Back in the saddle.

I’ve been debating tonight whether or not to write a post, but after realizing it’s been almost a week since my “Grammar” post I thought I’d better put my fingers to the keyboard and just write something to keep up with my resolution. 🙂 I do, after all, have a couple things to celebrate today!

First of all, like the title suggests, Sebastian went back to school today.  I met Leah at the barn after pulling my pony out of the pasture and giving him a good brush down (fyi, shedding season has started!).  After tacking him up, I free lounged him around the arena just to see where his brain was today.  We just got a new layer of snow, and he was prancing around like a crazy man.  I wish I would have gotten some pictures, but I can at least give you an example of what happened today with photos from Sebastian’s arena romp on Thanksgiving:

After he got some of the crazies out, I decided to do a bit of lounging just to get him listening from the ground.  You can tell Sebastian has been lounged often as he really knows his commands.  I just did some walk/trot/walk/halt transitions and let him really stretch at the trot – he seems to naturally seek to stretch out his neck to the ground and I take full advantage of the chance to let him go around long, low, and relaxed.

He seemed to take comfort in the lunging – it’s something he knows how to do well and I think it’s great to give a horse a simple exercise so they’re not overwhelmed when starting back up.  I think he appreciated it, anyway.

After that, Leah got into the saddle and spent some time repeating the same type of transitions (w/h/w, w/t/w).  What we really focused on today was getting Sebastian in tune to seat aids for transitions.  For the last few weeks, I’ve ridden a horse Leah trains and it’s helped me understand how subtle these aids can be.  On this horse, Rhumba, all I had to do to adjust the trot was change my seat from a more forwardly-tipped pelvis (to collect the trot) to a deeper, driving seat to move him forward into a big, ground-eating stride! And the same commands went for down and up transitions.  It felt amazing to be so closely connected to an animal that just a simple weight change can produce such an enormous result.

For Sebastian, the tricky part was getting him to believe that those were actually aids, not just the rider arbitrarily moving around in the saddle.  We had a couple of prompt responses and others where he wasn’t convinced Leah really knew what she was asking 🙂 Overall he was a willing horse and held his balance well for a pony who’s been out to pasture for about 10 weeks.  After a few w/t/w transitions, we decided to call it a day.  He was getting fatigued, and you can’t blame him, after all, the lesson was in about 4-7 inches of snow!

Leah will be putting a couple rides on him over the next few weeks and I’ll be picking up some lessons as well.  I am so impatient for the weather to warm up, though.  Even though the temp said 30 degrees, it was quite stark and chilly outside today. Brrr!

So keep your fingers crossed for spring to arrive.  I am so excited to get back to work.

The other exciting happening today was that I began my second 16-week session with my trainer, Tate!  This is the same trainer with which I lost 25 pounds from roughly October – February.  We are treating this nutritional plan a bit differently this time, and I’m really interested to see how it affects the results.

Last time, I had a strict approved foods list and schedule to stick to and six meals laid out with my macros target.  The plus? I didn’t ever have to think about what I was doing once I got a handle on the possible combinations. It was just simple and strict.  The minus? Boredom. Once I literally had to choke down my chicken for the night because I was just so sick of it!  I didn’t, however, want to waste what I had prepared so I toughed it out! 🙂

This time, I’ve been assigned target macros, but I get to choose how I hit them.  I’m keeping a food journal to tally up daily meals and no food is *technically* off limits as long as I stay within my macros. After day one, I know it’ll be a decent amount of work tracking all the intake, but I think I’ll learn some valuable lessons regarding food choice.

More on that later, feel like I’m rambling! Tomorrow morning it’s up at 6am for the gym (strength and hiit cardio) and day #2 for the food journal, so now it’s time for bed and also time for a fearless posting of a barely revised entry!

Good night!

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