February 26, 2014

We Work The Abs

Yes I am on a semi vacation/semi work trip and I brought along the Insanity discs. Am I that dedicated? Not really. I just like finishing what I start. It's a habit I formed a long long time ago and one I hope to instill in W. Always finish what you start.

We did the pure cardio work out which I think is my favorite. It's not the easiest but it doesn't have the repetition that the others have. You do the warm up three times still, but after that it's stretching and then 20 minutes of different moves. Each one works a muscle group slightly differently so while your heart rate is kept up, your muscles get a slight break from time to time and you can really push hard. Plus I like the moves in it.

But today was the day we added cardio abs afterward. It is killer. Shaun T claims there is not a single crunch or sit up in the work out and while that is technically correct, you are basically doing crunches and sit ups incognito. And it burns. I couldn't even do it all. I did every move but at the end you go from a low plank to a high plank and back again and again and again. I think I did three. And then my lower back started screaming at me, so I think my form was off.

Both the hubs and I agree that the cardio bit should be tacked on way more often. It's the end of week 2 and it's the first we have done it. I think it should be done twice a week.

We will see how my abs feel tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a day off and I'm going to spend it at my Grandma and Grandpa's house. Last time I was in Florida was in 1995 and I'm pretty sure this is a different house. They haven't met W yet either so I'm very very excited to see them.

Then it is our second fit test. Time to see if anything is paying off.

February 23, 2014

I Feel Sluggish

Yesterday was recovery, so not much to talk about. I did have a good work meeting over dinner though with m new employee. (I love the sound of that....my new employee).

Tonight was Cardio Power and Resistance which I remember actually enjoying. But not tonight. My head just wasn't in it tonight. I had a great day. A great weekend in fact. Beautiful weather and lots of outdoor time with my boys. I hate to see it end with a Monday looming. But...there is lots to look forward to.

#1 - heading to Orlando for a conference Tuesday-Sunday and my boys are coming with. My grandparents live not too far from there so we get to see them too.

#2 - Last week was my last full week at work. I have taken my vacation time as 1 day off a week until I am done. Woohoo for 4 day work weeks :)

#3 - Moving along with my new business and have a ton of such to accomplish, but hoping to get a lot of it done at the conference.

Back to Insanity. I don't know if my legs were just too tired going into it tonight, if my dinner was sitting too heavy, or if it was just that my head wasn't into it (probably as all that and then some) but I just felt slow. I felt a little off with everything and even pushing as much as I could I still wasn't hitting the same level as in the past.

Oh well. Every workout won't be great. Tomorrow is pure cardio but then adding cardio abs to the end of it. The day after is a day off (great timing since we will be driving to FL that day) and then back at it while on vacation/work trip

February 21, 2014

More Plyometrics...Blah :(

Poor Josh. He is out there working hard. Pushing through. Hitting it. Digging Deep. And all the other Shaun T-isms. I'm not even sure which person is Josh. I'm assuming he is somewhere in the back. Everyone looks way more fit than I do, so I don't see how anyone could get picked on. But poor Josh. Throughout the entire series so far you hear "Come on....Josh..." or  "Don't have your legs too wide...Josh..." etc... Poor Josh. He gets picked on a lot.

Plyometrics again. I did a ton better this time. Seriously. Any doubters out there. I think it is truly impossible not to improve if you put forth any amount of effort whatsoever. Really. I'm really trying to work hard and go as fast as I can and do as many repetitions as I can, but even if you half butted it I still think you would see improvement. How couldn't you?

I'm noticing it mostly in my abs and thighs. Which is where I wanted to notice it...so yay for me.

But I'm also noticing that I'm able to recover quicker. No..I didn't pause the tape and allow myself to recover before hitting the next interval. A late night phone call from my dad put the kabash on that idea. I did it like Shaun T and while I still needed to take some extra breaks and couldn't do everything perfectly, I did way better than last time.

I even managed some good real push ups. Yay me...again.

Tomorrow is cardio recovery which I think is pretty light which is good because the rest of the week gets a little scary. Plus tomorrow is super busy for me so it will get squeezed in late.

Until tomorrow...stay strong!! :)

In Which I Complain...A Lot

I'm tired. Very, very tired this morning. W has been a very difficult eater as of late. He has always been willing to eat almost anything which was easy in some ways and hard in others. I want him to eat a balanced diet and so we needed to up our cooking game quite a bit to match his appetite. But at least I knew he would eat well. The last week or so all he wants is chicken nuggets. Meals he used to gobble down are being outright refused now. Yesterday I packed chicken slop (roast chicken pulled into pieces with mushroom soup and butter...very yummy) and risotto. He used to gobble that up. He spit it all out. So he got chicken nuggets for dinner. The Tyson frozen ones. He eats 5 at a time. He is 15 months old. He can't live on just chicken nuggets.

Well, anyway...we battled through dinner trying to get him to eat something other than nuggets (I lost by the way) and dosed him with his Robitussin/Benadryl/Augmentin cocktail and put him to bed at 6:30pm. Like usual (well, minus the drugs when he isn't battling an ear infection). He fell right asleep. I threw a new recipe into the crock pot (a very yummy smelling quinoa and veggie dish - I would add chicken to it to make it a complete meal in the future) to cook overnight and we got ready to do our Insanity work out.

Things went ok during the work out. I was a bit sluggish, but ended strong. We went to bed at 9 as usual. Then my dad called and I talked to him for a bit. Then a friend called at 10 and I answered because it was out of the ordinary for him to call me that late and I wanted to make sure there wasn't something wrong. We chatted for a half hour or so (he is also a podiatrist and really smart with business and practice management so bouncing ideas off of him is awesome) and then back to sleep I went.

Until 1230 when W woke up screaming bloody murder. If he is very tired he can wake up with night terrors, but usually he falls back to sleep on his own within a few minutes. By 1 am he was still angry sounding and so the hubs went in to check on him. He was fine. Wide awake, but fine. He turned on his sleepy sheep, gave him back all the pacifiers he had chucked at the closed door in his temper tantrum (he is getting a very good arm on him) plus his curious George stuffed animal he threw out of the crib and came back to bed. At 2 am he was still at it, so I went in. He was wide awake. I tried to rock him, but he wasn't having any of it. So I let him play in his bedroom for a bit. At 230 I called it quits, dragged myself off his bedroom floor and put him back to bed. He fell right asleep.

Of course, when the alarm went off at 545 this morning he was still snoozing and he was none too happy about being woke up at 640 to eat breakfast. I hope he sleeps tonight.

On top of that I am trying to muddle my way through health insurances. I need to get my business signed up with any I can find out about. It gets tricky though because I am currently enrolled under them all with m y current employer. I can add my new location, but I first needed a tax number which I got yesterday and a NPI number which I got this morning. The stupid online application is telling me I can't move forward until I enter a manager into the system, but I am the manager. It is only me. Plus a receptionist/medical assistant, but she won't have access to any of that information. But when I put myself in it yells at me. AAAGH!

But....it is Friday. This is my last full week working here. I am off to FL for a conference next week and then I took some of my vacation as a day off a week until I am done to do various things. So it is winding down. I still need to figure out my charting program and billing. I have it narrowed down to two very different programs. So much to do!!

February 20, 2014

Pure Cardio Take 2

"Pride cometh before a fall"

I think that is from Beowolf. Actually, I'm pretty sure it is. Regardless, that was definitely me tonight. I was so stoked about how well I did yesterday. I pushed hard. I did almost every move (except for the v push ups) and never stopped moving. I felt great throughout. I felt great right after. I felt great today.

Then came Pure Cardio. It is actually a relatively short program. You go through the horrid warm up three times. Each time you push harder and harder. But then you spend 10 or so minutes stretching and the actual pure cardio part of it is only 15 minutes long. Then it is into the cool down.

But man, those 15 minutes are rough. it was my stupid legs again. They just wouldn't work. We had to do football sprints (tiny little sprints from a squat position) and I just couldn't get my feet off the floor fast enough. I felt like I was in quick sand or something. I tried. I really, really, really tried. I didn't quit.

Oh, I think I spent most of my energy cussing at the computer screen, but I pushed. And now I feel like jelly. Very sweaty jelly.

And my least favorite of all the workouts is tomorrow: Plyometrics.

The hubby made an interesting point tonight. Plyometrics is based on interval training. I think I've gone on about that before. Push hard and get your heart rate soaring and then fully recover (maybe not back down to 60 bpm, but down to a slightly elevated rate, maybe 100-110) and then go again. But the video only gives you 30 seconds to recover. I don't recover in 30 seconds. My heart rate is still pushing 130-140 when he calls time to do it again.

the hubby thought maybe we should be pausing the video when the rest came. Allow the heart rate to come down to 110 or so and then hit play to do the next bit. that way we are actually doing interval training instead of pushing the heart and keeping it up the entire 45 minute work out. I don't know. Would that be allowed? Would that be cheating?

Interval workouts are supposed to be high reward in regards to weight loss and cardiac conditioning.  Its because each interval you spend pushing yourself to the absolute max you can possibly go knowing you will fully recover before doing it again. It is the complete opposite of marathon or ultra marathon type sports where you go at a pace that will allow you to keep going and going and going.

So, by not recovering we are not able to push it nearly as hard the next time and even less the next. By pausing the video, fully recovering, and then going at it again we wouldn't miss any of the workout, but instead would actually be doing each interval as intended. I don't know....

February 19, 2014

Week 2 Begins

Cardio Power and Resistance is the worst! Wow. I'm one sweaty beast tonight. Of course it being 68 degrees outside doesn't help matters, but you will never find me complaining about weather like this! It is soooo nice to open the windows and air out the house in February.

I am getting stronger. Both in my heart/lungs and legs. There are definitely some exercises I powered through tonight that I hadn't before. There are still some I stink at. Namely those crappy V push ups. I did them girlie style tonight so my shoulders still got a work out.

I forgot how upper body intense this work out is. Triceps, shoulders and pecs. I did my best, but my upper body isn't so great. I am just about ready to give up the girlie push ups and do real ones. I won't be able to do many, but it is a start.

I think it also helped that we had off yesterday. We will see how my legs are doing tomorrow.

February 18, 2014

Times Are a Changin

EEEK!! So I've been harboring a secrete for about 1.5 months or so now. A big one. Nope, sorry, it has nothing to do with horses or riding. Well, actually, I can make anything relate back to horses and riding, so lets see...yep. It does have something to do with it. Namely, its the reason all my riding plans have gone caput. All money right now needs to go towards something else, so no paces, no endurance rides for the immediately forseeable future. I am still hoping to do a 50 in September though.

I graduated residency last June and got my current job down here in the South. From day one of work red flags were a flying high and wild. Oh the stories I could tell, but I won't (no, not just to annoy you all) because that would be really unprofessional and in such a small town and such a small profession, I don't need the bad reputation. Lets just say that things kept going from bad to worse to insane. Some people should just never own a business.

My options are limited. The hubs adores his job and moving out of the South isn't really an option because we both love it here so much. I began to make some phone calls to local docs to see if anyone would be possibly interested in adding me to their practice. Nope. Nobody was hiring or looking to in the near future. There are a lot of single or two doc practices and they just weren't looking to expand. Or even entertain the idea.

I made one last phone call to the last remaining area doc. It was a Friday. He told me that he was not looking to hire. Crap. But.....he was looking to close his doors and sell out the building telling his patients to go elsewhere. Would I maybe just want to buy the whole thing??

It was an intriguing idea and the next day the hubs and I went to meet him, look a the place and talk money. It was a really cute building in a nice medical plaza. He built it 30 years ago and the decorations are outdated, but it is functional and minor redecorating would make a big difference. Plus I could (sorta, kinda, maybe) afford it.
Its scary. If I fail I don't know what we will do. I can't fail. We need my income to pay the bills and feed W. Failure isn't an option. The practice already has a part time patient base and while some may leave when he retires and I take over, most will stay. Are they all the types of patients I want my practice to be built around? Probably not. But they are people who need treated and I wont turn anyone away. I may limit certain things as I get busier, but at the beginning all comers are more than welcome.

I signed the paperwork for the financing yesterday. It will be mine in 6 short weeks. I very happily put in my 60 day notice at work as well. Happy days!!!

I'm nervous, excited, scared, worried and all sorts of other things. This is going to be a huge change and I am ready.

February 17, 2014

Insanity Week 1: Complete

Wow....there is a ton of things to write about today :) When it rains, it pours. First up is today's workout which is the last of week 1.

Today was a repeat of day 2: Plyometric Cardio. This is interval training. I must say that doing it the second time through was easier than the first. Part of that is just knowing what to expect and what moves you will need to do. But I would also like to think that I'm getting a little something out of all this. I have only two issues. (I know - how unlike me to have any issues at all? :)

1) This is supposed to be interval training. That means that you work super hard to get your heart rate way up for a set time, then you allow it to fully recovery then you shoot it up again. I'm too out of shape for this to work out. I have no issue what so ever in getting my heart rate up. It shoots up there quite easily, thank you very much. My problem lies in the miniscule 30 second recovery window he gives before jumping back into it. My heart rate never recovers. In fact, it takes a few minutes at the end of the session for it to begin to be normal. So I'm not doing intervals. I'm basically doing one long stay up high interval.

2)I'm trying super hard to keep my heart rate up. I'm doing the moves as fast as I can. Then my quads give out on me. I understand why we are using the quads so much. Its the largest muscle group. Working this to the max will consume the most energy and allow for the quick body transformation. So while my heart is going and I'd really like to get it higher or stay up longer, my legs just can't keep up.

You want to know what is weird? I'm actually enjoying this. Its hard to get started at 8 pm after a long (and stressful) day at work followed by fighting W to eat his dinner and go to bed. He used to go to bed promptly at 6 pm and fall right to sleep. Now he is pushing it farther and farther back, but 7 pm is his absolute limit. A kids has to have a bed time. But once we get started, I actually enjoy it. Well, if you ignore the many, many expletives that come out of my mouth during it.

Week 1 is gone and I have a day off tomorrow. I know I cheated a bit and took a day off in the middle, but over all I'm feeling pretty darn good. I don't see a change in my body at all, but 1 week is too short for that. I do notice a slightly quicker recovery to my muscles and a little better stretching ability.

Tomorrow I will go into my other big new which I leaked onto Facebook this morning. I'm super excited and what to explain some things, so stay tuned for that!

February 16, 2014

Pure Cardio

Day 5. Today is the first day that I am a little disappointed in myself. But lets back up a bit.

I RODE TODAY. Yes, that is significant enough to demand the use of capitalization. I RODE TODAY. It was 60 degrees and sunny and come heck or high water I was going to the barn and I was going to ride. So I did and it felt amazing. I rode like complete crap, but I expected that with the time I've been away from it and the fact that my legs are fairly useless right now. But nevertheless it felt fantastic. I need to do more of that.

But back to Insanity. Today was Pure Cardio. The warm up was just the same as every other warm up. Seriously, when will I get better at the stupid warm up? I can't even keep up with this yet. Hopefully by the end of this program I can at the very least do the entire warm up without taking a single small break.

Then more stretching. I am noticing better stretching ability which is good.

Then the work out began and it was a lot of cardio. Go figure with a name like "Pure Cardio". Jumping, suicides, heismans, wall climbs, football sprints, frog jumps from the ground to the air forward and backward, sprint then drop to a lunge-switch legs to other side lunge-then sprint again, etc...

My heart was flying. I was pouring sweat.

So why am I disappointed in myself? Well, each disc to date has had you do a routine once, then do it again at a break neck all out don't stop give it every thing you possibly can and then some speed, then a third time more slowly. So when I did this I thought that was what was going to occur. I should have paid better attention to the count down clock. Then I would have realized we were only doing this one time. I held back a titch. Not much. My heart rate was still close to 165 or so and I was puffing, but I could have pushed just a little more. Held out a little longer before a break. But I was saving that little last shred of energy for the faster round. Which never happened. So when he called it time for a cool down stretch I found myself wanting a little more cardio work out. A little more pushing.

I'll know for next time.

February 15, 2014

Cardio Recovery

For anyone keeping track today is day 5 of the plan. But I didn't blog yesterday. So what gives? Where was day 4?

Day four came and brought with it my wonderful female friend: Aunt Flow. Trying to avoid a too much information moment, let's just say that I despise this day. For many reasons. But for starters I get extremely tired, weak and over all feel disgusting in my own body. I had a choice. Curl up in the fetal position moaning about how much I hate it or do Insanity. I took a bubble bath. Do I feel guilty taking a day off so early on? Not really. If you felt as hormonal leg challenged and gross as I do that one day a month, you would understand.

So today we did work out number four: Cardio Recovery.

It is a day to let the heart and lungs relax. I thought if was a day to leg do everything relax. But my barely functional quads disagree. Shaun T is truly delusional. He kept saying things like "we are going to just do a little stretch" and "this is an easy yoga pose" and yet each one felt lied my quads were being turned to jelly.

This one is 32 minutes long and really is a cardio free day. My heart rate never went a beat above baseline.

It entailed a lot of squats. And I mean a lot. Like nearly 32 minutes of squats masquerading as other things such as a stretch. But as my quads were shaking I knew the truth. It was really just another squat.

And we did planks. And took a leg off the floor and brought it to the chest and the to the side. All while planking. Do you know what muscle group gets worked during a plank? Your quads.

We did do some actual stretching, but at the end I felt tighter and weaker than in the beginning. Not sure if that's how I'm supposed to feel it not.

I'm just glad I didn't have to jump at all tonight.

February 13, 2014

Cardio Power and Resistance

Day 3.

If today was day one I would say it was awesome. While there continues to be a lot of jumping there was also a good bit of core and upper body as well which gave my shaking quads and melting down heart a breather.

But today wasn't day one. It was day three. So I went into it with tired legs and a slightly protesting core.

I really am beginning to hate the warm up. Seriously, Shaun T. Warm up? When the warm up has half the demo people having to stop to breathe it isn't really a warm up. I'm ready to call it a night after the warm up. But the good news with day three is that the actual work out is only 20 minutes. The entire thing with warm up, stretching and cool down is 40 minutes.

I'm also beginning to realize that a lot of this is just learning the moves. Once the body understands what it is you are asking it to do, it becomes a bit easier. Not easy. But a little easier.

It started with a bunch of sprinting in place then jumping a hurdle. Sprint. Jump. Sprint jump. Ok. Got that. Then it was squat down and then kick right leg in front. Squat down then kick left leg. Ok. Not so bad. At least I can breathe through this exercise. Power jumping jacks. There goes my quads again.

I was beginning to feel pretty good about myself. Until he had us do walking push ups. Now for the sake of keeping this honest, I can't do more than a few real push ups. I can't do any walking push ups. So instead I just did a whole bunch of girlie push ups to build my chest with the hope that by the end I can start to do some walking push ups.

To further ruin my already fragile ego, we then went into what I will call teepee push-ups because I can't remember the real name. Bring butt into air as high as it can go with legs straight. Arms straight and hands pointing in towards each other. Now try to do a push up. Uh huh. That's right. You are basically standing on your head and trying to do a push up. I did one. My shoulders screamed in protest. I did a total of 3 all night.

Back to the beginning folks. But this time faster. Sprint harder, jump higher, jump faster. Ok. Sure. I'll get right on that.

Water break. Phew.

Next up was some things I found more fun. Probably because I also found them to be easier. Globe jumps. Touch the floor and in a squat jump to the right, back, left, front. My core started to burn which was good cuz that's what I really want to work on.

My oxygen starved brain is having a hard time remembering the work out even though I literally just finished it. Sigh. We also did tricep work outs. Those were fun. Floor sprints from a push up position. My problem with these is that my hands keep walking forward on me and I soon find myself falling. I need to work on that.

Another fun one was squat hops. Go down into a squat and then, while staying in that basic position, hop up a little in the air. Do eight in a row. Fun. Except he then ruins it by having you immediately go down for eight push ups. Then back up for eight hops...etc...Getting back up into the squat was hard.

But now it is over and I have three more days and then a day off. I hope my legs recover or this is going to be a really long three days.

February 12, 2014

Are You Supposed To Puke?


The good news is that I definitely pushed myself. Day 2 is Cardio Circuit day. You begin with a nice warm up that makes you think that you are finished because the warm up alone is difficult. I think my heart rate was 120 just with the warm up. Not a good sign. But then Shaun T teases you with a nice long stretching program. Your heart rate recovers and you become delusional that you will actually survive this work out.

After the stretch he informs you that things are going to get going now. Huh? I thought we had been going. Into some intense suicides back and forth, jumping, squatting, more jumping, squatting and heck why not add some jumps in there?

Round 1 done. Phew. Now to redo it again but this time folks, do it faster and faster and faster getting your heart rate up. As if mine wasn't already flirting with heart attack levels. Ok...keep pushing. Round 2 done.

Round 3: back to focusing on form. Slower but same maneuvers. Feel like your legs are still attached? You must be doing it wrong.

BREAK. Drink. Breathe. Remember how wonderful you felt as a lazy blob? Hmmm...

Round 4: Basketball jumps (which I must admit were fun the first two times, but the last round I was just plain dead), running in place and then jump up - down to the floor for 4 push ups (I did girlie ones)-out to a real push up stance and run in place-back up in the air. Lather, rinse, repeat. Until you can't even remember what year it is anymore. Then stay in push up position and do ski jumps: bring knees up to the right then back then left all working your core. I enjoyed these and did fairly well at them. I really want to strengthen my core a lot so I am trying really, really hard to do all the ab work outs super well. Last thing was pretty difficult for me to start and impossible by the end. Push up position. Bring knees all the way in to chest then push back out. The first round I did eh, ok with.

Then repeat for Rounds 5 and 6. By the last part of 6 I was done. I tried and pushed as hard as I could, but those last push ups were very hard.

I thought we were done, but the clock still had 10 minutes on it. 10 more minutes??? How on earth! But these were nicer. Less cardio and more core. Squat (do my thighs even function anymore?) and do punches, upper cuts, twists type things. Then stretch out and you are done!

YAY! I cooled down some, walked out to the kitchen and smelled tomorrow night's meatloaf in the oven. Ran (or toddled more accurately) to the bathroom and puked. Guess it means I pushing it hard enough, right?

Day 3 tomorrow. Bring it on :)


This was supposed to publish last night, but for some reason it saved as a draft instead. So just pretend it worked.

Since my horse life right now is pretty dull I'm going to start writing about my INSANITY work outs. There is a reason this ties into horses though: Rider fitness. There is a whole Yahoo forum dedicated to this topic. Why? Because your horse can be as fit as can be and if you are a sack of potatoes up there you will hurt or, at the least, hamper your horse. To me riding in general, and endurance in particular, is a deal between horse and rider. Each has a job to do and if one fails the other needs to pick up the slack. I don't enjoy doing Gem's job for her and I know she doesn't enjoy doing mine for me. If I get farigued at mile 10 and start flopping around and riding poorly she will need to work harder to stay balanced and her risk of injury, fatigue and getting pulled at a vet check goes way up.

So in the interest of rider fitness, trying to get toned back up and entertainment, I bring you my 60 day journey through the INSANITY work out. Today was day 1: Fitness test.

Sounds easy enough. Eight 1 minute long exercises. Do as many of each as you can and log it. 8 minutes. How hard could that be?

I wrangled the hubby into doing it with me. Misery loves company, right? We put our shoes on (a recommendation from my parents who lent me the program), loaded up the disk and locked the dogs out of the room. Let's go!

There was a brief introduction and then a warm up. In my mind a warm up is a slow, easy introduction to the activity to get the blood flowing and the muscles, ligaments and tendons loosened up. What I got was a burning hell of a first 15 minutes that left me gasping for air Amanda wondering why I wanted to do this. And that was just the warm up.

Now on to the actual test. There is Shaun T leading it with a skinny Asian woman to his right and buffed out white guy to his left. I wanna look like she does so good job in picking your people Shaun T.

First up: switch kicks. I'm not going to make this forever long with each description, but if you are interested just ask and I will explain. 1 minute. Go! I got about 15 seconds into it before I landed wrong, twisted my right ankle (which gives out on me randomly anyway) and fell to the ground. Great start. The good news was that the break this gave me allowed my heart to slow back down to a rate that sustains life again. I managed 60 total, the hubs 82.

My oxygen deprived brain envisioned a nice long break between test. Ha! 15 seconds later he was describing the next move. Power Jacks. I was back into the groovea my stayed on my feet for 35, hubs did 43.

I was hot. We put the ceiling fan on. Step 3: Power knees. I want to spend a moment on these. With core tight being your right knee up to above hips, them left, then right etc.... Until you want to die or 1 minute is up. Guess which came first? I did 47, hubs 50.

Power jumps: 30 for each of us. I giggled a bit at my lack of coordination with this.

Globe Jumps. Well at least we got rid of the word power finally. But my thighs were getting very jello like at this point and the word jump could have also been left out. But no. Jump we did: first to the right, then back, left, front. Making a large box. I enjoyed this one as much as anyone can enjoy not being able to breathe, feel their legs or see straight anymore. 5 and 8.

Three left. Suicide jumps which I didn't do very well at. My thighs were pSt protesting and into flat out refusing to work anymore without their OSHA mandated break, but I squeaked out 6 to the hubby's 16.

Finally finished with jumping we moved on to push up jacks. Do a push up and as you go down your legs do a jumping jack like maneuver. I spent the first part doing it backwards and the second part realizing that I was weak enough that a regular push up is hard even without the stupid leg thing. 9 to 15.

And one last minute to go and then I can collapse into a lazy heap once more. Low plank obliques. Oddly enough I actually did enjoy these and since my legs were now resting I did fairly well at 38 to his 30. Go me.

That's it. I am sitting on the floor wondering how I am going to get back up to eat dinner. Or go to bed. Maybe I will just sleep here tonight.

February 11, 2014

WISE Saddle Saga Takes A Nose Dive

Not to get too philosophical on a horse blog or anything and not to ruffle any feathers on a fate vs destiny vs free choice vs whatever else debate, but wow. I'm not 100% sure what I even believe all the time, but there have been numerous times in my life that I have felt out of balance with time. How to explain? There have been moments where I seriously think I was born too late or am living a little behind the magical wheel that is my life. Today is one of them.

You all know my saga with trying to sell my WISE saddle. If my money tree was up and growing, I would keep the saddle for the future in case it ever fit a horse I owned because it is that stinking comfortable. But I need the money from this saddle to buy the Advantage which actually fits my horse and has a very high likelihood of fitting others as well. So it pretty much has to go.

I got an email from Maryland Tack Exchange today that she has had lots of interest, but people are making low ball offers. Someone stated that the saddles are being sold new for $2600. Really? Last time I checked they were at $5000 new. Without the pad and with only 1 gullet. Mine has a pad and 2 gullets. It should be worth the $3000 I'm asking.

So I did a little checking and facebooked the company. Guess what? I'm screwed. Unfortunately, the owner suffered a bad fall (he is an active eventer himself) and sustained a concussion that has left him bed ridden currently and he is unable to continue his business. He is selling all his stock off cheap and once they are gone, that's it. No more WISE saddles. Ever.

(The thought just struck me that perhaps I shouldn't be posting this since someone may not know this and will now rush off to get a new one instead of buy my used one, but oh well)

Crap. So now what? I emailed the lady back with the above information and asked her advice. The options in my mind are:

1.) Keep trying to sell it for full price hoping someone doesn't know the above information and buys it anyway - Seems unlikely to happen

2.) Drop the price significantly and just get what I can and count my losses - Maybe the best option

3.) Take the saddle back and try to come up with the money for the Advantage anyway. Have the Hubby use it on Pete and enjoy the saddle. Maybe my next horse will fit it - would love to do this, but unless some friendly reader wants to sponsor my Advantage purchase I doubt this is possible

4.) Take it back, keep it for another year and sell it then when no new ones can be found. I don't know if a discontinued saddle goes up or down in price. I would guess down. Repairs, new gullets, etc wouldn't be available so it is a risk - highly doubt this would be any better

5.) Sell Gemmie and buy a horse who actually likes me, the trail, work and fits the WISE  - Not ever going to happen. Ever. I promised her a forever home and that is what she will have. Plus I think the price of a new horse would be more than the Advantage saddle anyway.

See what I mean? Had I decided to sell it last summer or spring I wouldn't have this issue. I would have sold it, bought the new one and moved on with my life.

February 10, 2014

Selling the WISE Saga Continues

I'm a very impatient person in general. If I want something, I want it to happen now. The good side is that I am willing to work hard to get it done and if something is important to me I don't procrastinate on it at all. The bad side is (well besides the obvious annoyance that being impatient is to everyone else) that it generally means shotgun responses and actions with little research or deep thought put into it.

I put my WISE up for sale and blasted on as many free websites as I could manage and paid $15 for Eventing Nation as well. I know it is a specialty item and expensive (although for the price it really is a steal) and I was ready to wait it out.

Then came the onslaught of scam replies. All basically the same underlying theme - someone buying it without access to bank account or credit card plus uses a shipping agent who will pick it up etc... I got annoyed. Each time I had a response I would get all excited and then BAM! it was fake :( I was tolerant of those that generated from Craigslist or other free sites. But when they started coming from the ad I paid for or the specialized endurance classified, I got very annoyed.

I did have one person inquire about it who was real. But then she started to jerk me around with it. Wanted a trial, then to discuss payment. Umm...no. You can pay me full price up front and buy it. Then you will have a 14 day period to return it for a refund pending return in condition it was sent. Then she wanted to offer $1000 less than I listed it for. I offered to drop it $500, but she said no. Then I (much to the hubby's disapproval) agreed to the low price but with no trial at all and no return. She said no. So I let it go.

I started to look for a solution. And found the Maryland Tack Exchange. A consignment shop in Maryland that deals in high end saddles. I contacted them based on a recommendation from a fellow blogger and they were willing to take on the saddle. Of course I lose 20% to them and they were reluctant to ask as much as I wanted, so in the end I lose out a bit. But I figured if it saved me the annoyance of scams and actually got it sold, then it might be worth it.

I clung onto the saddle for a couple weeks after contacting them with the hopes it would sell, but I had zero responses in those 2 weeks. Bummer. So, I packed everything all up and shipped it out.

You can see the ad here: WISE

They took some really nice pictures.

Well.....since then I have received 3 "real" emails asking if it is still available. AGH! Now I say real in quotations because my response to the inquiry is something like:

"Yes, the saddle is still available, however I have sent it to a consignment shop (I provide the link). They are able to allow a trial period and accept credit cards where I was not and this is more comfortable for the buyer in the end. Also, if you purchase it without the trial it is at a discounted price and less than I posted it for. You can feel free to ask me any questions about it and I will answer to the best of my ability."

I have not had any replies to this, so a part of me is curious if anyone was serious or if they were hoping to kill me on the price or was a scam. All the scams started off pretty realistic so you never know. Anyway. I am hoping one of those contacts the place and takes it on trial or buys it. I need it gone!!!

The good news so far is that I still have the demo Advantage to ride in for now and my new one isn't ready yet. I'm not pushing her to finish it since I have the demo and hope to sell the WISE to fund the Advantage.

February 6, 2014

GOD Made A Horse

GOD Made a Horse

I don't usually like to share internet stuff on here, but that video is worth the watch. Personally, I think GOD Made A Dog is better, but the horse one is worth the watch and listen as well. Make sure you have your volume on because it is equally about the words as it is the pictures.


February 3, 2014

Overheating...in February?!

Having spent the majority of my entire 31 (nearly 32) years on this planet in the cold regions of the North, the notion of wearing too much clothing in February is novel to me.

I hadn't been on Gemmie in 2 weeks!!! Ouch! That needs to be remedied, but anyway....Saturday was the hubby's birthday and he worked in the morning so Saturday was out. Sunday was another hunter pace at FENCE and I toyed with the idea of going solo so that we wouldn't need a babysitter or to pay two entrance fees, but we decided not to and I am sure glad we did. For numerous reasons. Please excuse the seemingly haphazard way I tell the story since things overlap.

First, a friend texted me asking if she could bring her granddaughter out to ride Gemmie a bit. She is 9 and obsessed with horses (as any 9 year old should be :) and Gem does very well with children, so I happily agreed. We planned to meet at 1 and I headed out to the barn at 12 so I could get on her for a bit first. The morning was overcast, chilly and misty and it was February, so I put on my riding pants (thankfully not my fleece lined winter ones), a t-shirt, a long sleeved shirt, a fleece vest and a fleece barn coat and headed outside. And promptly got smacked upside the head by the reality that I am now living in the paradise that is the Southeast. I was hot just standing there. The sun had come out and it had quickly warmed up to a delicious 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Off with the jacket and off to the barn we went.

Gemmie was napping in the sun all curled up being cute and after a short trot to the back part of the pasture and a canter back to the front, she was easily caught and tacked up. She is looking mighty fine this winter, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, while I remembered to bring my camera, I forgot to actually use it, so no pictures in this post. I jumped on her and rode for about 30 minutes or so before they pulled into the drive. But that's a third part to the story, so we will come back to that.

Moving along....the girl E was excited, had been on a couple guided trail rides before and was full of that childhood induced confidence and complete lack of fear that being an adult with bills to pay brings. Up she went and after a brief explanation of how to ride with English reins (Gem completely ignores all attempts at neck reining although I am pretty sure she knows what it means since she ran barrels in her previous life) we began. Gem does great with kids and newbies because she follows my every move when I am on foot with her in an arena. If I move right, she follows right. If I walk, she walks. If I stop, she stops. And so on. Most of the time with a child I allow them to hold the reins and tell them to ask her to go right , left, stop etc..all the while knowing that Gem is just following me, but they don't know that so all is good in the world. But E quickly proved she could handle more and so after a little while I let her go and stood in the middle watching carefully. And she did really well. She pulled on Gem's mouth a bit more than I like and kicked hard enough that Gem went into a canter once, but all in all she did great and Gem plodded along in either a walk or a beautiful slow jog around the arena for about 20 minutes. It was great to watch.

 Reason #2 for being happy we stayed home: a good friend from medical school called me up Sunday morning and asked if we would be home that afternoon. He was passing through from a family wedding and it has been a little while since we got together. Of course, life being how it is, they would be hitting our house at...guess what time?? 1 or 130! Perfect timing. But D doesn't mind being at the barn so he and his lovely girlfriend came there to hang out. Which was perfect since it was sooo pretty out nobody wanted to be inside anyway. And our house is trashed. Something about working full time, having a toddler and pets just trashes a house in an instant. They arrived about half way through E riding and the hubby talked to them while E finished up and they left. Then D decided he wanted a go round on Gem and off he went. She was behaving nicely and enjoying the day out. Afterward he talked and caught up then heading out for some food. It was great having the company and seeing them again. They only live 2 hours away which is way better than when he was in Boston for residency and I was in Wisconsin. Still sometimes 2 hours seems forever far with a toddler and we don't get to see tem nearly enough.

Reason #3: I had a great 30 minutes on Gem. I know it wasn't very long, but it was just great to be on her again. It is odd. I love the Advantage out on the trail and don't find it horrible too large or uncomfortable even after 2 hours. But in the arena it just feel big, floppy and rock hard. I'm sure it has something to do with the way I ride in the arena versus out on the trail. I probably try to ride more proper English style in the arena and am more relaxed out on trail. Anyway. The arena also is a great place to work on speed. Out on trail I am conservative with the footing, hills etc...with where I trot, but in the arena I get bored really fast so we do a lot of canter work. Hubby set up a small cross rail and I haven't jumped Gem in ages. At first I was nervous since this isn't a jumping saddle, but 2 ft isn't very tall. She went over the first time in her normal hesitant manner. But the next time? She picked up a canter going into it all on her own, soared over and cantered away! She was a happy horse with a well fitting saddle :) And guess what? It made me very happy as well.

Reason #4: It was HOT out. Well, not summer heat hot, but in February with a full WI style winter coat on, 65 and sunny was HOT for Gemmie. After only 30 minutes of walk/trot/canter work she was a sweaty little beast. Had we attended the hunter pace she would have over heated big time. The last times we went to FENCE the poor horses overheated due to 70 and sunny in October/November and they weren't even this hairy. I doubt we would have had a good time worried about how hot they were and they would have run the risk of dehydration and electrolyte issues even after only 8 or 9 miles in the sun with that much hair. It was better we stayed home.