Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Horse Thinks I Am Fat

and this seems to be a good thing.

Warning: Bellies may look larger than they actually are.  I have winter gloves in my pockets.  I swear!

I am not really "fat".  I am six months pregnant and I weigh more now than I have in my entire life.  Since the weight has been added gradually over the past half year, I have not really noticed the difference, except that my legs burn after climbing a flight of stairs.  I guess that I will have super strong legs by the time the baby comes!

A few days ago, my Dad asked if Harley has noticed that I weigh more.  It is impossible to know for sure, but I think that he has noticed.  He doesn't do anything different when I mount up or walk around, but when we move to trot, his way of going has a changed a bit.  My horse seems to be raising his back and creating a supportive bridge to carry me more dramatically than I have noticed in the past.  I think that he could be doing this in response to carrying more weight than he is used to, even though he has also experienced the change gradually.  Besides being good for his back and abdominal muscles, this gives me a very smooth ride.  I am completely in love with posting trot.  It feels like the only thing that I can do right now that qualifies as exercise and doesn't make me feel like I need to run to the restroom.

My posture could also be influencing Harley's lovely roundness under saddle.  Since I am managing a front-heavy body, I cannot cheat in the saddle.  I must be centered laterally and leaning forward is not really an option.  Even if I choose to ride in half-seat for some variety, I mostly stand up straight.  Leaning too far back is also somewhat prevented by my current body shape.  Since leaning back hollows the lower back this is not advised for the rider or the pregnant woman.  A soft, flat lower back allows me to move with my horse and keeps my back from hurting when I am moving around on my own two feet. 

Throughout my daily activities, I have noticed that my pelvis tries to tip forward, now that I have a growing belly.  I gently re-center my pelvis to neutral when I am walking down the hall at work or moving around my classroom teaching a lesson.  So far, I have not experienced lower back pain, although I did have some in my upper back between my shoulder blades (related to being pregnant, not riding). 

Thank you very much neutral pelvis work.  Who knew that training my riding position would benefit this stage of my life from the ground?

Speaking of "fat", check out my hardkeeper.  Isn't he looking great this winter?

15 comments:

  1. Harley looks great and so do you! Glad you're still having fun with your boy.

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  2. Harley looks AWESOME! Must be very satisfying for you :)

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    1. Thanks, Lisa!
      I saw this picture of him and it really surprised me.

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  3. Oh Harley, you know how to keep "momma" girl happy don't you!
    Looking very good, the both of ya's!!
    KK

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  4. Love to see how well you and Harley are doing! It's pretty fun reading about how carrying a child affects riding and visa versa seeing as I had (can't ride anymore at 38 +5 wks) been exploring the same correlations.

    I also found that horse riding really helped stave off the lower back/hip/pelvis pain that I experienced carrying my first. Plus, aligning my pelvis in a neutral position really helped me with walking around...

    Although my osteopath did tell me that once I hit 37 weeks +, I don't want to try to pull my pelvis up too much - but rather just let it align the way it wants too (ie, tilted back) as it's now preparing to drop the baby down and out, and if I keep moving into a different position I'll actually be hindering my body as it prepares for birth. So now I am totally embracing the "duck waddle" to allow my hips and pelvis to open up and relax. Here's hoping it works! :)

    bonita of A Riding Habit

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Bonita. I have heard several opinions now that ring true with yours with regard to riding when expecting. I will keep the importance of the duck waddle in mind when the time comes. ;)

      Congratulations for reaching your final month! Best wishes for a smooth delivery and a healthy baby!

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  5. Happy Harley Days! Who knew that being pregnant improves your riding technique!

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  6. Well congratulations! I haven't been by in a while and what a nice surprise.

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  7. Love that you are still riding.. I rode till I was about 6 months prego and then lessons weren't worth it anymore b/c my brain was there but my body wasn't haha!

    You both look great!!! :)

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    1. I hear you on the lessons part. I decided to pass on lessons a while ago. My teacher would never push me, but I don't want to worry about doing what someone else asks right now. And how long I stay in the saddle is pretty much dependent upon my bladder. ;)

      Thanks, Karley!

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    2. LOL girl the bathroom trips only get closer and closer together :) Keep enjoying the riding as long as your body lets ya :)

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