Cecil the Horse

I have written about this day out horseriding in my previous post, Nelson to Queenstown, but I thought I’d dedicate a whole post to Cecil the horse.

I have loved horses since I was a little girl, so this was the perfect way to spend a day in Glenorchy and I was looking forward to it immensely. I arrived and was paired up with a horse named Cecil, who was a magnificent bay stallion. My horse and I spent three hours riding through the Rees Valley surrounded by a landscape of rocks, glacial fed rivers and magnificent mountains. It was an incredible experience as we rode our way passed the Misty Mountains which were made famous by The Lord of The Rings. We spent the whole morning riding and after a break for lunch we rode out again.

Cecil was very well behaved in the morning, I think he was a little sleepy, but it was another story when we got together again. When we left the stables for the second time that day, everything was calm and we rode in silence without any problems. On the way back, I think Cecil got a little excited at the thought of ending his day with a bale of hay and a nice comfy stable because he started to buck his hind legs, jumping for joy it seemed. He didn’t let me know he was about to do that, being a horse all conversation is lacking, and it took me completely by surprise. I nearly came off a couple of times but he didn’t manage to throw me, I gripped as much as my knees would allow me too. Maybe he was just fed up with me on his back for a whole five hours, who knows what goes through a horse’s head!

Back at the stables, Cecil posed with me for a photograph as a memento of our day together and we said our goodbyes.

Activities in Glenorchy
Cecil and I

Afterwards, I wondered how I could spend the day walking over a volcano and another hiking a glacier and not ache in the slightest, but five hours on a horse and it was a very different story. I couldn’t move for the next few days, my muscles had packed up and I struggled to move even a few inches. Now I think about it, it was probably Cecil’s revenge and he was back in his comfy stable sniggering with his horsey pals.

Activities in Glenorchy

Activities in Glenorchy

This story is an excerpt from my soon to be published book.

Exercise: you don’t have time not to. – Quote Unknown

I have discovered that living in Thailand is good for my health. I live a very simple life. Going to work, seeing friends, and exercising almost daily. I feel so much healthier living here.

My friends think I am an exercise freak and I will happily admit that I am. I love exercising. Don’t get me wrong I still have to psyche myself up to do it but once I get going I am so happy that I made the effort. After all it’s only a small part out of my day and it makes me feel so much better.


I have been into exercise, on and off, since 2006. I started going to the gym and made friends with the gym instructor, who is one of my best friends today. He was doing spinning classes so I went along and started doing that for the next two years. He also started kick boxing lessons so I went along to those too. I loved kick boxing and it inspired me to go to Thailand and learn Muay Thai boxing for two months.

When I first moved to Thailand I naturally lost weight because I wasn’t eating bread, crisps and such like but I soon put that weight back on when I got a social life and started drinking regularly. And after two years at home in the UK, merrily drinking my way through four bottles of red wine a week I was heavier that I had been for a while.


A friend told me about Insanity- an intense cardio workout- so I began the 60 day schedule.

Source: http://www.vtmfcn.org/shaun-t-insanity-workout-dvd-review-and-results.html

That was last April. At first I wasn’t seeing results-and I need to see results instantly otherwise I get disheartened- but I realised that it wasn’t going to happen overnight. After the 60 days was finished I started running and swimming again as well as Insanity.

Running is my first love but I was determined to finish the 60 day Insanity schedule and because Insanity is tough going I couldn’t do both. So running was put on hold. When I first started Insanity I couldn’t even get through the warm-up without stopping-dripping in sweat and out of breath. Afterwards I was able to do Insanity followed by a 5 km run. It was amazing how much I had improved. And by then I was seeing results so this really spurred me on to continue with my regime.

Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/insanity-the-rise-of-the-supercharged-home-workout/275907/
Source: http://blog.extremefitnessresults.com/2010/10/can-you-do-the-insanity-workout-if-youre-out-of-shape/

After a move to Bangkok and finding myself living in an apartment building with a gym, swimming pool and jogging track- of course I was going to make the most of that. It has become part of my daily routine and now I run, swim, bike, use weights, and do a combination of Insanity workouts. I find that if I mix things up I never get bored.

Source: http://www.tazfitness.com/?page_id=628

After nearly a year of this freakish exercising behaviour I have lost nearly two stone and feel so much healthier. I have cut down on drinking and eat a lot more fruit and vegetables than I ever did before.

# Rather than doing the same exercise every day which can become monotonous- mix it up and do a variety of workouts.
# Don’t do treadmill runs the entire time- find a local park and run round there. It’s much more interesting.
# Buy loads of vegetables from the supermarket and make a curry with curry paste and coconut milk. I find I don’t miss the meat because it is still very filling and delicious.
# Stop smoking at work. Do you really need those 2 or 3 ciggies during the break times?
# Don’t drink at home unless you have friends round. Or save it for when you are out and about. I love my wine but if you are serious about losing weight don’t drink all the time- it really does pile on the pounds.
# Most importantly, find an exercise routine that works for YOU and stick to it. I think you will be amazed at what a little willpower and determination can do.

It would be great to hear your success stories!