So as you all know I have no issue with being a FAT rider. What I do have a problem with is being an UNFIT rider. There are plenty of people, both skinny and fat, who are not in good shape. You see them going around the warm up ring hardly able to breath, asking for breaks in a lesson, or only riding for 30 minutes before they get too tired. And I am sad to say that I now feel like one of those people. I don’t think either Phoenix or myself could go for an hour at this point. I can give you a whole list of excuses such as not having my saddle so I couldn’t ride, it being too cold to work out outside, there being so much snow on the ground, I have been busy, etc. None of those are good enough though. I have 6 weeks until what I hope is the first show of the year for Phoenix and I, and I HAVE to get back into shape.
At one of my first shows ever (back in 2003) when I was still riding Heart a judge made a comment at the end of my ride about my weight and fitness level. Were I in better shape I would never have opened myself up to that comment. As I stood there with Heart listening to this woman who was thin as a rail telling me that I would have done better if I were (insert thinner, fitter, taller, etc) I promised myself that I would never open myself up to that kind of criticism ever again. Not only that but I ride better when I am in better shape. I have ridden when I was a lot heavier and a lot lighter than I am now and I have no felt a big difference when it comes to weight. Fitness on the other hand I have noticed is a dramatic difference. When I am stronger I make corrections faster. When I have better cardio I can work though a whole issue without needing to take a break.
To start off our 6 week boot camp Phoenix and I went back to ground work. Even with plenty of snow still on the ground (which will be washed away today by a big rain strom), the 40 degree day time temperatures are helping to melt the ice and snow making it safe to do at least a little work. After lunging Phoenix at the walk and trot (he is still much more exuberant then I am used to so I am hoping work will remind him he needs some self control) he and I go for a walk together. You would be amazed at the cardio work out that you can get walking through snow! Everyday Phoenix and I have been going a little longer and a little harder. Between Phoenix working out alone on the lung, me working out alone at home, and the two of us starting to work out together I have hope that in 6 weeks we will be show fit again!