just a little more!
Sometimes I just forget I'm wearing jewelry until it gets in the way.  That's when I stop for a moment and take it off.
But, I do reach for clothes that make me feel cute before I reach for my older, worn-out workout duds.  So, why not "dress up" for your workout?

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

How to get the most from your riding lessons!

Every week, you pay your riding coach to impart his/her knowledge to you as best they can.
You show up like clockwork, soaking up every drop mike a thirsty sponge...
But, are you getting everything you can from your lessons?

Perhaps your jumping trainer tortures you with no-stirrup posting.
Or maybe your coach has you hold your 2-point for laps at a time.
But, what if you were working on those things on your own time?

What if you worked on more??

Show up every week
Or twice a week. Or whatever schedule you have set with your trainer.
Maybe you aren't feeling your best, but you're not on your deathbed or running a fever.  Show up.
Perhaps you were supposed to be schooling bigger jumps this week, but you're not feeling as stong as usual.  Let your coach know!  Chances are, your trainer can adjust the lesson plan so that you still get valuable work in without pushing you to the point of injury or traumatic experience.
Obviously, if you are legitimately ill, you should stay home. 
Just like your horse, you will benefit greatly from the framework of a consistent program!

Too wet for the arena, so we took to the road!
Open your mind
Maybe your coach is asking you to do something in a way that makes no sense to you.  Here's my own example:
My coach asked me to start cueing the canter with my inside leg.  For 30 years, I had been using my outside leg.  It made no sense to me!  I decided to try it for a week her way.  I was positive that I wasn't going to buy in.  However, by the next week, my departs had improved so much, I was convinced!
My point is, listen and try it. Try it with an open mind.  No "buts".  You probably aren't going to agree with everything a particular trainer has to say, but you will likely find something of value from it.
Look for the gems in new experiences!
a canter depart

Do your homework
You probably fovused on a particular concept or set of concepts in your last riding lesson.  If you aren't sure what the main focus of your ride was, ask your coach before you quit for the day.  Practice the concept before your next lesson.  Even if you only get one ride in.
Did it rain all week, and you didn't get to ride at all?  Try practicing it in your mind!  Visualize the perfect execution.  Feel  your horse react to your precise aids in your mind.

Want to go above and beyond?  Head to your friend Google to research how others explain the concept you practiced.  Maybe another rider has expressed the idea in a slightly different way that really resonates with the way you think!
Either way, engage yourself with the material you are learning!  Avoid being a passive student.  Strive to recreate the best parts of your lesson without your trainer coaching every step of the ride!
finding the right approach

Strengthen yourself
Recognize that you are an athlete just as much as your horse is.  You ride your horse regularly to keep him fit enough to perform his job.  You make sure he has the best hay, grain, and supplements that you can provide to bring out his optimum performance.  Do you deserve any less?
Riders need a unique combination of strength and flexibility.  Cardio fitness never hurts, either.
While big biceps aren't going to help you ride better, the core stabilization you gain during resistance training can make you feel more stable in the saddle.  I love the stretching aspects of yoga to help me lengthen my leg in my dressage saddle. We need to physically train in order to stabilize our bodies while also being able to make minute adjustments of arms, hands, back, or legs as we follow another large living being through space!
Find a workout program that works for you and addresses all aspects of your physical fitness!
I challenge you to try it for 30 days and see if your coach notices a difference!
Mine did...

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