My favourite animal in the world is the horse, for many reasons.
By Samantha Emann, special to the Times-Herald
Mostly, it is because I really think that working with, riding and racing them has brought so much happiness into my life.
Recently , when confronted with how sedentary my life has become, I began wondering how I could inject more exercise into my sitting-filled life, and looking for something I would actually enjoy doing.
Running on a treadmill like a hamster on its wheel does not appeal to me. Going to a gym in front of all the healthy looking exercise enthusiasts causes me more than a little anxiety. Despite that, exercise is a necessity, now more than ever, so why not exercise doing something I love?
When I was growing up my dad loved to go the racetrack. There was a small harness racing track within driving distance from where he lived and it was where my family’s love of horses and harness racing was first sparked.
My sisters and I eventually wore my dad down with begging and sweet smiles and he agreed to take us to the track with him.
It was one of those tracks where you could get close enough to hear the drivers yell as they came down the stretch and from that point on we were hooked.
We went to a summer camp that allowed us to become licensed grooms and could not spend enough time in a barn.
We found a trainer who became like family, who was willing and patient enough to teach teenage girls the ins and outs of standard bred horses and foolish enough to try and teach me to drive a horse in the racing carts used in the sport.
Then 13-year-old me was ecstatic. My twin sister, now a vet tech and sometimes groom and trainer, chose to ride in the cart beside me.
To make a long story short I proved you could get road rash from driving a horse. I lost control and my sister and I were unceremoniously thrown onto the small track on the farm where we worked every minute we could.
I will say this proved to be a foretelling of my luck with things that are driven, but I digress.
We groomed and fed horses, mucked stalls, cleaned equipment and gave the aforementioned trainer more than a few gray hairs.
The combination of the fresh air and hard labour made me the healthiest that I have ever been and happier than a pig in… never mind.
We were in the barn and at the track so much my dad caught the bug and went from racing enthusiast to racehorse owner.
With warm spring weather hopefully just around the corner I hope to find a barn that will allow me to return to that lifestyle.
I have seen firsthand the passionate equine community in Moose Jaw and area and hopefully one of the many barns and ranches wouldn’t mind helping me achieve my fitness goals.
Horses were a part of some of the best times of my life and maybe they can help bring my mind and body back to what they used to be.
Horses are used in all kinds of therapy and I can think of none better to help me.
Getting healthy in every aspect is hard enough and if I could give any sound advice at this point in my own battle against obesity it would be to find something you love to do and make it a part of the changes you make in your life.
This journey is full of things I intensely dislike like the lack of cheese and chocolate, my co-workers propensity to bring their delicious baked goods into work and telling me to help myself or the necessity to step on the platform of doom known as a scale.
Speaking of doom, this week I get weighed for the first time since I started eating healthier, attempting to be more active, and ultimately trying to lose weight. Stay tuned for the results.