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What to do while taking a 'break' from riding?

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  • What to do while taking a 'break' from riding?

    I'm in need of some great COTH opinions! The word 'break' in the title makes it seem as though I want to have a break from riding, but of course that isn't true. But for now, with school, finances, etc., it doesn't seem feasible to ride. And I'm using that to my advantage, and to do the things that I never would have before because I was too focused on the horses.

    But I need some form of exercise. I haven't found anything that quite replaces the love I had for riding, I'm sure nothing will, but I definitely get my kicks out of being active. The problem is I really don't do the gym. I can enjoy a guided class, but I need tangible goals and just 'working out' seems like mindless drudgery to me.

    So far I've gotten a bit into climbing (such fun, once I got over my fear of heights!), I'm trying to start running and I'm enjoying it more and more, and I bike as a means of getting around. I think I enjoy these because there are definite and easily measured goals - 'get to the top!' or 'get from point A to point B in less time!'.
    I should mention I'm moderately fit, and based in Montreal.

    Any other great ideas?

    (Of course, if someone just happens to know someone around Montreal who needs horses ridden, well, I wouldn't say no! )

  • #2
    I have heard that Volksmarch type european groups are active in Canada.
    You may want to check into that and see if you would enjoy that?

    This one is the USA group:


    Go volunteer to your local therapy horseback groups, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, or wherever else you have an interest in helping out, that will keep you busy and on your feet.


    • #3
      If you are an experienced rider could you volunteer at a local horse rescue that needs horses worked with?


      • #4
        I agree with Couture. Always a great option.

        As for non-equine activities, I have fallen in love with spinning. It's not the same as riding, but does work a significant number of the same muscle groups.
        Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


        • #5
          Hiking/backpacking, swimming, snowshoeing, rollerblading, trail running, volunteer to exercise/train dogs at an animal shelter. Do you have a dog you could try a sport with, such as agility or flyball? YOu could also try classes in things to see what interests you, such as yoga.

          I hate the gym too. I have three dogs to exercise and two teenage boys to drive around, so there's no time for the gym anyway.


          • #6
            Volunteer at a Therapeutic Horse Center ~ 'good' for All involved ~

            I suggest volunteering `` Therapeutic Riding Center

            Humane Society `` exercising dogs and cats

            train your dog in agility activities

            ** have fun while you are exploring new activities ~
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • Original Poster

              These are great ideas!
              I don't have a car, so the getting out to yards / rescue centers might be a problem. I'll look for rescues though and maybe contact them, they might have someone who goes out from the city. Walking dogs at a shelter sounds like a great idea, too!


              • #8
                I'm from Montreal, now in Ottawa.

                If you don't have a car then getting to any barn is going to be hard, even with a car it's nothing short of a nightmare. So glad I don't have to drive in that city anymore, I used to have serious anxiety going anywhere.

                The only rescue in the area that I know of is Projet Refuge CB, they are listed to be in Longueuil, but not sure where exactly.

                The only people I know who might need horses ridden live an hour or more outside of the city.

                What about training for a marathon? Spartan Race?
                Volunteering at pet rescues/shelters/daycares

                See if anyone at your school rides, maybe you could go out with them to the barn. I know McGill has an equestrian team.


                • #9
                  I've gotten into downhill mountain biking big time. It gives me the 'out on the trails' feeling, the exercise, the adrenaline rush, and the 'well, I didn't ride that line quite right, better try it again' with the added bonus of being able to stick my mount on the roof of the car and ignore it for days or weeks, and have it come out exactly the same as the last time I rode it.


                  • Original Poster

                    Ridethehide - yeah, I'd hate to drive in this city. Hell, I'd hate to own a car in this city! It's just not worth it. But it does limit the activities you can easily do. Did you ride while you lived here? And where?

                    Thanks for the great ideas so far, keep them coming!


                    • #11
                      Biking in Montreal is fun (well, not in winter, lol). When I make a (car) trip to Montreal I park the car once and for all and walk, bike or take the subway. Good exercise right there!
                      There have to be riding facilities nearby that you can get to by bus?

                      I don't live in a big city, so when not riding I bike or walk, ( I can even bike to the barn, it's a hilly 45 mn ride, so when I do that, I'm usually too worn out to ride afterwards, haha!) I bike to my yoga, pilates and zumba classes (I can't get motivated to work out if not in a class), and I go xc skiing in winter, and hiking otherwise, with a few friends.
                      Oh, and I go swimming, too.
                      Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!


                      • Original Poster

                        Sophie - yep it's a great city to bike in. When it's not winter... or early spring. When will this (bleep)ing snow go away anyway?!
                        I can't wait for the summer and long bike rides along the canal!


                        • #13
                          well, you got some good stuff going.
                          I like Martial arts, aside from the fitness aspect you can also kick some butt...

                          of course there are always hobbies you never had the time for...

                          crafting, painting....what have you. crocheting is becoming more popular, and if you get lucky you can find an ear net pattern...