Saturday, June 28, 2008

Completely unfrugal

Is unfrugal a word?  Non-frugal?

Anyway, I picked a stupidly expensive habit.  I've decided to take up horseback riding.  Preferably, eventually, competitive horseback riding.  It's hard to imagine a more expensive sport.  Financially, I can afford to do this, although it's going to mean sacrifices in other areas.  But after taking two lessons today, I think it's worth it.

One, and maybe most importantly, it makes me happy.  I love being on a horse.  I love animals, and horses give pretty powerful feedback about the bond you establish with them.  I love training animals, working with them, learning how to better communicate with them.  Owning a dog isn't feasible at the moment, but horseback riding gives me that pleasure without the ownership requirements.

Two, it gets me out of the house.  I'm somewhat naturally awkward in social settings that are unfamiliar, so I don't tend to make friends easily.  Outside of work, I don't do much, and this is a good way to prompt me to get out and be around people.  That's important for my mental status, so I don't feel isolated and sink into a cycle of depression.  It's sometimes hard to get the willpower going to actually make the effort to get up and out, but once I do, I usually feel a lot better.

Three, and maybe this is the most important one, it's good exercise for me.  I have a serious problem with exercise - it hurts and I can pretty seriously injure myself with a single wrong step.  Many typical exercises I can't do, and even walking is seriously problematic due to my joints.  With riding, I have basically the same injury risks as anyone else - stepped on, kicked, or bitten by the horse, thrown or falling off the horse - but it's a form of exercise that I can do without feeling like I'm killing myself.  I don't feel like I medically have a need to lose weight, no doctor has ever mentioned it to me, and I don't have any weight related issues.  However, I do have excess pounds on me, both from the pregnancy and from taking medications that caused me to gain weight.  So I'm about 30 lbs heavier than I was in high school, and I want that off.  I've been tracking what I eat, and staying right around 1,200 calories, so food isn't the problem (although I've probably destroyed my metabolism from the days that I don't eat due to pain.)  Any exercise that will help me both burn calories and get into better shape will make me feel better about myself and maybe even help my other medical issues. 


  1. Oh I know the feeling - last month I got back from a holiday in Turkey were I learned to scuba dive and I loved it. I now want to go back to Turkey in October to complete my diving course but I really can't afford to go. I could finish the course here in the UK but diving in a cold water qurrey doesn't really do anything for me after the warm waters of the Aegen Sea.
    So many people have told me I must go diving in the Red Sea off Egypt.Like horse riding, scuba diving isn't cheap but it is so much fun.

  2. I work part time at a show barn and many of our clients are adults getting back into riding. You can find a lot of gear at consignment shops and check out the bulletin boards at the barn.

  3. Horse back riding sounds great! It'll give you strength without too much joint stress, enjoy!

  4. Good luck on the horseback riding, I ride/run barrels and I deal with alot of joint pain also, but it is so worth it There is nothing like the bond you create with your horse. Have fun and you can fin tons of used stuff on ebay and other horsey websites.