This year I have decided that I will be participating in the infamous No Stirrup November, but I am not dropping the irons for every ride for the entire month. My legs would probably fall off if I tried that. (Fun fact: Axcent has the BOUNCIEST trot on the planet, making NSN that much more difficult.) Instead, I am following my own rules for the sake of my horse and myself. Thankfully, a friend of mine is joining me on this torturous journey, so I am not going it alone.
Week by week, I will be documenting my adventures in NSN, feel free to join in or just follow along. Welcome to No Stirrup November.
Saturday, November 1st
- Day one and I didn’t even ride, so technically this doesn’t count. BCET had an IHSA show today in the pouring rain which resulted in us getting back just in time for me to snuggle up in a warm blanket and go to bed…before some Halloweekend festivities. I’ll start tomorrow.
Sunday, November 2nd – Day 1
- My official day one of NSN! I made it short and sweet with some trot and canter during my bareback cool-out after an AMAZING ride. I am starting out slow and steady as to prevent any major soreness in both me and Ax, so I did just enough to feel the burn for a bit and called it quits.
Monday, November 3rd – Day 2
- Today I was feeling gooooood, meaning I definitely didn’t do enough yesterday. There was a little girl riding in her lesson at the same time as I brought Ax out, and boy was she impressed by watching “the big girls” ride without stirrups. It made the whole thing a little less painful. Since I wasn’t feeling it yet, I decided to do more than yesterday, so away went the irons and out came the trot sets. I think I dismounted a little bowlegged afterwards.
Tuesday, November 4th – Day 3
- This was day three for me but a rest day for Ax. Tuesday is one of my BCET lesson days and it was no surprise that Coach took away our stirrups. Luckily, she had seen us go stirrupless the evening before, so she went easy on us. I was sore from the day before, but nothing unbearable. That combined with the fact that I was on one of the comfiest horse made it a pretty easy day.
Wednesday, November 5th – Day 4
- Gone are the easy days! I chose to ride Ax in my lesson today in hopes of doing some over fences work with him (jumping is only allowed in lessons). I immediately regretted my decision. We didn’t get a whole lap around the ring before Coach told us to drop our irons. Walk, trot, canter, half seat, spirals. Thirty minutes later and my stirrups felt about a hundred holes too short, my legs ached, and all I wanted to do was slide off the side of Ax and land in a puddle at his hooves, not jump a course. Too bad it doesn’t work that way. We must struggle forward and good thing we did because Ax was pretty well behaved on course (aside from a little sassiness) for not having jumped in a few months. My legs are DEFINITELY going to be feeling it tomorrow.
Thursday, November 6th – Day 5
- Sore. I am sore. My legs are going to fall off. I can’t go on any longer! *dramatic pause* Actually, I wasn’t as sore from yesterday as I would have expected but I definitely do feel it in my legs. Today was a “take it easy” day as I only had a short time to ride. We stuck to some trot and canter sans stirrups and called it a night. However, I did make a friend get on and feel the pain of Ax’s trot without stirrups. The general consensus was that it is awful.
Friday, November 7th – Day 6
- Horse show prep day! That means only enough no stirrups to make me work, but not enough to make me fall off tomorrow. I chose to do some pole work with the clumsy Giant and it wasn’t half bad! So of course, my next instinct was to try it all without irons. What did I learn? No stirrup trot poles make me want to die, but no stirrup canter poles are pretty easy.
On to week two!
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