Friday, September 4, 2015

The not-pretty ride

We needed a long ride last week.  I knew it was supposed to be warm, so we headed out mid-morning, figuring a brisk 15-18 miles with boots should be doable.

- The ride did not start well.  Fetti decided there was something terrifying in the woods and I walked her down to the river, then got back on.  I think she was serious, not making it up, but it did not set a good tone.
- She was behind my leg very consistently and I was pony-kicking her into a 6mph trot.  Ugh.
- in fact, I'm not sure we ever got to our proper 8mph trail-trot.  If we did, it was a fluke.
- Did not balk hard going into the river, only a little bit; that was acceptable.  Did throw the brakes on at the usual spot in Pogonip.  I was unimpressed.  It lasted not as long as usual, so that does show progress, I guess.
- Faked me out through the entire Pogonip section pretending that she needed to pee.  She just wanted to turn around and quit early.  I have got to remember that she does this through here on her lazy days.
- Nice canter even up in Pogonip, but RF boot twisted and we stuck to trotting after that.
Hoof is straight. Boot is not.
- Portable phone battery charger decided it was dead.
- Garmin started throwing low battery warnings around mile 10.
- Pony drank from the major river crossing!  This is super exciting, since I've never had her drink here before.  It's reassuring that she'll drink here if/when she's thirsty.
- A big tree fell down and she spooked two steps, very politely.  I stopped telling her how awful she was for being slow and lazy and started telling her how happy I was with slow and lazy.
The offending tree is horizontal. Trees ought to be vertical.
- It was really, really hot.  My car said 97 when I left the barn shortly after we got back.
- My tall boots rubbed behind my knee.  Lesson learned: tall boots will not work for long rides.

So: we did do fifteen miles, but they were pretty miserable and ugly.  I think it took something like four hours, maybe a bit more with the tree falling down bit.

For bonus miserable and ugly, I had about two hours of relaxing at home before a migraine kicked in, and then I slept on and off from 4 until about midnight, complete with asking a very kind soul at the barn to please feed my horse because I can't get out of bed.  Mostly they're not that bad!  Thankfully this one subsided by midnight, I slept some more, and returned to being human by the next morning.

End results?
- I ordered a new Garmin model with a longer lifespan.  I'll review after my first competitive ride with it, later this month or early next month.  This was a fixable problem I could throw a reasonable amount of money at to resolve a re-occurring headache, and I was sufficiently frustrated I was willing to do it.  It had been on my 'maybe eventually' list for a while.
- I ordered two new battery packs, so I don't have to borrow my boyfriend's spare at when I want a second one at rides.  This was a problem I felt needed to be fixed immediately.  I feel a lot better having a backup phone charger with me on long rides, just in case.  They're also not very expensive.
- Tall boots went back in the closet for at least a week for my knee to heal.
- Hoof rasping is high on the priority list, and another test will need to occur before our next ride.


  1. Oh man. I don't even like tall boots when I'm riding in the ring. I totally stick to half chaps for trail riding. I'm impressed she didn't freak out about a tree falling. That's an honest reason to spook.

  2. I love how you have solutions for all the little not-nice parts of the ride, and also that you're seeing progress on some of the training issues (like balking at the water). Sounds like not the most relaxing ride, but simultaneously like things are moving in the right direction!

  3. Blah on the crummy part, but yeah for pony drinking, not spooking at falling trees, and I see progress! The death march trudge, even at a trot, is my least favorite ride. And my horse still tricks me into thinking he must be hurt or dying or need to pee. Sigh. We love them anyway! And tall boots? Respect. I'm all about trail running shoes.

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