We've had a great week of rides. Rhio and I did a total of 32 miles this past week, in rides of 9 miles, 9 miles, and 14 miles. Our first 9 miler was Tuesday, 3/29. We have had lovely afternoons for riding, with temps in the 40s and sunshine. We set off with Kelso, heading toward our closest significant training hill with the intention of doing a little hill work and heading home. Just as we turned to head up the hill, here comes Jodi & Rana down the hill toward us. Well met, pretty mare & fine friend! The horses were both in full spring mode, spooking and trying to race, and we rode up & back along the clear portion of road (hemmed in by shady/icy sections and paved roads without good clear shoulders) enjoying each other's company and lamenting together about the fact of riding spring-fresh horses. Rhio had been pretty unmotivated riding out alone, but of course as soon as we met up with a buddy, he was overwrought with energy & the inability to disperse it efficiently into useful forward motion. As a result, I was riding a stiff board of a horse with a rock-solid neck jutting up in front of me, head-tossing & neck-snaking his way along at a stilted canter, hooves slapping the ground and jarring my internal organs in a most unpleasant fashion. I have to say, the experience really wasn't all that enjoyable. But, it was fairly reminiscent of the start of an endurance ride, so in its way it was a useful training situation. He did not buck, rear, bolt, or lose his mind. In past years, it would not have been unthinkable for him to do all those and then some in a situation like this.
|Still a little fancy footwork required to negotiate the remaining icy patches on the road, but it's totally doable!|
|Muddy legs, muddy boots, and muddy Kelso in the background|
|Just mounted up for ride #3 and they're both smiling :)|
|Posing on the still-snowy snowmobile trail|
|Argh! See that white area up by his shoulder/withers? It's not sweaty because there's too much pressure there from the saddle, not allowing the sweat glands to activate. This is NOT GOOD!|