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Feel Great, Ride Better!

Meet Tyler, sporting a Draper Therapies saddle pad getting ready for a dressage clinic with CJ

As with any sport, the better the athlete feels, the better they can perform. In riding, there’s an additional athlete to consider – the horse. Or, in some cases, the rider. How many times have you needed a chiropractor, but your horse got one first? Your sore muscles would have benefitted from a massage, but you just booked a massage for your horse instead? I know I’m guilty of that, and currently with two horses on stall rest (their story coming soon), and a disagreement with my new horse Tyler that led to a nice landing in the dirt and a cramped up and sore back, I’m starting to consider treating myself just as much of an athlete as my horses. Novel concept, huh?

Just as I finished telling you about how my neck and shoulders tend to get sore from an old injury in Friday’s blog post, here I am sitting in discomfort (was pain, that is now subsiding thanks to Draper Therapy’s back support) after my new horse left me in the dirt. He’s an incredibly talented 19yo Selle Francais with much more show and training experience than I have, and he’s not afraid to remind me. He’s also quite fat at the moment (we affectionately call him “The Hippo” around the barn) and when he decided he was done with our ride on Saturday, he let my know by promptly sliding right out from under me, leaving me sitting on my butt in the dirt, rather than in my saddle. I’ll tell you it’s one of the most talented moves I’ve ever seen a horse make. No warning, his back stays totally soft and level, and you’re riding, and then you’re not. Landing on my butt jarred my back and I still rode again yesterday just so Tyler knew I wasn’t giving up that easily. Good to prove a point, but this morning my back told me I probably should have rested. Ouch! So today’s plan has been adjusted to include some work on the longe, some ground work to build our relationship, and then some relaxing time grazing to show that I’m not all work and no play.

As I sit her on my patio typing away with the morning updates, I’ve got my Draper Therapies back brace on, and realize how much of a difference the products really do make. In addition to keeping swelling at bay without bute for my two injured horses, the difference I feel with the brace on vs. off is tremendous. Now to get myself better so that I can go back to working with Tyler in the saddle, and building up both of our fitness levels so that he’s happier and less likely to not-so-politely tell me he’s done for the day, and more likely to say “hey, lady, can we go graze now? I’m tired, so would like to be done.” You know, if horses could talk. đŸ˜‰

– CJ Millar

Meet Tyler, sporting a Draper Therapies saddle pad getting ready for a dressage clinic with CJ

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