Racing to Ride wants to know: What’s your least favorite exercise?
This is an easy one.
I fucking HATE warming up.
Tristan needs a long warmup, at least 20 minutes. He’s old. He’s lazy. He’s creaky. He’s usually pretty pissed off to be under saddle.
The first 10 minutes of any ride, ever, no matter what, are really frustrating. He balks, he flips his head, he crawls along like a slug, he flings his shoulders everywhere, he slams me into walls and trees, he tries to turn back toward the gate or the barn, he sighs heavily and dramatically.
At 15 minutes, I see glimmers of hope, a little bit of softness, a little bit of responsiveness to my leg.
At 20 minutes, I have a normal horse, if lazy and not always thrilled.
Please understand that he has been this way since I first swung a leg over him. He’s not in an undue amount of pain. He’s certainly not being tortured. He’s getting a basic amount of exercise that, once he gets into it, he really enjoys. Once he is warmed up, he can really be a ton of fun, and as the work improves and he gets better, he gets a certain swagger of confidence and pride. Trust me on this.
But for whatever reason, Tristan’s outlook on life has always required spending the first 10 minutes of every ride telling me I can go to hell.
I admit, it really tests my motivation some days. Ok, lots of days. I often put on music and set my emotions aside and just KICK. And then we get to the other side and it’s fine. But I do have to pause for a moment and grit my teeth before I swing a leg over.