Tuesday, September 27, 2011

As I assumed, my C25K road is long and bumpy.  I have enjoyed a change in body shape after only 4 runs, but my connective tissues are not enjoying the change.  I last ran on Saturday and while my right knee ached some at first, I was not in pain through most of my workout.  Afterward, my knee and leg began to ache and have continued  to be painful for 3 days now.  I have refrained from running, but have continued my work at the barn.  Last night, I could definitely tell that the lower interior part of my knee was swollen and painful to touch.  To add a creep factor, when I bent my knee it made a gritty sound. After a couple of Advil, I woke to no swelling and my knee feels good.  I hope a couple of more days of Advil and rest will allow it to run again.

While Princess was at volleyball practice, I took Arielle for some desensitizing (is that even a word?) training.  In our role to help her be a confident gal, we have to expose her to lots of "scary" things.  On the booger buffet yesterday was the 7th and 8th grade football practice.  Blowing whistles, clapping, yelling, waving arms, numerous running "predators" ... it was exciting.  It was especially exciting when the play involved 6 boys running in our direction.  If someone had yelled "BOO" at that point, she could've orbited the moon.  I am teaching her two "calm down cues" which are 1) drop her head even or below her shoulders and 2) lick her lips.  Both of these help a horse relax.  When their head is high, like in the picture below, it is impossible to fully relax (although she is pretty chilled out here).

In the picture below, Arielle is relaxed.  A horse naturally relaxes when they lower their head.  It releases chemicals that relax their body.  The phrase in horse training is true, "Where their body goes, their mind will follow."

I am happy to say, Arielle listened to me and despite several spooks, she did really well.  Our deadline is Friday when she will be the horse on display at the first grade festival celebrating Indian Day.  The plan is for them to paint her with washable paint, clip feathers in her mane and pet her.  I hope to get pictures!

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