These 7 exercises helped me get back in the saddle after having kids.

These 7 exercises helped me get back in the saddle after having kids.
Riding after having babies is a challenge! Not only are we completely different humans; our brains work differently, our bodies are different, our confidence might be less, but when it's hard to even get back into the saddle it can feel really embarrassing.

First off - don't let anyone, and I mean anyone shame you for your diminished strength, flexibility and grace. You have done an amazing thing carrying and delivering a baby; whether vaginally or c-section the toll on our bodies is massive. It is to be expected that your core, flexibility and glutes will be stiff, sore and weaker. Yes, some women can 'bounce back' without missing a beat, but my friends...this isn't the norm ok! So, stop comparing yourself to someone else, stop letting anyone shame you. Be proud for getting back out there my friend! 

After the birth of each of my daughters, I can still remember the scary feeling that I almost couldn't get on; then when I finally did manage to get in the saddle I felt sooooo top heavy! Any quick movements from my horse had me flopping around like a dummy this way and that. (Ok, that might be an exaggeration but that's what it felt like!)

I took a few exercise programs to start regaining strength in my body. I also went for walks to increase my stamina and focused on targeted muscles with each step. Tighten Glute with each step. Engage my core for 20 steps, relax for 10, engage my core for 20. Tighten the thigh each step. Walk on tip toes. This was a fantastic starting point and often had me startled by how much I would sweat and how much I could feel the effects afterwards. 

Once I felt stronger walking I knew I was ready to add in daily exercises. These 7 exercises helped me get back in the saddle after having kids. I loved how they were gentle, encouraged a flat tummy, but I could quickly feel them changing my body for the better!

If you'd like to see a short video where I show a few demos you can check that out here:

Here is a summary of the exercises that helped me the most!

1. Pelvic Tilt/Engage Core while laying on floor knees bent
2. While your core is engaged in doing the above exercise, bend side to side to touch your heels
3. Hip thrusts while laying on back with knees bent. The next step is when your core is raised add in a bent leg lift
4. Plank - start with short times, work your way up
5. Pushups - start with wall/ then hands-on bench knees floor, then standard "girl" pushups, then full pushups.
6. Squats - use a chair under your bum to assist you.
7. Step-ups onto a stable surface are also amazing and mimics getting on a horse a bit too. If using a chair lean it against a wall and make sure it's not tippy!! Falling off hurts trust me.
8. Bonus - Exercise ball sit: Engage your core and gently sway your hips side to side and front to back. Add in circles both ways. Perfect to do while watching your favourite TV show or while working at a desk.

Disclaimer! I am not a doctor or physical therapist...take this advice as just that,.... advice from a momma of two who struggled to ride/get on my horse after having babies.

Like what you heard? be sure to join  My Facebook Community

If you're looking for more one-on-one coaching to get you a stronger core, better flexibility and higher confidence, shoot me a message HERE

Uncontrollable Outbursts of Anger

Uncontrollable Outbursts of Anger
This morning I had an outburst of anger.

I had a fit...lost my temper...yelled...and accidentally dented my wall with a door handle.

I am embarrassed. I am ashamed. I feel guilty my children had to witness it.

Still feeling completely out of control I forced myself to sit and close my eyes while my children zoned out in front of the TV. I listened to a guided meditation knowing I needed to be talked off an invisible ledge in my mind bordering complete chaos.

Why am I so angry? Why do I feel completely out of control? Why am I so disconnected from myself?

My inner voice quietly responded, "you feel powerless. You feel like a ship at sea with no sails; the wind and the waves are tossing you around and there's nothing you can do. You're angry because you feel hopeless. You're angry because you feel powerless to protect yourself. You are angry because you're scared to be vulnerable. You're frustrated because this is a cycle that never seems to end."

During the meditation, I cried silent tears holding my youngest daughter who was oblivious to my inner turmoil. She had already forgiven me. I apologized anyway. God created these wonderful, young, impressionable tiny humans to forgive so easily. What a blessing!!

I commit to slowing down and examining my emotions more.

I commit to making myself a priority.

Know better...Do better.

I have tools I can implement to help myself. Do I still fail? Of course! This morning, I failed...but now I recommit, pick myself back up and do better.

Don't give up on yourself. We are all growing, learning, changing, and stumbling.
You've got this

. Recommit and start again. I'm not perfect...far from...but I know the tools I have work when I use them.

How often do we suffer in silence with our big emotions scared of being shamed by others? 

How often do we feel like anger is completely unacceptable...the biggest and nastiest of all? 

Anger is a sign something is wrong. Feeling anger means something much bigger and deeper is happening and it's time to reflect. Anger is a signal that we don't feel heard, that we feel powerless and hopeless. Anger protects us from the scary feelings of vulnerability. Anger protects us from all of those feelings because it makes us feel powerful. 

If you're like me...and you're wanting to work on these emotions, don't feel shame. Don't feel worthless or messed up. You're not alone. 

Let's end the stigma that anger is evil. Anger itself isn't the problem. Buried, misunderstood, and unvoiced feelings create anger. Anger is a symptom.

If you'd like to surround yourself with others who want to do better, I've created a safe space in . Anyone is welcome.

Asking For Support Shouldn't Be So Hard!

Asking For Support Shouldn't Be So Hard!

How come talking about the loneliness, guilt, resentment, anger and shame that comes with motherhood isn’t a thing?

How come when we try and reach out for help, we are told, “Yes, being a mom is hard, isn’t it,” or, “It’s just your hormones dear, it will all level out soon enough,” or my ultimate favourite, “don’t worry about that stuff, your babies are only babies once, sit back and soak it all in and just cheer up.” How isolating is that? We have just confessed we feel like we are drowning, and we are told to swim better.


Do Everything, Do It Perfectly, Make It Look Easy: The Recipe For Unhappiness

Do Everything, Do It Perfectly, Make It Look Easy: The Recipe For Unhappiness

If I asked you to describe a ‘mom,’ what comes to mind? For me, Brene Brown explains it perfectly: mom’s do everything, do it perfectly, and make it look easy while doing it.

What about being a horsewoman? According to western movies, they make us tough, resilient, stubborn, firm and can do any job a man can do, but better.

Those are a lot of expectations. If you are like me, you are both a horsewoman and a mom. The weight of those expectations is exhausting. 

What’s worse is we don’t talk about these extreme expectations. These standards are unspoken by society, but they are implied. It’s not like after your first baby, a nurse comes in and says, “okay, now here’s what you need to do to be a good mom.” You don’t get a piece of paper when you become passionate about horses stating the requirements needed for you to be considered a good horsewoman. 

What’s sad about these unspoken standards is that we feel like failures when we inevitably can’t do it all. Those thoughts and feelings like we are failing, unworthy, less than, not enough, who am I to do that? They haunt all of us. These feelings are shame. We hide them away in hopes no one will ever see them; because if they did, we would indeed be judge and found unworthy.

Before we go further, let’s make sure we are all on the same page. Shame is the fear of disconnection, fear of being judged as unworthy and not good enough; to be cast out. Shame is “I feel awful because I am a bad person.” Guilt is “I feel awful because I did something bad.” 

As a mother of two amazing young daughters, living on a beautiful farm, with an outdoor arena as a front yard, who was I to complain? I should be the happiest person alive, shouldn’t I? But I missed myself before having children. I felt that I was a horrible mom for having these thoughts; I felt ashamed. I felt unworthy around my horses because my connection with them was almost nonexistent. I was angry, resentful, frustrated, and I felt alone. 

Luckily, thanks to my horse, I started going down a rabbit trail, trying to fix our connection. Instead, I found how much healing I needed. The shame I was carrying was eating away at my passion for life. I started to see the hope that I could indeed be happy and fulfilled as both a mother, wife and horsewoman. 

What I wish I had in those moments was someone to talk to. Someone, I felt safe enough to share my thoughts and struggles without being disconnected or judged.  I wish I had someone to help me realize that what I was dealing with was, in fact, shame and that there was a way through it. If you recognized a part of yourself as being stuck in shame, I’ve created a free booklet to help you start unpacking your thoughts to work towards finding your freedom from shame! If you’d like your copy sent directly to your inbox, you can get that here: Finding Your Freedom From Shame

Brene Brown is famous for her talks on shame; if you haven’t read or listened to her books or lectures on youtube, you need to. Almost everything I’ve learned regarding shame has been from her, so she gets all the core credits here. But what I’ve come to realize is in my darkest moments, it was shame that kept me there. Don’t let it keep you stuck. 

You are enough! You are worth it! 

Once, I was a fierce, independent, strong-willed, stubborn horse-crazy woman. Then I had kids.

Once, I was a fierce, independent, strong-willed, stubborn horse-crazy woman.   Then I had kids.

Once, I was a fierce, independent, strong-willed, stubborn horse-crazy woman.

Then I had kids. I felt like my world shifted so much I wasn’t recognizable. 

I was so proud to be a mom; I dearly and deeply love my daughters, but I also felt resentment, confusion, frustration, and anger within my life. As a result, I felt painful shame. The kind that made me too scared to reach out to anyone. What would they think of me? I felt like I was isolated and alone with these feelings; there was something wrong with me. No one else thinks like this! 

I was depressed, anxious, lost, alone, exhausted, with the endless knawing in my gut making me feel nauseous continuously. I was so angry with myself I literally pulled out some of my hair. It’s postpartum depression, I was told, but that was just part of it.

Then, one chilly spring day our greenbroke colt Ace eventually had enough of my overwhelming negative emotions and chaotic energy and tried to escape by rearing straight up and then bolting, dragging me through the arena sand. After my temper finally cooled down, all I felt was guilt and shame that he felt he had to escape me that badly. 

I decided I needed help knowing what to do to fix my horse. I soon found Warwick Schiller, and much to my surprise, I found I didn’t have a horse problem; I had a “me problem”. I learned that I had to heal myself first to be the leader my horse needed me to be.

For the first time, I saw a glimpse of peace. It was down this road of self-discovery if I was brave enough to take the journey. I was. I learned how to understand and navigate all the anger, resentment, anxiety, frustrations that I was drowning in. I started to feel lighter. To see the opportunity for hope; hope that I could be a wonderful mother and horsewoman. Hope that I could feel happy and fulfilled. Hope that I could be close with my husband. Hope that I would finally know who I was meant to be.

If this resonated with you, please know you’re not alone. My experiences brought me here. This is why I am doing what I do, because I know what all that feels like. I want to show you how I made it through. If you’re interested, please join me and other like-minded souls here.

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