Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saddle Up!!

Well Saddle Up One Horse, Anyhow..

I spent the bulk of the day indoors in the air conditioning, watching thunderstorms pound down rain outside.

Then around 4 PM, the storms seemed to have passed. I fed the Boys, came back inside and called the aquatic center to see if the pool was open. It was. I headed out to do some laps.

Because it had stormed, there weren't many people there. I had a lap lane to myself. So I swam and swam. I think I did over 15 laps with some leg exercises in between. Then I looped the lazy river a few times before heading home.

The temperature had dropped below 80F. It felt, at first feel, cool enough to ride. First, though, I had to poo pick the arena as it is part of the horses's turnout area. After that, I took down the fence rails near the new run in so I had an opening for the gate I need to move. I partially hung the gate, saving the more serious effort for a better day, then called it quits. At that point, I could feel the humidity I hadn't really noticed before.

I saddled up Tucker. planning on riding him first and then working Chance.

Tucker felt really good after the long time off. I worked him for perhaps a half hour. At first, I just rode him long and stretchy. His trot was forward and his canter was really nice. After a good session in long contact, I collected him up to finish off. While he was not as "together" as I've had him in the past, he came on the bit easily in the shorter frame.

We did some trot/super collection/trot transitions, some half pass, and finished up with two canter walk transitions. Everything came easily, so it's pretty clear Tucker understands the exercises and is having no trouble with them. The only downside was a few times when the deerflies from the woods along the arena made him fussy enough to lose his concentration as he tried to kick them off.

By then, both of us were sweated. The air was so damp it was uncomfortable. So wimpy me surrendered again. It's probably just as well because I'm sure Chance would have been twice as fussy about the flies. They were out in force because of the humid air so if it dries out as it's supposed to overnight, perhaps tomorrow will be more appealing riding weather.

As I rode Tucker, it struck me that the iGallop's trot rhythm is not to far off his tempo. The machine does have a more lateral feel to it. Some trainers have suggested sitting the trot shifting from seat bone to seat bone with a lateral feel. However, I don't feel that when I ride sitting trot unless I do need to drive a horse forward or, perhaps if I need to relax horse's back under my seat. Some horses do, though, make the rider go from side to side in sitting trot, so perhaps iGallop is more "horsey" than I think.

I've used the machine at several five minute clips so far. The "gallop" gait is faster than the trot. Had I built the machine, I would have made the canter/gallop into a big sweeping motion the way a real canter feels. It would make the exerciser have to use different muscles in a different way to keep the balance and go with the "gait." Just a faster trot doesn't do it. Still, I think it's going to help me get fitter and hopefully lose some fat around my waist and tummy area. I may never get "abs of steel" from it, but I may slim down a little.

Claire, since the house is air conditioned, I have absolutely no excuse not to ride the iGallop. I haven't looked at the DVD that came with it. Apparently that has all kinds of exercises you can do to add to the fitness routine. Not sure I'm into that, but we shall see. I did get it at the "sale" price, but it's been at that price for a while, so I'm not sure how much of a real sale it is. *G*


  1. Is it powered, Jean, since you talk of changing the gait on it? On the video it looked like it was just on springs, but it seems not??? Looks like a fun way to keep fit.


  2. Must have missed that whats the iGallop?

    I still havent been swimming been so busy up to now..might try tomorrow!

    We had thunderstorms and torrential showers yesterday mixed up with blazing sunshine?!?!

  3. so you can ride it as you would a horse, as well as the excercises they recommend? (some of them available to view on the store's website...)