Saturday, October 24, 2009

Working it out

Today, working at the barn really work me! The horses were in last night, so there were 10 stalls to clean. I was the first to arrive, so I started right away. I completed 4 of the stalls - pushing wheelbarrows full of manure/soaked straw and raked, carried out/dumped 5 of the water buckets, refilled the waters and dropped down the hay. They all sound like simple tasks, but believe me, you feel every bit of effort put into pushing the heavy wheelbarrows and lifting forkfuls of soaked straw.

My horse for the day was Elvis, an ex-racing quarter horse. Every one of Jill's horses has a story - Elvis's is that he didn't run fast enough. He was filthy from rolling in mud, so I must have spent 15-20 minutes grooming him. My first portion of training with him was to "drive" him - two long lead lines are clipped to either side of his halter and stretched out the length of his body. I hold the ends of them, walking behind him. After a bit, I walked with my hands on his backside to keep my movements with him. He was doing really well, so on went the saddlepad, bridle and reins and up I went. Big steps were made today with keeping a horse "in the box" and using my aides to direct him. He crapped out after awhile because it was too long for him - his body was worked too hard as a racehorse and at times can still experience some soreness.

My fitness activities for today: working at the barn and riding from 9:30-2:30. That's 5 hours of physical work - it was free and didn't require a gym membership.

To remedy my rushed morning, I packed a container full of TJ's frosted mini wheats, which I ate during the drive to the barn. I also packed an apple, which I ate on the drive home. Saturdays are a little hectic for meals because I'm not usually home until around 2:30, but today was even later. I've developed a hankering for Wendy's after a long day at the barn, which is a bad habit I've been passing up the past two weekends. Today's alternative was my own "chicken" nuggets - the Morningstar Farms buffalo nuggets I purchased yesterday at Trader Joe's. I made 6 nuggets, a total of 240 calories. If I'd indulged in my "usual" at Wendy's (5 piece nuggets and french fries from the Super Value menu) I would have eaten 440 calories. With one change, I saved myself almost half the calories and a few dollars - a win on both counts.

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