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A funny little phenomenon? Fatigue...

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  • A funny little phenomenon? Fatigue...

    Has anyone else run into this:
    You get on and start warming up. The ride is going OK but all your creepy little bad habits are just cropping up left and right. Overposting, loose arms, stiff lower back, uneven hands....
    So you keep riding. And you start to get tired. You start to sweat, your horse starts to sweat. You reach that point where you start thinking "OK... that's enough... I'm ready to be done" but you keep riding.... that decision possibly having something to do with the instructor in the middle of the arena still barking orders in rapid succession.... So you keep going even though you're just about wiped out and pretty sure you might pass out... or barf.... And all those obnoxious little habbits disappear? Riding suddenly just gets easy and flowy?

    Or you come out to the barn after a long day at work. You're tired. You don't feel like you have the energy to ride but you get peer-pressured into it anyway, and have a horse show. So you tack up for "just a quick ride" with reasonably low expectations... And have one of your best rides in weeks?

    This keeps happening to me. I get on the horse, I fumble through the beginning stuff feeling about like I may have forgotten about half of what I ever knew.... and the ride doesn't start going really well until... I guess the way to describe it is that I'm just too worn out to ride inefficiently?

  • #2
    Fatigue is a weird thing. A well known cycling coach did a study where he compared perceived exertion in elite international cyclists and compared it to their actual power output during the course of the workouts.

    Interestingly, there were plenty of times when thd cyclists thought they were riding like crap, but their power output said otherwise. Not sure what the coach said about why that happens, but there is a clear psychological element to sports and fatigue.

    When I'm tired before a ride I sometimes experience what you have in that the ride often goes very well. In those instances I think it has something to do with my brain turning off to some degree and then having to ride by feel


    • #3
      Totally happens to me. There are days where I'm like I should just get off, I'm an embarrassment right now. And also same thing happens on days when I think I'm just too tired to do much, it turns into a great ride!


      • #4
        Either that or you are so out of it that you lose your ability to judge your own riding!
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • #5
          Happens to me ALL THE TIME!

          Warm-up is usually dismal, sloppy, I just don't feeeeeeeeeel like riding today, etc. But once my pony gets going and in front of my leg and really working, I forget that I'm tired and floppy and I start RIDING and everything is happy!
          Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



          • #6
            I have trouble changing gears from work/life to horse but I on those days I force myself in the interest of exercising a horse who really needs it. Sometimes I have to "take a moment" to work past my disinterest or fatigue or whatever before we really get down to work.

            Lately I've had some awesome rides in the interest of horse exercise. Instead of toodling along letting my horse run the show, I've been doing trot sets and serpentines and my horse tunes right in and works (!). We even managed a shoulder in at the trot (!) Besides improving his fitness, it is quieting his brain because he gets a chance to think.

            Now when I'm feeling all burned out and fatigued, I think back to my awesome ride and that little accomplishment and it gives me a re-charge.
            Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


            • #7
              I have that, but usually minus the sudden magic fix at the end. (; I think with me, when I'm riding that crappily, I get more tense (which is already my biggest problem) and keep trying to fix myself and eventually just have to declare it not my day. Then I do something easy so that my poor horse isn't confused, and wrap it up. Maybe I just need to ride until I'm exhausted...

              But I do have those days when I go out and don't expect much but have a surprisingly good ride, maybe because I'm tired and have low expectations...
              "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

              Graphite/Pastel Portraits


              • #8
                This happens to me too. I think a lot of it stems from finally not over thinking things when you are tired feeling. My trainer has said that my showing has never been better since I started grooming for all the clients and literally jumping on my horse exhausted, right before I go in the ring. He said that i no longer have time to stress out or think of anything except for jumping the course that is right in front of me. I do wish though, that maybe I would be able to school once in a while and maybe get to ride a line before showing in an actual class! Just sayin'


                • #9
                  At a certain point with anything physical, you reach a point where you know how to do things, you just have to learn to get out of your own way so you can do it.

                  That point where nothing is working and you go from trying so hard to get everything right to just saying, "screw it, I'm just going to get through this" seems to be that point for you.

                  Now all you need to do is take that feeling and learn to reproduce it on demand - then sell it to the rest of us.


                  • #10
                    I rely on that same feeling at the in-gate. Sometimes I feel weak and tired and hot, and I look down at my horse and trust that he will help and that all the training I do will help make my instincts kick in!
                    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                    • #11
                      It's pretty much a rule that I always have some of my best rides when I'm tired and not in the mood to put in a good ride in the first place. Very interesting how that happens! Always in a good mood by the end of those rides


                      • #12
                        Regarding the issue of not "thinking too much", ...

                        one of the nicest hunter rounds I've seen was back at the Garden where a girl who was legally blind was riding o/f. She was later interviewed by the local news and she basically said that she all she could see were fuzzy outlines of the fences. She couldn't see any of the details and had to trust her horse to help her get there. I think she was one who really learned to ride on feel.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SnicklefritzG View Post
                          Regarding the issue of not "thinking too much", ...

                          one of the nicest hunter rounds I've seen was back at the Garden where a girl who was legally blind was riding o/f. She was later interviewed by the local news and she basically said that she all she could see were fuzzy outlines of the fences. She couldn't see any of the details and had to trust her horse to help her get there. I think she was one who really learned to ride on feel.
                          Good point... my best round ever was when my contacts were so dried out by the dust that I couldn't see anything and just let my horse go. Funny how nice and even he gets if I can't try to do everything for him. (:
                          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                          Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                          • #14
                            For me this was a symptom of Hypothyroid. Or actually a poorly functioning thyroid...usually hypothyroid. This can happen gradually over time and you get to expect less and less from yourself and your energy level...get it checked and talk to your doctor. PatO


                            • #15
                              Agree with above poster that it's a HEALTH issue. Not FAIR to your body (or your horse's training) to push it like this. See a doctor, NUTRITIONIST, whatever it takes to get in top shape.

                              Hypothyroid is, in fact, VERY common and often underdiagnosed. I've got it.


                              • Original Poster

                                Oh, already checked because we have a family history and I was pretty symptomatic as of a couple of years ago (Fatigue, weight gain, excessive shedding, muscle pain and I get extremely cold- today it's going to be 100. The office air conditioning is set at 75 and I'm running a space heater under my desk because I get so cold, my fingernails turn an impressive shade of purpleish grey) . My mother and aunt both are on synthroid as was my grandfather before he died, my mom had to have one parathyroid removed, and probably will have to have the other removed in the next couple of years. I had blood tests done and an ultrasound a year and a half ago because the doctor thought she felt something abnormal. Ultrasound revealed a whole bunch of teensy fluid filled cysts- too small at that point to be worth a biopsy. Unfortunately, my blood work came back as being at the very low end of the normal range, so nothing much to do with it now except wait for it to get worse.