By Noah Vail, equine author extraordinaire
It must be New Years because we all look like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Of course, Fortuna Farm residents make no claims to be svelte triathletes. Our favorite winter activities lean toward cider and cream puffs rather than core- crunching fitness drills. Good food, a spirited game of Canasta, and an occasional John Wayne movie pretty much cover the cold weather fun menu. Nevertheless, when Flora’s partner Lynn asked Madam if she could borrow my largest girth, it seemed like a good time to talk diet and exercise.
I’ll admit some of us have become a little exercise shy. Sunshine snoozing in the pasture has overtaken match racing as leisure action, or lack thereof. Even our Fabulous Fortuna Winter Games missed the vigor of last year’s competition. Yesterday’s Hoofleball game bordered on dull, due to frequent holiday krumkake breaks. So, I took it upon myself to fire up the fitness program or we all would be ordering large and larger wardrobes by May.
I began by investigating a few body sculpting solutions. So far, I’ve scoured everything from LAT Fitness to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Equine Eating Light seminar. Every day a bouquet of brochures arrives in my mailbox. Some contain embarrassing photos of stout geldings dressed in stretchy aerobics getups. Then there was the Slim Down Sous-Chef course with Rachael Hay. This featured a snapshot of an obese Clydesdale donning a chef’s hat. I have no idea if it was the “before” or “after” image of Mr. Clydesdale.
Pilates by Paula and Yolanda’s Yoga Emporium’s highlighted a curious photo featuring one of their students who seemed to be asleep or in an obscure yoga pose. I’d like to know how I’m going to convince the Fortuna couch potatoes to buy a yoga mat based on this image!
As I pondered the options, Ms. Olivia, a stern mare of a certain age, approached me. We often refer to Olivia as a Margaret Thatcher impersonator, due to her no-nonsense approach to all matters. She and her companion goat Bella stopped me in the aisle and asked to have a look at my exercise class list. She then rolled her eyes and handed it back to me with a condescending sigh.
“How about a bit of ballroom dancing,” she proposed.
Hmm… Now, Olivia might be a an intimidating female with strong opinions but she does come up with some sterling ideas. Aretha Morries Thoroughbred Dance team will be here next Tuesday at 10:00!