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!

    Longer Version:
    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!

  • @HorsePlay
    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.

    Chat soon.

  • 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' ... )

  • @HorsePlay
    My guess is you have learned a bit from falling off a horse or two?🤪

Log in to reply