Sunday, October 31, 2010
The barn decorated for Halloween:
Costume contest and parade:
Saturday, October 30, 2010
So, it turns out my little detour was quite worth it!
This morning a friend of mine sent me a message saying that the coffee shop on base finally got pumpkin lattes. You better believe I went over there today to get one. Best Halloween treat ever! I took this picture with my iPhone, and it's blurry because I was trying to hurry before the crowded coffee shop found me out for the crazy pumpkin obsessed person that I am.
Today I was going to go off and do some sightseeing, however I got sidetracked with some serious retail therapy, or as serious as you can get out here. I spent a few hours shopping for upcoming birthdays, Christmas presents and a few last minute things I need for tomorrow. Tomorrow is the barn Halloween Party! I have a bunch of fun things planned for the kids and I'm pretty excited. They are going to get to dress up the horses and I can't wait to see what they come up with!
So, tonight I was getting everything together and just had to take a picture of the Halloween-ness of my kitchen table! Love it.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
This is a great little article by a physiotherapist about the health benefits of horseback riding. In summary, riding intensely is cardiovascular exercise similar to jogging and cycling and works both the respiratory and circulatory systems burning 315-480 calories per hour. The rider is constantly using muscles to balance and “this exercise reaches the deep postural muscles of the trunk and pelvis and the abductor muscles of the thighs. Also, depending on the speed of the horse, other sets of muscles are working strongly such as the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutei’s during rising trot. Riding requires a great deal of coordination in order to get the desired response from the horse. As well as improved coordination and relaxation, riding stimulates the vestibular system by the movement of the horse and its changes in direction and speed. Proprioception has also shown to increase due to activation of the proprioceptors in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joint.”
The article concludes by saying "horse riding is a wonderful form of exercise, which stimulates the cardiovascular system as well as all the body systems. Although riding is a strenuous exercise, it is perceived as enjoyment, therefore the rider has increased tolerance and motivation to lengthen the period of exercise."
The article does also briefly mention what a stress reliever the horses are. "The mere act of patting a horse is proven to lower your blood pressure." Sometimes I really think the only time I can get my mind totally clear is when I'm riding and totally focused. Riding is a life saver for my mind and body.
I'll tell you what, after a long dressage or jumping session I'm sore. Not just my legs, but abs, arms, back, and shoulders. Riding also really works the hips, pelvic floor and sacro-iliac joints. And you have to use each group independently without being tense. A friend of mine who wears a fancy watch that keeps track of her calorie burn told me after our ride that she burned more calories riding than during her P90X workout! For me, horseback riding is challenging and the absolute, most fun I could possibly have while working out!
Lessons were totally cancelled today and most probably will be tomorrow as well. I went to the barn for a little while and gave Woods a nice hot bath and hung out with the horses for a little while before being wet and wind blown and the thought of my nice comfy apartment drew me away.
Driving home in the rain, wet and cold I decided I would make chili. There is just something so comforting about a nice hot bowl of chili on a rainy day. (Of course, since Brad is still away I will be having quite a few bowls of chili since I'll be eating the whole pot myself.) I love this super easy recipe of my mom's. Pretty darn healthy too.
Mom's Chili Recipe:
1 lb. ground turkey (I use turkey, I don't eat beef)
1 onion, chopped
2 cans of light/dark kidney beans, drained
1 green pepper, chopped
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 bullion cubes
1 large 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes (I cut mine up into chunks)
Brown onion and meat. Dump off any excess fat/liquid. Add beans, green pepper, garlic, spices, bullion and tomatoes. Let simmer for at least 45 min.
I like to eat my chili on brown rice and to top it with light sour cream and low fat cheddar cheese. Of course if Brad were home we'd be having corn bread as well.
So, this rainy and windy night I'll be hunkering down with my delish chili for dinner, a glass of wine and a movie.
What's your favorite rainy day comfort food?
Monday, October 25, 2010
The drive was very easy, straight up 58 and had some very nice scenic views as well as a nice stretch of palm trees lining the road.
The parking lot was lined with vendors selling all sorts of things.
According to this website: "The name Manzamo stems from the original Okinawan Hogen dialect, meaning ‘big enough for 10,000 men to sit on this field by the cliffs.’ It’s true, as 10,000 people can sit there, as referred to in historical accounts of Okinawan songs and literature. Historically, Yoshia Chiru, and young Okinawan poet, is said to have felt the special inspiration necessary to write a poem for the then-Ryukyuan king. Her writing style has been praised as valuable to Okinawan literature and history as haiku is to mainland Japan, and a monument has been erected at Manzamo to pay homage to her contributions to Okinawan culture."