five things friday

Phew. What a week. I was weirdly emotional about getting Murray’s hocks done, which is strange because that’s exactly what I called the vet to ask about in the first place… but some small, irrational, part of my brain still hoped that by magic my horse would be fine and proclaimed hale and hearty well into his seventies.  Murray, on the other hand, is super sad about being asked to rest again.

Just the saddest.

But as always, you guys were there to add excellent evidence and kind words of support, so I’m feeling much perkier about Murray’s prognosis.

1. Sweat equity

When my boyfriend moved in with me a couple of months ago he brought along his scale and a serious determination to get into a healthier lifestyle.  (Couch surfing and living with his parents for a year took a toll.)  I don’t worry too much about my weight unless something weird is going on, like I don’t fit in to my breeches or something, but I do hop on the scale every now and again.  On Monday, around noon, I jumped on the scale before going to ride, then headed out and rode two horses, worked 3 yearlings (oh man did they get on my bad side that afternoon), ran an errand at the feed store, and came home around six.  I’d polished off my 1 L water bottle and another 500 mL of water after getting home.  I jumped back on the scale out of curiosity before stripping to get in the shower.

Despite consuming 1.5L of water, I’d still somehow lost a pound of weight while I was out of the house.  The water weighed 3.3 lb (1.5 kg), and I didn’t eliminate in other ways while out of the house, so that means I lost a total of 4.3 lbs in sweat + CO2 + water vapor over the course of the afternoon.  That’s a lot of moisture.

2. Electrolytes

In addition to drinking enough water to make up for the sweat I lose while riding and playing outdoors in general, I’ve taken to drinking some electrolytes as well.  A friend gave me a box of Osmo for Women and I actually like the powdered mix a fair bit.  It’s a bit gritty/grainy at the end, but it’s not hard to just swirl it up and down the whole thing.  I used to drink watered down gatorade while at horse shows, but I’ll definitely be replacing it with proper electrolytes in the future.  Eventually I’ll run out of my free Osmo — what do you use?  I’ve heard great things about Smart Water.  Thoughts?

3. Sore muscles

I’m kinda over paying an arm and a leg for liniment and muscle rubs that I feel like actually work.  I like Sore No More Gelotion a lot, but $18 for a little bottle, when I’m pretty sure I can get the ingredients for less.  I’m going to take a whack at making my own liniment. I’m pretty sure I have the basics sorted out (witch hazel base, arnica and comfrey for sure, maybe including camphor, lavender, rosemary, and ginger, emulsify with xantham gum).  What’s important to you in a liniment?  One of my friends loves the cooling feeling of menthol, which you can kinda replicate with peppermint oil (if you don’t want to add straight menthol crystals).  Another online source swears by magnesium salts as a body brace, and it wouldn’t be terribly hard to dissolve some of them in there.

4. International Blogger Contest

Horse Junkies United is running an International Blogger Contest with a bomb prize package.  I write for them occasionally and really enjoy the community on there.  I might enter (I don’t think I’m excluded, but I probably won’t win anything either) — and you should enter too!

5. Tweezerman nail clippers

I actually got these off of someone else’s Friday Five.  Have you ever owned really nice nail clippers?  Me neither, until I got these guys.  I LOVE them.  It’s so nice to trim my nails and not feel the jaggedy sharp edges that you usually get with the $1.99 drug store nail clippers.  10/10 will recommend again.

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11 thoughts on “five things friday

  1. That’s super interesting about that lost hydration- I’m convinced that the solution to 90% of my problems is drinking more water, but I didn’t realize just how much we lose! I may have to gather some data myself 😉
    Also re: liniment, I’ve heard really fantastic things about magnesium salts. I haven’t tried it myself, but I know a couple people that say it’s been super helpful.

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  2. My favorite electrolytes are Hammer Endurolytes Fizz tablets. I throw one or two in a liter bottle of water (depending on how long I’m going to be sweating) and drink that *in addition* to my daily quota of water (my daily quota of water is a gallon/day when I’m active. 1.5 liters is not enough to remain hydrated, and if I’m not drinking enough I don’t add elytes because they will further increase dehydration). They are amazing, and are what helped keep cramps at bay on 50-mile endurance rides. My backup plan are Nuun electrolyte tablets: they are easy to find at the grocery store, pharmacy or on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nuun-Berry-Hydration-Drink-Count/dp/B004RSBJ24 and they work about as well as Hammer’s. I like the berry flavor. I tried watered-down Gatorade and other commercial brands of electrolyte drinks and still had problems with muscle cramping. Hammer and Nuun were game changers for me.

    I’m also a huge proponent of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) for preserving muscle and helping with recovery after big efforts. At the recommendation of other endurance riders, I started using them regularly when training for a 75-mile ride last year and have continued using them before and after my workouts. They are INCREDIBLE for minimizing soreness and speeding up recovery after physical efforts. I also credit them with helping speed up my healing from riding soft tissue injuries last year. My favorite brand is Isopure. https://www.amazon.com/Isopure-Amino-Supplement-Cherry-Lime/dp/B010SCPDHO/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1501245248&sr=8-1&keywords=isopure+bcaa They have no added sugar, have a mild flavor and no aftertaste, and mix well with water.

    My favorite for muscle soreness in people (I wasn’t sure if your liniment question was for people or horses, since everything else on this list is for humans?) is just straight arnica gel. https://www.amazon.com/Boiron-Analgesic-Shoulder-Arthritis-Ingredient/dp/B00EEEFUZI/ref=sr_1_4_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1501245406&sr=1-4&keywords=arnica%2Bgel&th=1 It also helps with bruising. As for horses, I’m old school: I like good old fashioned Vetrolin liniment and it’s the one liniment that none of the dozens of horses I’ve used it on have had adverse reactions to. Ex: Bigeloil made my mare break out in hives. So I’m not a fan of experimenting. I’ll use the Sore No More Gelotion or their poultice on equine legs after long rides.

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    • OMG so much great information here! I definitely don’t reach a gallon per day, but I do get in more than 1.5 L… for the most part. Drinking all that water is hard!

      My pony hates vetrolin (well, he really hates the application of water on his body, so even sponging vetrolin on is a PITA), but doesn’t mind (so much) gel-based liniment or massages. I’ve also had some problems in my area in the summer with bees/wasps being incredibly attracted to horses covered in vetrolin, and the resulting stings suck.

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  3. Baby Mae got her hocks done and I didn’t realize it and let her run around like a crazed maniac in the arena. Apparently you’re not even supposed to let them trot for three days afterward. Whoops!

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  4. I’ve been using Bonk Breaker Real Hydration for electrolytes. The name sounds stupid, but it was the ONLY electrolyte powered I could find at REI that didn’t have fake sugar in it. I get migraines with fake sugars and all of the other electrolytes either have artificial sweeteners or Stevia. Because everyone in the world has decided to add Stevia to everything because it’s “natural.” But it still gives me a headache.

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