I’m in my mid-40s and started back last year after a, let’s just say very long time. I’m not a gym person but absolutely would’ve counted myself as being “fairly in shape.” But I too was winded AF and only after a lap. I couldn’t believe it.
I know, I know, I know. Saddle time is the biggest/only thing that’s going to fix it. Unfortunately for me, I’m lucky to lesson once a week. Often I’ll miss two in a row; that’s just my life right now. Just getting to the barn is a huge treat for me and I generally remember that but it’s hard not to get frustrated when you struggle, feel weak (my legs, I don’t know who they are anymore, lol), or get winded.
I just happened to be looking up exercises this weekend, resigned to the fact I may have to take a more discipline approach than just walking 1-3 miles daily and halfarsedly using an exercise ball.
Speaking of which, that was my trainer’s first suggestion. Again, I’m not good with disciplined exercise but I can make myself sit on it (near) daily to stretch muscles and work balance. Probably not safe but I put it on a hassock so my legs hang and more closely mimic being on a horse, feet out of stirrups. There were some old discussions in the forums here I came across about using the ball and probably more properly, too, if you give it a search. I got the Black Mountain stability ball/55cm on Amazon. It was dirt cheap.
I am definitely all eyes to your thread about stamina. I will say this, take heart. I’m about a year and a half back, actually. I missed a bit of time when things shut down for the pandemic and still on the weekly/bi-weekly schedule – but if I really think about it, I’ve made progress, even fitness-wise. I’m okay with the posting trot and now mainly just get tired with the canter (this is my struggle, lol) and doing wee jumping exercises. And I bounce back faster than I did at first, too. If I really step outside my head and take inventory, I’ve actually come a long way from that first ride back.
Don’t be hard on yourself. One of the best things about being an adult ammy is that you have permission to struggle.