I was planning to run a c25k routine this evening after I got home from volunteering at the barn, but instead I got some unexpected exercise. First I got there and got to clean stalls and refill water buckets, which I consider excellent strength training! Then I was helping a little 5 year old girl ride a shetland pony, Buttons, and instead of working in the arena, they decided to have class outside in the outdoor arena. Unfortunately we didn’t realize until we were out there that it was pretty muddy in places, easily up to my ankles here and there, just a few inches in other spots, and you never knew from one step to the next if you’d be sinking in or not! I was glad I wore my heavy hiking boots!
So we started out walking around the arena, and here’s something funny – we stopped because I saw something come shooting out of the grass in front of us and onto the dirt, and it was a 2 ft long garter snake, and it was chasing a bright green tree frog! The snake lunged and caught the frog by the foot, and the little girl was so surprised she dropped the pony’s lead and ran to watch, and that snake swallowed that frog whole, and then slithered back off into the grass! I’ve never seen anything like it!
So we were walking around the arena and it was some hard walking for me, sticky mud and heavy boots! We got the girl mounted up and I was leading her, and then I unhooked the lead and my job was just to walk alongside her and make sure Buttons didn’t take her for an unexpected ride. Well, she was a confident little girl, and about half the time she wanted to trot! So I’m jogging alongside trying to keep up, then we’d walk, then we’d trot, round and round for about 45 minutes! Towards the end I was thinking I had done about all I had in me, and I think the teacher saw it too and said ‘lets just walk Buttons now so she can cool off before we put her away’ and I was like ‘thank you!’ – we all had a laugh 🙂
So I think that was my intervals for the day. Running in that mud was SO hard! I thought about wearing my Heart Rate Monitor before I left but I thought, oh, I never really get my heartrate up just walking around the arena, so I wouldn’t count it as cardio anyway – apparently I should have worn it, I’d like to know how hard I was working – my perceived effort says I was working pretty danged hard!
Afterwards we put Buttons in her stall and brought her some carrots and apples and I showed the little girl how to hold her hand out and feed her her treats, but she was scared and just tossed them on the floor for Buttons to eat. I fed Buttons a few treats out of my hand, and she was very gentle. What a sweet little pony! As always it was great fun helping a kid ride, and this time I enjoyed getting my exercise for the day too!