Tag Archives: coaching

Making a suppressed rider happy

I’m realizing it’s not actually that long since I wrote last. And that this is going to be my second post today. And third this week. Awhaaa?

I guess I’ll keep it short then! Thursday I got to ride my old friend Sonny at Horse Connection, and our intention that morning was “Patience”. Definitely something he needs to develop a little more of.

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“Look at me, I’m so perfect!”

Lucky for him I match his stubborness play for play. The most significant exercise we did that morning, after putting him through his regular paces, was just standing still and “being” for about 15 minutes. Oh boy. 5 minutes in and he was thinking I should consider calling it home time. Oh brother, 10 minutes we were digging to China. Annnd then the mind games went in my favour and we stood still and relaxed for another 5 minutes. Then he got to leave the ring. I know. I’m such a slave driver.

After spending my night off Thursday accomplishing nothing productive (except for going to the gym for the first time in what feels like years), I was on strict orders from Emily to a) not take back my shift at work and b) NO SCHOOL WORK. So I wandered around with her for the evening. Friday, my busy day, went by quickly and before I knew it I was hopping around under the lights trying to keep warm, assessing concussions, and watching my underdog team win their semi-final game. We didn’t get off the field until 11:30, which meant I didn’t get to get until close to 3:30AM (coaching staff was very insistent the trainers join the “debriefing” at Tavern). This lead to a relatively unproductive Saturday. However, the weather was just too perfect to be stuck inside writing about the physiological and psychological effects of massage on a rowing athlete. I got some of my own physiological and psychological benefits by riding both my horses and heading out across the fields with Mom for the afternoon.

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Willard surprised me in a couple ways. For one, I was able to get his girth on without too much struggle (he is a little chubby..), and secondly, he hasn’t been touched since the end of August– so getting on him I was slightly apprehensive and ready for psycho-horse to emerge- but he was decently sane the entire time! He seemed equally as happy to be out and about with me as I was with him.

Felix! He is really starting to grow into himself (seriously, take a look at those pictures!). I haven’t been on him since Carman Fair in July, but mom has been riding him throughout the fall and I am so excited about everything to do with him! He’s developing a little bit more attitude, but for the most part, he is SO willing. His jog just floats, and his lope is gorgeous to sit. I wish it was spring so I could be on both my boys more often!

Sunday I got a little more horse time, this time playing the role of coach.

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Week to week, it’s so great to see these two improving and gaining confidence in themselves and each other. The past couple weeks have come complete with a few new challenges and speed bumps for them- all part of the growing process. I’m so happy to see the right instincts there and developing. It’s honestly one of the highlights of my week, every week, to work with these two.

The remainder of my weekend was spent working and finishing up my first (unfortunately not last) paper of the year. 12 pages down, god knows how many more to go! That’s my week in a nutshell. Things I’m looking forward to in the next week? Playing in the Investor Group Stadium (by playing, I mean hanging out by the 50-yard line and dealing with injuries)!

I’ve been managing my time like a pro lately, and really hope I can keep up with that over the next few weeks. Now, to work on sleeping!

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B for Brrr

Biomechanical Analysis of Rising Trot

Above you’ll find a link to the paper version of the project I worked on over the fall term for my Biomechanics class. If you have a moment, give it a read!

My winter term started off quite quietly, but soon enough reminded me how crazy my life can be. The most exciting part of the past week or so for me was getting back my marks from last term- passing stats (with a C even!) and most of all my big biomech project! I got a B in everything (except stats), and on the project we got an A.. plus my prof said it was one of the better presentations she’s seen. And that I was on the top end of the exam marks wise. Happy dance!!! Biomechanics is definitely one of the courses I had to work the hardest at, but it’s also the one I miss the most right now. My favourite class this term is definitely Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries. Mostly because yesterday we were learning massage in class- which meant practice time in lab. Nothing wrong with free massages.   It’s a good thing I like this class, as it is my Saturday 9-2:30. Exhausting, but awesome.

It didn’t take me long to get completely exhausted by my new schedule. Six days a week of classes, while being better then having evening classes, is still unbelievably tiring. Sundays I usually sleep. All day. I’m usually a zombie by about Thursday. So if you need something from me, talk to me before that. My life has literally only consisted of school lately, so I really don’t have much to write at the moment.I just wanted to post a link to that paper so anyone who is interested could take a read! To all the riders out there reading this, maybe it will help make sense out of why your coach tells you to do certain things! Or why you should listen to those suggestions. Working on this project definitely shed some light on a different perspective of the sport for me. It’s amazing what tweaking one seemingly little insignificant movement can do to improve or hinder.

Here’s me making a crazy face. Just for fun.

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Maybe I’ll come up with something interesting to write about one of these days. Until then, stay warm (if you’re in Winnipeg), and stay cool (if you’re somewhere warm).

 

 

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Intro to Summer

As usual the past few weeks have been a blur. Between studying for exams, showing, working, and finally writing exams- I’m now realizing I feel quite lost not having anything to study for.. until September anyway. I’ve filled that gap by trying to plan out my courses for next year. A task that is actually impossible, seeing as I’ve been given a VERY late registration date because somebody in the office screwed up and lost my paperwork along the way, so most of the sections I’m hoping to get into will most likely be full by the time I register, which means I’ll be rearranging this schedule a thousand times over no doubt. Luckily, I have a friend on the inside (my AT) who is always there to help pick the right courses and answer any questions! Can we say hero?

As you may recall, I was at Summer Smiles horse show over the past weekend, and it was definitely summery and full of smiles! I got into Winnipeg from Regina at 8am (getting up at 3:30am was really fun), and made a fast transition from half asleep, grody commuter to semi-awake student and managed to get to the University by 9am to catch my last review lab. After that I had a quick study date at Olive Garden with my favourite study buddy Michelle, and then squeezed in a quick nap before heading out to BHP for warm ups. Because my mom is awesome, my horse was already there and all I had to do was check in at the show office, put numbers on tack, and head out to the ring. Will was a star, very concurrent to how he’s been all spring. So after going over a few jumps, having pizza with Mike and Charlene and a few others from the barn, braiding, and making sure everything was good to go for the morning- I made it back to my apartment, only almost falling asleep on the way back to the city a couple times. Back at the park for Day 1 by 7:30, I quickly realized that Mr. Willard had waaaaay too much energy for the hunter ring, or any ring. So, since I had hours to spare, I set about working his energy levels down. Generally I’ll hack for about half an hour on show mornings. I spent an hour and a half on him that morning, and believe me- one of us was worn out. Nevertheless, it was the right choice- as he was perfect for all our rounds that day! We won our 2’9″ Jr/Amateur class, and placed top 5 in all our Sr. Low rounds. Mike summed it up perfectly later that day by saying “you have to do what’s necessary to be successful”, so if that means spending almost two hours hacking- it’s worth it. My original plan for this weekend was to spend the extra time I always have at shows studying and reviewing for exams. I have no idea why I thought that was going to work. I really tried hard on Saturday to focus on studying, but when I’m in horse show mode- trying to memorize the origin, insertion, actions, and innervation of the pectineus muscle just doesn’t work out. Plus I was extremely tired. So I decided to give up on the day time studying, and focus on studying after the show day was over. Again, why would I think that would work? By the time I got back to my place at 7:30pm, I sat down to study and woke up an hour later with metal ring imprints across my cheek from passing out across my notebook. After that I decided I should maybe just go to bed, at 8pm. That 14 hrs of sleep was worth it though, Sunday was another great day, without excess energy thankfully. We pulled off a reserve champion in the Jr/Amateur Division, and again top 5 placings in the 3ft classes. I even had enough left in the tank to do a little studying that night.

Patti, Charlene, Alison, and I rushing to wait some more..

Monday morning began with the last quiz of the course, and it went very well! That gave me a little bit of confidence to roll with for the exams on Wednesday and Thursday. The bell ringer on Wednesday wasn’t my best work, I don’t think anyway, but Thursdays written portion felt really good. Either way, I’m done for a couple months! Now what?

On Tuesday this week, I had my second consult with a sports med regarding the old reoccurring back injury that never seems to leave and also opinions on if and how the cyst on my tailbone could be affecting it. A couple weeks ago I had a consult with a doctor at Pan Am, on the same thing, who x-rayed my back and found nothing and ordered a MRI which I’m booked for later in July. She was pretty unhelpful, in the sense that she couldn’t really give a definitive answer to anything I was asking other then saying that the pilonidal sinus could be related, but there were too many factors to be sure, and that SI joints are tricky and the best thing she could suggest is cortisone shots and discussing other invasive treatments outside of the therapy I’m already doing.  The doctor I saw this week, at Legacy, is also very interested in seeing the MRI and hopes to be able to give me a better answer after those results. Although his initial diagnosis, without the MRI results, isn’t the best (mechanical back pain, likely chronic), he seemed pretty proactive and willing to help me try out more treatment options such as acupuncture/dry needling to go along side therapy – seeing as I’ve tried everything else. My AT, who I trust more then anyone, is thinking that this upcoming surgery on the cyst is going to make a big difference. There is a structural problem that keeps reoccurring, and we can’t quite figure out why. Basically what happens is my SI joint slips out of place, causing the left part of my pelvis to rotate funny- in turn causing lower back muscles, hip, and thigh muscles to do really painful things. Bending over lots is usually what really sets it off, which is a good reason that I’m no longer working in the manual labour field- because that’s all I was doing. As much as I’m frustrated that nothing is fixing this problem long term, I’m very glad I have such a talented AT on my side- keeping me functioning and somewhat sane.

And so now I get to enjoy 2 weeks of summer before I go under the knife and spend most of July recovering. I’m loving my new job, although it’s quite a transition going from outdoor work to a office job. What’s on my list of things to do during the next two weeks?

1. Ride (duh), as much as possible! I had an awesome ride tonight, even though it was nothing more then a simple hack in the ring here at home. It was one of those rides where I felt completely ‘in the zone’ the whole time, and like my horse could read my thoughts, and I his. Every rider will know that feeling, and know how great (and addicting) it is. With the MHJA Beach Party show approaching this coming weekend- I’m grateful for every ride I have like this. There is no better feeling then feeling that focused in competition!

I’ve also been coaching a local girl for a few weeks now, and I’m loving watching her progress! It’s a great challenge for me trying to explain the simplest parts of riding to someone who doesn’t necessarily understand them yet. It’s not always easy to explain something that has become second nature to you. I’m getting better at it though, and by the improvements I see every week in my student- she is understanding at least some of what I say! I’m happy that at least if I can’t be riding most of the summer, I can be helping someone else build skills in the sport!

2. Run, bike, plank, push up, pull up, lunge, squat, lift, press, work out! I’m seriously going to miss the gym, almost as much as I’ll miss riding during recovery time. The changes I’ve seen in myself over the past 6-8 weeks of consistent training are amazing, and I am so excited to get back into it as soon as I can.

3. Work. Because my student life has taken a serious tole on my bank account. The fact that I’ve been in between pay cheques for quite a while now doesn’t help either. Luckily for me, my next pay cheque should come through.. right after surgery. So my two weeks of real summer will be spent doing the cheapest activities I can find. AKA, hanging out with my parents.. a lot 🙂

All that makes for a very, very busy couple weeks. But, I usually function better when I’m kept busy- so I’m glad for that! There will certainly be some crazy days, where I’m not quite sure how the schedule is going to fit. Example being, next thursday when I have my pre-op/anesthesiologist appts all afternoon at Boundary Trails in Winkler, and then warmups at the RRX grounds in Winnipeg. Everything always works out though, in the end- so all I can do is keep right on going- one day at a time.

Somebody told them they could grow up, graduate, and make me feel old!

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