I found out that most people over forty (70%), especially women, have “bat wings”– a cute name given to that flab that hangs when the DOR raises her arms out to her sides. Now, I work to stay fit and trim, I like looking my best. I believe it is important for my DOR to do the same. I am also a responsible owner of a human, so it my duty to make sure she gets in proper shape. With that in mind I have put a daily exercise program together for my DOR, it is really simple and may work for your DOR.
1) While walking your DOR in the pasture make sure they hold one arm out to the side touching you neck while walking. Now to make this happen you may need to allow them to get too close, they will then put their hand on you neck or cheek to remind themselves to keep their distance. You may also need to let them get too far ahead or behind so that they will put their hand up to remind themselves where they need to be. Make sure and have them work on both sides.
2) Before you have your DOR groom you make sure and roll, getting really dirty, if you can find a muddy spot that is even better. Brushing with light pressure is really good for your DORs triceps.
3) When making your DOR turn in small circles, keeping their eye on you at all times, make sure they have to wiggle the rope back and forth before you stop and look at them – this will work their underarms too. You can also have them do this when you are transitioning into a slower gait.
4) When your DOR is going to put the saddle on you make sure that they have to hold the saddle out and up a bit for at least 30 seconds before you allow them to set it on. It is best if you can get them to saddle you from both sides. Both of these objectives can be achieved if you dance around a bit. This is especially effective with heavy western saddles. If your DOR rides english, you may need to have them hold the saddle for up to one minute to get the same results.
5) While you are allowing your DOR to go for a ride have them practice one rein stops for a minimum of 20 times on each side. This will work both arms at the same time and ensure that your DOR is prepared for frightening things that may come up while you are taking them for a ride. This way they will respond properly when they are frightened and not squeeze the crap out of you when they have that “eeek” reaction that humans are prone to have.
6) Now that the ride is over, there is one more sure-fire method to make sure your DOR works out their arms. When they unsaddle you wince a bit like you have a sore back ... this will get you a back massage. Not only will your DOR be toning up, but you will get to enjoy some quality time being pampered a bit. After all you deserve it ... look at all you do for your DOR.
All of these exercises can be completed daily. I personally have my DOR work out three hours a day when she isn’t working full-time.
Enjoy your day and don’t forget to hug your DOR!