When Life Throws a Curve Ball…
By Jodi Wanenmacher
Life tends to throw you curve balls. As I sit here, writing this first blog entry, I can’t help but think how much I miss sitting on a horse. Horses and riding have been part of my life since I was a seven-year old girl growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. I spent every second I could at the barn, absorbing everything like a sponge. I ate, slept and breathed horses (full disclosure: I still do). As I got older, I knew it was inevitable that I would end up in the Horse World and decided to study Equine Science in college. A few years after school, I found myself moving my new family (hubby, dog and young daughter) to The Horse Capital of the World, Lexington, Kentucky. I continued to learn as much as I could, eventually landing a Management job at small hunter/jumper farm which ended up opening many doors into the industry (and I will be FOREVER grateful!). I have been fortunate enough to work for Dressage rider and trainer Reese Koffler-Stanfield, and also with the Split Rock Jumping Tour. After five years in the Bluegrass I ended up in my current position as the Assistant Trainer and Farm Manager at Scheffelridge Farm under Nori Scheffel. I literally play with ponies everyday and GET PAID for it.
But getting back to that curveball… Three weeks ago I fell off a sales pony during Pony Finals (not my finest moment… Super embarrassing…) and broke my collarbone. While the initial accident hurt, the time out of the saddle is the part that is killing me! I have three more weeks until I’m cleared to ride and I’m going nuts.
With all this time, I have been trying to keep my mind on other things. While horses take up most of my life (second only to my wonderful family), I have always been intrigued by all things fitness and health related. Now, I am nowhere near being a health or fitness guru, I mean, I own a Ninja Blender but that’s pretty much where it stops. I have always wanted to be one of those people who gets up at 5am to go run 15 miles (…or five… or three… really anything) before work, but I also REALLY love my sleep. I enjoy eating salads and kale and love green smoothies but I also love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and ice cream. But, since my injury I have been getting more and more serious about taking my health to a new level. Working out can only benefit your riding. I do believe that we owe it to our horses to be the best rider we can, mentally and physically. We spend so much time agonizing over their training routines, building up their fitness and providing them with the perfect feeding program, that we sometimes forget to do the same.
That being said, I have decided to create and follow a workout routine built around exercises that will benefit my riding and to start eating better, and I’m taking you along with me, mainly because I’m scared to do it by myself but also because I’m sure it’s going to be rather entertaining to watch me go from a broken rider to an elite athlete!!! Or something semi-adjacent to an elite athlete… Either way, break out that Ninja Blender and those super clean non-‐barn Nikes and don’t forget to set your alarm for some obscene hour!