Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Friday, March 11, 2011


Looking ahead at the icy hill, just before we decided to turn around
We had the opportunity to practice a lot of walk-trot and trot-walk transitions, as well as plenty of leg yields, while we made our way down the road yesterday.  The melt is progressing with agonizing slowness this year, complete with multiple serious setbacks, and today was the first time I was able to ride the whole mile stretch of gravel road in front of the farm.  Much of the south side of the road is lined by thick evergreens, and therefore remains very shady.  The compacted snow & ice do not melt in the shady areas, even at almost 40 degrees.  The north side of the road was a patchwork of slushy snow and muddy gravel, and as long as we stayed along that edge, we had no difficulty.  Unfortunately, Red prefers to travel right down the middle of the road, and I therefore had to use a lot of reminders to keep him in the safest footing.

We still have SO MUCH snow, but at least there's some open water in the creek! 
We did cross the paved road and continue along the gravel road just to assess how soon we might be able to do a longer ride - the answer is not yet!  Red behaved really well, except for a few ridiculous instances of shying away from snow boulders or snow patches on a dark background or a light-colored dry spot on the gravel, but this is so typical for him that I hardly pay any attention anymore. The school bus passed us twice, and Red didn't even flick an ear.  I was pretty pleased, as he often acts goofy about traffic in the spring when we haven't been doing any roadwork for months.

I checked my riding logs from last year, and by March 8th I was doing 7 - 8 mile rides at trot/canter pace down the road.  It's a good thing our first endurance ride is a week later than normal, due to Easter being late this year, and we have an extra week to condition - we're gonna need it!

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