Thursday's goal: ride to Wilder and/or ride out for 5-6 hours.
Furthest she's been (aside from the LD last year) with another horse: 14-15 miles or so.
Furthest she's been by herself: 12 miles.
Amount of Pony Attitude and Energy noted on Tuesday: exceptionally high.
I booted up all four feet, attached heart rate monitor, and we took a quick spin around the back trails with another Haffie. Discovery #1: Slow Jog was not an option. Fetti wanted to GO.
Okay, pony, you want to go? Let's head out by ourselves then and let you move. Cue 15 minute discussion about forwards down to the river. "Discuss with a mare, pray if it's a pony"? Yeah, I've got both, and sometimes she lets me know it. Once we finally made it down the tiny downhill, all was well in the pony's world. Totally over it.
Decent clip for the first few miles, but nothing spectacular. She doesn't move out as well without other horses, but there aren't many that I ride with that will keep up. Trot where she would, walk break where she asked, ask for a trot again at 90-100bpm.
Discovery #2: LF boot coming off was not a fluke on Tuesday. Hopped off, fixed it, led her up the rest of the hill and down the (long, steep) other side to the river..
Discovery #3: Fetti promptly drank at the river. GOOD MARE. Not just a little bit, either, but quite a lot. Pony is learning, if slowly, to drink when it is offered.
Crossed the river with no problems, walk/trotted up the hill.. and the hill.. and crossed the road.. and up the hill. It's a lot of uphill all at once. Pony was well-behaved and reasonably forwards.. looks like we stuck to a nearly-4mph pace through that section.
Discovery #4: With four boots and a bit of encouragement, Fetti is perfectly content to trot through gravel. Yay! Well worth the cost, then. Mostly trotted all through the gravel sections, no problems whatsoever.
Nine miles out from the barn, we arrived at the vet check spot for Fireworks. We hung out in the shade for a minute or two waiting for her to pulse down to under 60, then turned around to reverse course and head home. She knew we were headed home and was happy to trot when asked. I asked for several full stops in hopes of getting the silly horse to pee.. with absolutely no luck. Sigh.
Discovery #5: I hopped off and jogged down the long, moderately-steep downhill. Fetti.. trotted with me most of the time. Clearly she was still feeling good, since the few times I've tried that I've been practically dragging her behind me.
She drank again at the river crossing, drinking well again, headed up the hill and pulled the LF boot again doing a Big Trot uphill. Sighed, hopped off, fixed, got back on. Pony wanted to fly up the hills; I kept glancing at the LF to make sure the boot was attached. Good thing, too, because on yet another Big Uphill Trot the LF boot came totally off. Sighed, hopped off, walked back downhill and retrieved the boot from the side of the trail. At that point I pulled the RF, tied both to the saddle, got back on, and let her move out with no fear of losing a boot.
And move out she did. Fetti was still feeling good enough to gallop up several different hills when I gave her a verbal OK. She walks at the top, walks the downhill or most of it, then eagerly awaits the verbal OK to tell her she can go again. I'm sure it's probably terrible to let her do that, but she is clearly having SO MUCH FUN. It also dashed any thoughts I might have about her being exhausted or worn out. We did a brisk trot most of the way home and she pulsed down reasonably well once we got back to the barn.
Discovery #6: I went through both my full Nalgene bottle of water and a bottle of Gatorade. I did not get a migraine. I sense major electrolyting for myself in the future.
I've emailed back and forth with Renegade and have a few things to try to keep that LF boot on, though being 6 weeks out from a trim is likely contributing. Optimistic that it's fixable.
18 miles, 4mph average. I love this horse.