Howdy, I'm new! Goal: Exercising the horses using my XR
Howdy! I’m new here!
TL;DR: I’m an older rider with only limited board experience. Purchased boards for myself and hubby on CyberMonday 2020 ... received them mid-Dec. Recently hit the 100 mile mark and am delighted to be exercising my horses using the OneWheel! Wheeee!
I’m a gal in my late 50s. I rode a skateboard in the 70s but only as a transportation device getting from point A to point B. I was never interested in tricks or speed. No other board sport experience.
First heard of the OneWheel over Thanksgiving weekend (Nov 2020) on a getaway weekend, while hubby and I were waiting for a bus. He said, “If we had OneWheels we could be there by now.” Huh? What is a OneWheel? What are you talking about? He explained that his work team saw these on a past trip in Hawaii and have been discussing them ever since. We spend the rest of the weekend researching and watching videos. I ordered two XR on Monday before the sale prices expired.
I live in the San Diego backcountry with plenty of dirt trails but very little pavement. So, I’m learning on dirt to start ... mostly in my own yard. We have a small ranch property with 3 horses. I typically walk 7+ miles daily around the property ... so figured I could replace some of that with riding my XR. My ‘vision’ from the start was to use the board to give each horse a good trot during groundwork.
I’m a lefty ... but riding standard due to old injuries. Most casual “dominant leg” tests suggest I should be riding goofy but I just don’t trust the strength in my left leg ... so I’m riding standard and slowly teaching myself switch.
I’ve fallen a good number of times. My poor knees! The first 10 miles were brutal and there were many times I heard the words, “I quit. I can’t do this. This isn’t for me,” escape from my lips. Strangely, my heart didn’t believe my words and I got back on the board every time. (So unusual for me. I so often set my failures aside and never return??)
I hit 10 miles on New Year’s Eve riding a paved loop at a park about an hours drive away. (Pavement really isn’t easy to find; we used the OneWheel app to find this park and were delighted. It was worth the long drive!) The loop was only 0.8 miles ... but I still needed two breaks as my feet and legs were screaming. (I can walk forever ... but riding? Ouch!).
The learning curve, for me, has been steep. The board was killing me for the first 40+ miles. I have sensory issues (link to a general description if you are unfamiliar with this topic). For me, this meant overcoming brain shut-down (freezing) when encountering terrain changes (smooth dirt > gravel > twig > harrowed dirt > bumps > good pavement > bad pavement > angled riding surface > etc.). Fear of toe/heel wobble was literally paralyzing. I still struggle to relax while riding ... I now recognize when my toes are trying to grip the board and can talk my way out of it ... but it isn’t natural. I must talk my way out of the “death grip.”
Hey, good news: My husband picked this up in minutes. It is entirely ‘natural’ to him. This is great! (I’m so thrilled for him! He needed an activity to get him away from his desk ... doing something that could bring him ‘into the moment’ from time to time.)
I am progressing in little steps but not ‘steadily.’ That is, while I have ridden the board every day since it arrived, sometimes my progress would inch forward and often it would retreat. The first time I rode the dirt road to our mailbox at night my brain lost heel-side turns. They completely disappeared. My body froze. I’d ridden to the mailbox before but only in daylight. New sensory issue for nighttime, I guess. My brain told my body what to do for heel side turns (step by step) but my body was unable to act on any of the instructions. Instead, I did 270 degree toe-side turns when needed. (I praised myself for the toe-side turns! It was better than jumping off and moving the board with my hands, right? Way to go, self!)
I’ve been delighted on many occasions to revisit a riding location where I had previously failed and find new success. I’m still not fast ... but I’m determined!
To that, one goal was riding a loop around the outside of our horse paddock. Progress was slower than expected due to texture changes in the dirt. The path around the paddock is very loose dirt groomed with my tractor and harrow. There are rows of 2” ridges that caused my feet all kinds of worry. So, I flipped the harrow over to its flat side, groomed the path again, gritted my teeth (JK, I bought a mouth guard and used it) and practiced, practiced, practiced. Yes! I rode semi-confidently around the paddock!
Revisit goal: Add horses!
Next step in that goal: Learn to separate upper body and lower body while riding. Get good at holding stuff, twisting upper body, controlling and relaxing upper body, etc. Got that ... and was soooooo thrilled two weeks ago to invite a horse along. I chose my bravest/smartest horse for that first lap and she did great. I am now exercising all three horses at a trot around the paddock using my XR. Wheee!!!
On Valentine’s Day I hit my first 100 miles and earned my “Daily Dominator SILVER” badge while riding the beach. (Oh, boy! Loved riding on the beach ... so silky!)
My official ‘streak’ on the app now 36 days, 86 miles. (I had a long run up to reach 1 mile every day ... body conditioning, etc.). FWIW, I’m so glad the app tracks streaks, offers badges, etc. This was the drug for me ... I might have quit the board when things got tough were it not for the streaks and badges. But I’m already an addict of similar goals on my Apple Watch (my current Move streak is 1513 days; I’ve closed all three rings every day since Christmas 2016) ... so OneWheel’s apps and goals were a natural fit for me.
Still reading? Thank you.
Really, thank you. I’ve enjoyed lurking on this community during my ramp-up. I’ve learned so much from your posts and videos. THANK YOU for sharing these!
LidPhones last edited by
Welcome to the OW Family. It has been a crazy journey and will likely continue being one....
Everyone has a place in our shared passion that is OneWheel!
I look forward to seeing some pictures of the Horses.
Had my first nose-dive fall today. It wasn't from speed but got stuck in a dip while traveling uphill. Good news: I rolled over my shoulder and across my back. Sprang right back up and dusted myself off. Yeah!
(I've been studying videos of 'how to fall' ... )
LidPhones last edited by
My guess is you have learned a bit from falling off a horse or two?🤪
Adam S last edited by
Right on HorsePlay! I've been riding with my horses for years now, won the Onewheel Summer Camp contest back in 2017 with a short vid of me leading my horse around the property. I too learned to ride on my grass and dirt property and was thankful during my many spills and falls. I started by riding around my horses for a while so they got use to the noise and now it doesn't bother them at all. Trick is to not have them pass you on the lead and to be in a place where you can let go of them if need be!
Good luck, be safe and take it slow!
petec8787 last edited by
Great post; I'm a new rider in my 50s too, and appreciated a lot of what you wrote. I haven't done much on dirt/grass yet, almost all pavement for me so far. Still learning the feel of the board, but found that all the basic skateboarding I did as a kid combined with the tiny bit of surfing is coming back to me. Nice to see a peer having similar experiences; thanks for sharing.
@LidPhones , heh-heh-heh. Sure!
There are bad ways to fall and "better" ways to manage an unscheduled dismount. In one of my "better" falls I pulled off a graceful spiral around the horse's neck and landed on my feet at his shoulder. So cool ... amazingly athletic. But that, of course, was many years ago ...
@Adam-S , so cool! Thanks for sharing your story and the encouragement!
As for the horse passing the handler (me) ... one of my horses is used to doing traveling circles on a long line. We haven't yet reached that point with the OW ... but she is asking. Gladly, each my horses accept a tiny wiggle on the lead as signal to slow down and return to my requested position. (So thankful for Natural Horsemanship. What a blessing to have clear, quiet communication and relationship with these critters.)
@petec8787, Welcome to the Community! :)
I've found that riding every day ... even if just to earn my daily streak (min 1-mile) ... has helped greatly. I am gaining confidence over new terrains both mentally and physically. My husband and I now take the boards out together on most weekends ... somewhere, anywhere, just to sneak in a ride together. I love it.
Again, welcome! Glad you are here!
Apparently I'm late to the party! Land Rover, it seems, has already put it all together: Music Festival, OW + horses, cars, outdoor sports and more at Coachella Valley, California.
Story link: https://eventingnation.com/going-4xfar-for-equestrian-sports/
Video highlight of OW + Horses: