riding-riding-riding ... and writing

... can't believe it's Thursday, I had intended to post on Monday -

- We had a fabulous, tough ride last Saturday, down in the Sam Houston National Forest. Didn't wreck the truck this trip! But lots of lessons learned, again. I always think that there should be a point at which you 'know stuff', but I guess, if I get too old to learn it's time to hang it up.

The biggest issue we had this weekend is that I tend not to take a Limited Distance ride of 25-30 seriously, and the conditions were tough enough last weekend to bite me in the back cheeks for it.

We had a long first loop, 20 miles, and the going was tough enough that my son was showing signs of heat stress before we got back. He stayed in camp while GWAIHIR and I ran the last loop. It was a shame as it was his and CIMMI's first non-completion, but some things you don't mess around with and heat stress, IMO, is one.

There was a deep mud on the trail which makes a lot more work for the horses. It changes the way they move and balance because the hoof slips or sinks a little each time it lands and the added stretching and tension and work increase the chances for an injury, especially a pulled tendon. If you can see the brown shading up the grey horses legs in this picture, that's mud from flopping belly-deep in a sloppy bog.

One of the important things about being in a bog is to stay on top of the horse, otherwise you're likely to get fallen on and/or trampled as they get out. Depending on the horse, they'll struggle and eventually get out or quite fighting.

GWAIHIR managed to get out of everything we got in, but I did get off to let him lunge and scramble up one tall bank. It's generally a bad idea to go across/up/over first and ask the horse to come to you because they have a tendency to come directly to you and if you don't leap out of the way you could get leapt on, but in this case, the bank was tall and steep enough that I didn't want to be underneath if he didn't make it on the first try.

One of my other mare, BERI, did her first 75 mile ride with another rider. We had debated over entering that distance since she hasn't been distance riding recently, she's been doing dressage and jumping. But this is cross-training at it's finest as she finished this unexpectedly tough trail in about 13 hours.
I don't have the winning time on the 75 mile ride, but in reference, my son and I have done our last few 25 mile rides in about four hours. We took the full four hours to do our first 20 miles and GWAIHIR did the last ten in about an hour and a half - so, overall, about 1 1/2 mph below our usual pace.
Photos by John Adame ~ link to his photo pages in the lefthand menu.
In writing news, I'm headed up for the OWFI conference in the morning. Oddly enough, I'm looking forward to an indoor weekend, sitting in the back of the class and taking notes and planning long lunches. If you're there ... umm .. here... 'mail me and we'll do lunch or hit the bar for a couple of hours.
Sue L
The formatting is driving me nuts. I'll have to figure it out later.

No comments: