Sunday, November 01, 2015

Cat and Hip Progress

Four Reasons to Smile

The stray cat and her two kittens seem to be getting used to me. Dusky, the mom, now greets me in the morning, meows and will actually eat the food while I sit about four feet away talking to her. She is "thinking" about approaching me, but isn't quite secure enough yet.

This morning, for the first time, the two kittens came out into the open to eat with her while I was there. The charcoal gray one, Shadow, is braver then the little light gray striped kitten, Slip, but both ate with their mom while I was there. (Will try to get some pictures soon.)

Slow but sure progress on the way to making them sociable barn kitties. I am hoping I will not have to set traps to catch them for vet/neuter/shots, etc, but we will see.  We're supposed to have some warm weather this week so it's good for sitting out there for taming.

And smile #4?

My doctor cleared me for "unrestricted" activity with my hip.  This sent me right off to the NewYork Sports Club to start my membership with a swim.

Now, I know I can swim at the County College pool for free, but it is some 15-16 miles away. The Sports Club is only 8 miles from home and I can use a back road to get there. The college? Heavily traveled US 1 and the very busy town of Edison, Route 514.  Of course, if I have a substituting job, I'll already be at the College, so I will swim there. Meanwhile the Sports Club is the answer.

The pool there has four lanes, and the whole complex is very clean and well run. There is another Sports Club--LA Fitness--with a pool just across the highway, but that one costs a bit more and most reviews give the NY Club better marks for cleanliness.

At any rate, I've been swimming three times so far and love it.

Yesterday, I got my complimentary trainer consultation and Mike, the trainer with a Physical Therapy background, showed me how to used the exercise machines he recommended. He also made up a fitness regimen for me to follow. I'm not sure I will be dedicated enough to do it, but I will at least try.

I would like to work with him once a week too, but I can't afford it. Personal training sessions are nearly $100 for each. When you think about what a good riding lesson costs here in NJ, that's not unreasonable. My Physical Therapy sessions are at least that much too, but my medical insurance pays for them. It would not pay for that--at least not yet. There are, apparently, some insurance programs that do cover some of the gym costs for senior citizens, but my otherwise excellent coverage does not. I am going to look into the possibility of perhaps one session a month, but so far, using the website, I can't find out how much that program would cost.

So, in the meantime, I am going to work out on my own.

And I plan on trying some riding soon, maybe even this afternoon. Right now I want to get on a horse to see how it feels. That way, if something hurts, I will know what I need to stretch or strengthen in order to ride.

As I said, we are supposed to get some warm weather this week, so it would be a good time to get into the saddle. Physically, the warmth will help my muscles and Chance will also be feeling good about it.

No plans to ride Tucker until I am fit again, although I will start working him on the lunge/long lines. Our trail riding days are done, I fear, but I will take him out for hand walks in the woods for a change of scenery.

Gone are the days of mad, frolicking rides in the fields and trails as I did when I had my Russell R. Older, wiser, and not quite the girl I used to be, I am a cautious equestrian instead.


  1. Great work with the barn kitties and serendipitous timing that good weather comes together with Doctor's permission to go out and play.

  2. Everything changes over time, except for the love of horses. When I get too unfit to ride, I'll get a mini and a cart. When I'm too old for that, I'll just sit in the lawn with my mini. :)

  3. Sounds like the barn kitties are warming up to you. Great work with them.

    Glad to hear your hip is ready for take off and you've been swimming. Joining the gym is a great idea too. They have all the equipment and it's a good place to get in shape when the winter weather hits and there's no riding. Hope you feel good when you get a ride in. Good luck with everything.

    I'm a little bit of a cautious equestrian these days too!

  4. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Sounds like good progress on all fronts! I've had to ratchet back some of the things I do with horses due to age/physical ability/confidence, but there's still plenty to do now and further down the road.

  5. Very good news Jean! I will be looking for a report on how your ride on Chance went!