Things I learned being horseless

As you probably know, I sold my horse in a split second. Even before I could actually regret it. I thought I would find a perfect “replacement” very quick, but that was an illusion. What do people without a horse actually DO? I had to find this out myself.

I wanted to find a new horse as soon as possible. So, I tried out a couple. But every time there was “something”. None of them had the qualities my old horse all had: three nice gaits, a good posture/ built, a good, willing- and/ or a calm character… Actually, trying new horses was nice (together with friends, traveling across the country, eating cookies in the car…), but it brought a lot of doubts and insecurities.

I was super bored in the evenings not having to go to my horse. Normally, I would go running alternatively, but I run already 3 times a week and my knees are not keen on more runs per week.

My mother asked me if I wanted to come to yoga-class with her. I did this a long time ago. I remembered I really found this boring, but why not give it a try? Oh my, it was even more boring than I remembered, I couldn’t stop watching at the clock, looking at the seconds slowly passing by. I know it might be good for me, as some of my muscles are very short (especially at the back of my legs – thanks to running and horse riding), but oh my, I never realized time passes by so slowly. Even thinking of yoga makes me start yawning. Sorry, mommy, this has nothing to do with your company.

I realized it was the perfect time to do some things which were still on my bucket list – time enough – so, I booked a pole dancing class. Everybody was wearing very fancy clothing – I loved it – I need that.  After the warm-up, I already felt my muscles. After the workout, I could not even lift my arms without feeling my muscles. It was terrible, I didn’t sleep all night because of muscle pains! I REALLY enjoyed this, but it made me realize I’m not as strong as I always thought.

So, as dedicated as I am, I went to the sports club in Warmond, telling I needed to improve my strength for pole dancing purposes. And that I also wanted to improve my hand stands. It made the fitness instructor smile peculiarly. He told me to do a warming up while he would make a workout fitness plan. I was like, hello, I cycle 40km a day (work-traffic) and I also came here by bike, but he was not impressed. I really had to do a warming up.

After the warm up (totallyyyy unnecessary, did I already told you this?), I had to do some exercises on different fitness equipment while he was watching, noting down the details of the weights. After our introduction round he said “now it is time that you do the same round by yourself”. Fitness is totally different without an instructor watching what you do. I found that sitting down on the equipment is ideal for relaxing purposes. But just sitting, overthinking life, doing nothing is apparently not what fitness is about.

No, this was not my thing. I told the lady at the reception. She proposed I could hire a personal trainer. Little calculation showed that having a horse would be cheaper (well, that is a little exaggerated, maybe). So, no, no personal trainer for me.

Maybe a group lesson would be more my thing. In the past, I did a LOT of group fitness lessons. Some, I really liked. Especially the ones from Les Mills. The spots club offered Les Mills Body Pump, so why not try it (again)? At least, I would get to train some muscles. OK, it was a little les boring than yoga. I actually went to the second class this week. I told the teacher I did not feel my muscles at all after the first class. I should not have said that. I had to double the weight. Again, no muscle pain thereafter, but I’m not going to tell her a next time!

Time to do something else from my bucket list – ballet. I found a ballet – slash – workout class, which really seemed interesting to start with. As there would not only be adults doing ballet since they were young – I guessed. And I guessed right. So I was not the “stiff” one haha. It was REALLY nice, I REALLY liked it. This is also VERY good to improve my seat when horse riding. You also have to “make yourself longer”, just like when riding horse. As if your head it attached to the ceiling with a rope. In the beginning, I had much difficulties with keeping my pelvis leveled, I was not standing on my stand-leg, but then I realized I had to move like the ballerina in the jewelry box: as if there is a stick running through your body. This helped me a lot. Still, I forget to take my arms from time to time. And also I try SO hard to do it right, that my teacher often tells me to relax my face as I apparently look very difficult. I LOVE this! And I think I would even love this more when having the right outfit: a black ballerina suit (like a bathing suit) with pink stockings and white leg warmers. Oh yes, I can picture myself in this!

Tonight I have to do a fit-test at the sports club – they insisted on it. I said that I would only do it if they were not going to measure me anywhere (by scale or tape). They were a little surprised, but I don’t live my life in “figures”. How you feel is so much more important than a figure on a scale. If I can do a pull-up (without help), I’m happy (#goals)!

Soon, I can use the membership card of the sports club again for other purposes (for example as ice scraper), as my new horse is coming to my stable next week! The good thing is that this “horse-free” period made me realize how much I like horse riding. How much I like training for a purpose (competitions). How much I like to have a goal, something to do (“sorry, I cannot go out tonight. I have to train my horse”). And also how good horse riding actually is for you. Yes, you don’t use all your muscles (definitely not the muscles needed for pole dancing), but it is much easier to stay in shape when you have a horse. And my physique and condition of my muscles is better than I always though.

I think it is a nice way to end my I will still continue to do pole dancing, and maybe also ballet. I can combine both. Bring it on!