Sunday, January 27, 2008

Equestrian Weight Loss Program!

I got a little behind on things here today. Instead of skipping posting for the day, I'm going to share this weight loss program, I received in an email. While it might be tongue in cheek it totally fits my after the holidays mind set that maybe it's time for a little weight loss program of my own. Enjoy!

At this time of year, after the holidays, ads for weight-loss programs saturate print media and the airwaves. Even TV talk shows devote time to the battle of the bulge. I caught part of a Dr. Phil episode in which the prominent self-help guru was evaluating the situation of one overweight guest. The woman commented that she'd like to buy a horse so she could get exercise via riding. "That's great for the horse,"
responded Dr. Phil drolly, "but what good is it for you?" Obviously, Dr. Phil has missed out on the cardiovascular workout women get attempting to get into a sports bra and riding pants and men into their britches!

Clearly, the good doctor doesn't own a horse. At least, not the right horse. A quiet, well-broke, agreeable mount may indeed not offer much in
the way of fitness training. But, the right horse (and most of us have owned 1 or 2, haven't we?) will provide a body-building, cardiovascular- enhancing workout that would make Richard Simmons envious.

Allow me to explain...

With the right horse, you begin your fitness program by walking out to the pasture. As you stride briskly, you carry the halter and lead rope
behind you, pushed up high on your back so the lead doesn't drag. The purpose of this is to tone your chest and upper-arm muscles (because
you're not fooling your horse - for he knows what you carry). As you approach to within a few feet of him, he'll walk slowly away from you, but at a pace just so you can't reach him, then stop. This will be repeated several times in succession, until you're ready to jog. At that
point, because you own just the right horse, he will trot, then gallop around the pasture. If you're at the advanced level of fitness, you may
continue chasing after him for maximum aerobic benefits (or, just stop and start throwing rocks at him to give your rotator cuffs a workout.

Make sure you switch throwing arms, not only is this a benefit to you, your horse will think it hilarious). Beginners may prefer to toss the
halter and lead on the ground, bend forward from the waist, and engage in heavy breathing and chanting (that's what we'll call it, anyway
--chanting) as the horse continues to circle the field. For those of you that have experience with this exercise, you may choose to throw the
halter and lead, walk briskly, bend, pickup, repeat. When the horse determines you've had en ough of this warm-up session, he'll allow you to catch him.

Now comes the total upper-body workout of grooming. The right horse, of course, will be caked in dried mud. The cement-like consistency of it will require work-to-exhaustion effort of your biceps and triceps. NOTE:
This exercise has added value, the dried mud will stick to your face with perspiration, instant facial!

Next comes the bending, stretching, and toning of hoof-picking. Bend over, pick up the horse's left front foot, then be prepared to jump back
as he stomps it back down to the ground, narrowly missing your foot. (Keep your knees bent as you jump, to protect your lower back.) Reach down and pick up the foot again, hopping about with the horse to maintain your grip as you attempt to pick what seems to be dirt mixed with Super Glue from the hoof. Eventually the horse may stand still; you may be chanting by this time. Repeat the entire circuit 3 more times, with the remaining feet.

Once you can stand erect again, it's time for the insect repellent exercise. True, with this one, your horse may actually get more of a workout than you do, but you certainly get more of the repellent. It goes like this: Squirt!-circle- circle. Squirt!-circle- circle. squirt!-circle- circle--- and so on, until you're completely misted with
repellent and chanting 'whoa you sonofabitch whoa'. To receive maximum benefit from this exercise, make sure you are at the beginning of a deep inhalation during the 'squirt' cycle and exhale after the last chanting 'whoa'.

With the right horse, saddling up provides both aerobic and strength building benefits. The trick is to keep your feet moving as you heft the
saddle blanket over and over (and over), trying to keep it in place on a moving target. The blanket exercise warms you up for the saddle
exercise, for which the routine is the same, only the weight is much greater -- perfect for buffing those hard-to-tone shoulder muscles.

Now comes the mounting exercise. With the right horse, it's left leg up, hop-hop-hop, left leg down, heavy breathing. Left leg up, hop-hop-hop, left leg down, heavy breathing. For balance, go around to the other side and continue the exercise (right leg up, hop-hop-hop, heavy breathing, right leg down, heavy breathing, etc.).

When your heart rate begins to exceed your target range, look for a bucket. Bend over, pick it up, place it upside-down next to the horse,
wait for the horse to move away, then bend over, pick it up again, place it next to the horse, and so on. NOTE: this is a cooling down routine not to be confused with the warm up pasture-routine When the horse deems you've had enough of these repetitions, he'll stand still and allow you to actually mount. At this point, of course, you'll be too exhausted to ride and your facial mask is dropping off in chunks.

It's best not to overdo it, so dismount, grab a glass of wine, and head in to recover in a bubble bath.

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  1. That's hilarious! Sometimes I feel as if I am the only one chasing a horse around and around a pasture. It's nice to remember that others have the same problems... I mean, uh, solutions for weightloss ;)

  2. Let's not forget the benefit of mucking for those upper arms! Callie tagged me for a Meme, so I'm inviting you to play with us. Please go to my blog for the rules. If you don't feel like it, no worries! You're a good blog buddy!

  3. LOL! OMGosh! Sooooo funny! I never thought of all that as being a weight loss program...dang it...because I "broke" Diago of most of those darn habits. Shoot...had I known it was good exercise I would have let it be...j/k...LOL! What a great post to read first thing in the morning! :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ha isn't that the truth! There is so much more to working out with horses than just riding. Sometimes that's the easiest part!

    And of course, because the horse has worn himself out running from you in the pasture, and being difficult as you pick his feet, avoiding fly spray, and circling the mounting block, you're going to get a major calf workout trying to keep him in a decent trot (if you do decide to go for a ride after all).

  5. LOL very funny MiKael, the only thing the author forgot is that while picking up the said hoof, do some weight lifting exercise when the horse decides to lean all of its weight on you while holding the hoof up!!!!!



  6. LMAO.......That is hilarious! OMG! I can't stop chuckling!

  7. Oh I love it!! So true and so funny!!

  8. Great, great, great. I have been rolling....Love your blog. Glad I found it....or actually you found me I think.....I am just starting out, so if you visit - bear with me......

  9. Sorry if I posted twice. I need to learn to read......duh !!

  10. This is very funny and quite true. However, there is one winter-time exercise that I find quite invigorating.

    You've put the horses out in their pastures, and after an hour or so of threatening, the sky breaks loose and the rain falls as if it's time for the great flood redux. After leaving the horses out in spite of the rain, you take pity on them and run outside to rescue the dear darlings, and this is what happens.

    You enter the pasture, halter and leadrope in hand (normally not a threat). You pick out your first 'victim', and head toward him/her. Now remember that it's raining cats, dogs, and other small furry animals, and the horses are all standing with thier tails to the prevaling wind...which puts that wind and rain squarely in your face. As you approach your chosen victim, he looks at you as if to say "Where the H*** have you been? Can't you see I'm WET and COLD?" and he turns away keeping his tail just an arm's length away from your outreached hand...and no one can halter a horse from THAT end. This little dance continues until you give up, because, clearly, the horse won't, and you have others to 'rescue'. So you drop the halter and lead, an pick another victim. This one acceeds to your wishes and comes along peaceably. Soon everyone is in their comfy, DRY stalls with their LUNCH (do you hear that, River? LUNCH), and your willful little escapee is still outside...cold, wet, hungry and alone.

    At this point you're also cold, wet, and hungry and wishing you were alone (so much for waterproof clothing), but you have to try one more time. As you head back to the pasture, (It's still raining fuzzy creatures and it's still cold) the object of your rejection sees you coming and starts to nicker. The look on his face says "I'm sorry", but you're not convinced. As you open the gate he comes up to you, puts his (wet)forehead on your chest and almost halters himself. That last walk back to the barn would be a sweet time, except that you KNOW that this jughead will do this again the next time it rains. Once he's in his stall, you go back to the house, make yourself some hot-chocolate, and start chanting.

  11. I've seen this before, but thank you for posting it again. I really needed a good laugh today.

  12. julia, chasing a horse around can definitely be a good solution for weight loss. We just won't talk about what it's teaching the horse. LOL

    victoria, oh you are so right for those of us that do stalls. And dumping those heavy wheel barrows full of poo must be great from the leg strength. lol

    equinespirit, I'm sure you can come up with some great "new" ideas for Diago, so you don't miss out on these weight loss benefits. lol

    jackie, you are right about that too, chasing the horse around the field might be much more beneficial than lunging. lol

    lori, there seem to be a number of things that the author left out, but I think we're covering them here. Thanks for your contribution. lol

    callie, thanks for the link from you blog. This must have tickled you more than I thought.

    cg, I think we might even write a book on this topic. Can't you just see, "Horsewomen Unite in taking on Dr Phil - Horses as Exercise!

    jamie, thanks for visiting. Hope to see you again. We'll be needing collaborators on this book.

    notablogger, after reading this I really think you're missing out on not blogging. You have lots to share. LOL

    lady of chaos, I hope the laugh holds you for a while. With the day you've had, I wish I could do more.

  13. This was very funny

  14. I laughed so hard my kids asked what was wrong. I said, nothing, I just renamed what I do when the farrier and/or vet trucks pull up.

  15. Most excellent! An interesting parallel, since most of us see our horses as a kind of soul-mirror of ourselves! Thanks!

  16. That is soo funny, can't stop laughing. I won't tell you how I caught my horses lol.

  17. Okay when we do our book to take on Doctor Phil I want to do all the photos!!!!!!

  18. A very nice post. I smiled a lot. And the horse pictures are always nice.

  19. Oh my word, that is so funny!! I have had my share of times trying to catch certain creatures that just don't want to be caught even with a carrot! Now I will think of it in a more positive light!!!

  20. That is just hysterical!

    Oh yeah, the "hop, hop, hop" ... my favorite exercise.

  21. Bwahahahahaaa!! This post got me giggling!

    Bah on Dr. Phil!

    I always have sore thighs after riding. I think horse-back-riding exercise is much better than those silly thigh-cruncher contraptions.

    And riding comes with lots of fresh air, too....and those wonderful mud-facials, too. (wink)