Freezing N' Burning

Well. I'm back. I woke up this morning with so many ideas, I couldn't handle them all. But first, I have to talk about our fantastic weekend.

We started three horses and finished two.

The weekend turned colder than we had expected and so we were only marginally prepared. We should have known better and it was a lesson that wasn't as hard as it could have been, knowing Texas in February. This ride has, in the past, seen ice storms on Friday with beautiful warm sunshine on Saturday. So we shouldn't have been surprised, this year, when we got cold, windy and cloudy instead of sunshine.

Abelino jumped into endurance with both feet and started a 50 his first time out -- and did great. Beri (ELBERETH TOS) is a well-seasoned endurance horse, but she still gets a little race-brain. He handled all her early morning antics and her late-ride doldrums and finished in fine form.

Beri has enough miles now that she really settles into the work and the miles and when you're doing a moderate pace, she can seem a little sleepy or tired. When that started happening, we kicked them into a high gallop and 'played hard' for ten or so miles.

To me, it's the height of the sport when you have enough horse to play and really enjoy the day.

I'm glad to be back on GWAIHIR. He's a handful of horse, but it's a joy to ride one who is still fresh at the end of the day. He has amazing gaits, especially his canter. He has a little rocking lope that's so easy to sit he spoils me for riding anyone else. He's done a handful of Limited Distance rides over the last few years while I was riding with my younger son, but those days are behind us and he's ready for a lot more miles. I'm dangerously enthusiastic about getting him to a lot of rides this year.

Courtney and GLAMDRING had an unfortunate pull between 55-60 miles. She had a ton of horse left, he has the fitness level, but not (YET!) the emotional maturity to be on the trail alone in the dark in spitting rain and pending storms. Courtney made the tough (smart) decision to bring him (and herself) safely back to camp rather than ask him to do something he isn't ready for. It was a tough lesson for all of us -- but we know where his 'holes' are and what he needs to be working on ... and it's all do-able. It just needs to be done. And it will be, hopefully in time for the 100 in April.


Leah Braemel said...

Yay on the ride - I love reading about your horses, but you know what really excited me? Reading this: I woke up this morning with so many ideas, I couldn't handle them all. I know how you've been frustrated and to read this makes me excited for you.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Those pictures do look cold. I'm sure Courtney's horse was thinking, "Yeah, right."

Becky Burkheart said...

Thanks Leah. I think I just needed a good long ride to clear my head. It had simply been too long since I'd been out.

LA! LOL about Glamdring's expression. He a good boy, amazingly willing most of the time. He loves the trail ... just not so much when he has to go it alone! :)

Val said...

Ah - congratulations! but condolences for Courtney...
I presume you were doing a 50??
no wonder I didn't see much of ya ;-)

Becky Burkheart said...

I didn't say .... ? *head desk* sorry. Yes, we did 50s. Courtney had started the 75.

I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to chat. If you're going to Bandera, we'll definitely have to hook up around the campfire.

Desert Horse Rider said...

Congratulations - I'm excited for you to be able to do more rides this year!

Val said...

I keep on coming back & gazing at the pic of Abelino... then I don't feel so bad about the one of me & Baraq ;-)!
I'll see if I can pull it over & post it...