Another Footstone On the Fitness Trail

I can’t really call one size down in jeans a “milestone”…so, “footstone” or maybe “furlongstone” (that actually has  a nice feel to it…furlongstone…)   But this morning I switched out of one size jeans into the next size down.  These are (gasp, gasp for some people) men’s jeans, which I like because a) they’re better made, b) they’re made of better denim that wears better, and c) they have REAL POCKETS my whole hand goes into and things don’t come out of when I sit down.   It’s hard to get them in my inseam length (short–29) but if the hems fray…at least it’s less fray than on women’s jeans, where it’s often assumed jeans are a “costume” and you’re wearing them with high heels.  Not even cowboy boots but *real* high heels.  4 inchers.   And they’re not sold by waist & inseam, either: they’re ALL too long.  So either you pull them up into a wrinkled mess around your ankle, or you walk on the hems.

ANYWAY.  I’m not losing weight right now (not much, if any) but the *size* is shrinking.  Which means the exercise thing is catching up to the weight thing and I’m managing to *build* muscle mass at my age, which is supposed to be…very hard.  (Not if you have a horse and groom it and ride it and scrub out its water tub and also walk around on the land.)  So I’m feeling quite chuffed this morning, and the previous pair of jeans, which is pretty ragged,  goes into “discard.”  Unless I cut them off for jeans shorts at a very unfashionable longer length.  The new size is snug, and not as comfy, but the problem with comfy jeans is that they eventually wear down to so comfy you don’t notice you’re getting bigger.

Since the health stuff insists I need a waist size under 30 inches (SIGH)  and these new jeans aren’t, there’s still more shrinkage to come, but it’s a foot less than it used to be.  This time last year I was in 44s.  Now that I’ve started working Rags in posting trot (one of the really energetic ways to ride…that, and half-seat or two-point) I’ll be doing core and legs some real workouts as we’re able to do it longer.  With Rags still mostly in his winter coat, I have to be careful not to overheat him.  (Should mention…the day of, and morning after, that bad stumble yesterday, his knees don’t show any swelling, scuffs, or discomfort.  I checked them again this morning.  “Nothing to see here, Mom…”  said Rags.  “Let me just eat this hay, OK?”  The advantages of thicker build (nice big flat knees for his size, good bone above and below), thick coat, and so on.  Good boy; I hope he’s good for the farrier.

Gotta go.  Less than an hour before the farrier comes, and the HVAC guys reported that the thermostat is totally dead and have gone back to the shop to pick up a replacement. New guys, not Dean, whom we really liked but who was beyond retirement age and has, I guess, finally retired.  These are “mere kids” (!!don’t tell them!!)  but one of them’s a horse guy and won me over instantly by commenting favorably on Rags.  He has a Paint he puts his young daughter up on.

[Later}  Thermostat replaced, both heat and cold work.  Don’t need either today, but nice to have available.  Both horses trimmed, even though Tigger went bonkers when he found out that in addition to being allowed in the little north barn lot which had more grass and clover than the acre lot they’ve been in all winter…they were SHUT IN from that bigger lot, with only the two 40×40 barn lots and the barn.  He had exhausted most of his craziness by the time the farrier showed up.  He kept trying to get Rags all het up too, but mostly Rags was interested in the green stuff and kept stopping to graze, though he’d trot back and forth with Tig once.  They stayed in the big lot after the trim briefly, then both returned to the greener, longer stuff, though they’ll have it grazed out by this evening, if not before.  There’s not enough grass in there for them to get colic from, so I didn’t try to chase them out and shut that gate and roll-up door again.   Rags is off work for two days after being trimmed (some horses need longer.   If he’s “touchy” when I get on, I’ll get off and give him another day or two to recover, but so far he hasn’t been overly sensitive and a couple of days has been enough unless his hooves were really long, which changes the angle of the fetlock after trimming…the soreness then is in having a joint angle changed.)

It’s misty now, with a chance of rain this afternoon and a better chance tonight…little rain, unless a thunderstorm marches over us, in which case it could be severe (and thus produce more of the wet stuff along with frozen wet stuff in gravel form.   I will try to shut the north side of the barn back up once they move somewhere else.

10 thoughts on “Another Footstone On the Fitness Trail

  1. A day of successful maintenance, even if you weren’t doing it. Glad Rags was fine after his stumble.

    We have had a day of pretty solid rain, which we need having had several days of sun or light cloud, in other words dry for a UK spring. It’s still raining now, at 7.40pm which is good.

  2. Hi – I thought the HVAC system was installed relatively recently. Good for Rags – he will get you in shape.

    Stay safe and stay sane,

    Jonathan up here in New Hampshire

    1. It’s a rolling target, HVAC system maintenance. Every so often the thermostat goes out. The last time we had it worked on, the thermostat just needed new batteries; R- had put new ones in, but the new ones weren’t new *enough* for that system, though they were OK in our headlamps. The system as a whole is not neither “new” nor “old” but in the midrange of its lifetime, and works as long as the thermostat is working. When the thermostat goes out the system doesn’t function at all. The guys who came checked both functions to be sure they worked once the thermostat had been replaced, and they were fine.

    1. It’s a big deal for my hips & knees, too. I’m finally *just* fit enough to post neatly even when his trot’s not quite even, and his trot’s improving with my posting. He’s had Monday off for trimming and Tuesday off in case of soreness and because we were up to 94F this afternoon/evening…it was 85F in late morning when R- and I were out planning which of the young trees, bushes, etc. should be cut and which preserved in the East Grass.

      Since the revised plan (with the speed of climate change) was a decision to go for savannah rather than continue the attempt to replicate the original prairie…that involves allowing some woody stuff into the former grassland. What I’m going for is mixed thickets separated by open grass: the thickets should each contain at least 4 woody species and if large enough 6. For instance, cedar elm, bumelia, elbowbush, Ashe juniper, each offering slightly different resources to wildlife: flowers for pollen and/or nectar, cover, nest opportunities, food resources for browsers, birds, etc. Where we already have thickets, game trails run into them and we can often spot bedding sites for deer in them, rabbit resting spots, and then some old birds’ nests. Once young tree clusters get about 6 feet high, the vines start showing up (brought in by birds, usually), and the interior of thickets aren’t mowed, so that’s more cover. Thickets are planned to be variable in size and, since I’m thinking of views all the time, arranged “artistically” within the parameters of soil depth, soil type, moisture possibilities in good and bad years. Why not, with the chance, think of the whole thing as one “garden” design? Just not formal. But attractive from as many angles as possible.

  3. “Why not, with the chance, think of the whole thing as one “garden” design? Just not formal. But attractive from as many angles as possible.”

    Landscape gardening as introduced to English aristocracy by Capability Brown, and paid for with their ill-gotten gains (we had relatively few slaves on English soil, but the aristocracy made huge fortunes as partners of the people buying slaves from Africa and moving them to various colonies). But landscape gardening with far more care of the native plants and wildlife than that on our great estates.

    1. There’s considerable evidence that many indigenous peoples altered and managed the lands they lived in to suit their own idea of “useful” and “beautiful”–long before they acquired more advanced technology. They didn’t all have the same aesthetic, but they did, overall, show a preference for visually interesting, biologically “healthy” balances of plantlife, water, fire management, and sustainability.

    1. I can wear a 30 inseam, but a 29 is best with sandals or tennies. It takes a riding boot’s bit more heel to keep the hem of a 30 inseam off the floor or ground.

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