I’ve pondered the question of my riding prowess: how fit am I, really? Regrettably, I must admit that I fall into the realm of average. At the ripe age of 50, I can no longer claim the agility of my high school days. Those memories have become distant echoes.
However, I don’t lead a sedentary life either. With eight horses under my care, most of them elderly, requiring special diets and attention. I find myself actively engaged rather than confined to a desk for ten hours a day, like in my previous IT career. Though I must confess, those years behind the desk have left me slightly softened.
During my recent weekend training rides, we covered quite a distance and trotted at a steady “working trot” pace, necessitating the use of posting. I believed this would be an excellent opportunity to improve my fitness level, provided I executed it correctly.
Focused on form and function, I dedicated myself to maintaining a proper posture, posting from the thighs up and striving for a straight alignment. At the time, it felt effortless, aided by the muscle memory that guided my every move. The ride left me fatigued but fulfilled, satisfied with my performance throughout the evening.
Come Monday morning, I rose with a touch of stiffness—a familiar consequence of a vigorous ride the day before. Typically, the discomfort would diminish as I moved about, fading into a mere memory. Yet, this time, it didn’t quite follow the usual script. As the day wore on and evening approached, the aches revisited me. Determined to overcome the discomfort, I sought solace in sleep.
Tuesday morning arrived early, even though I overslept. As I peeled myself out of bed, I couldn’t help but wonder if a truck had collided with me overnight. The previous day’s aches and pains had transformed into a more genuine soreness. A reminder that my muscles, unaccustomed to such exertion, were now voicing their protest. It was as though they were dialing their union representatives, complaining about the unfair treatment they endured during what they expected to be a leisurely ride.
By the afternoon, I had grown accustomed to the sensation of having been roughed up by my noble steed, despite knowing full well that there was no ill will on their part.
Finally, on the third day, a semblance of normalcy graced my being. Time to do it all again!