Thursday April 1, 2010

The biggest April Fool’s joke was the weather prediction! Dire warnings of rain, snow and wind. So what did we get? Clear and sunny. A little chilly – high was just around 60 – but So beautiful.

The past 2 days of working in the wind took their toll, and I overslept today. Hubby woke me up at 7 am, just enough time to make his lunch and send him off to work. Called Robin at 8 am, not really feeling ready to hit the ground running. Turns out she is waiting for an important call that is supposed to come before 10 am. Great, I say, let’s meet at 11 am. So, I feed and hitch and turn out horses and make arrangements to drop off a horse for trial while I am out with the rig and leave fairly close to the planned time. And then I get stopped by a sheriff – not because I have done anything wrong, nope – they are filming a movie up ahead, and the road is closed. Just for 5 – 10 minutes, he promises. Happily, the two mares are keeping each other company back there, so I shut down the engine and calmly wait. Afterall, it is a beautiful day, I have sold a horse (assuming she passes this trial) and I am going trail riding! S’all good!!!

So Robin is ready and waiting for me. She opted to lunge Aries, because the cold air had him on his tippy toes! But the run helps him, and we head up her road with two reasonably calm horses. It is an interesting tale of the times that we rode on the same trails that we worked on the very first time we hauled out together. But this time, we RODE to the microwave towers, instead of hauling there and just riding around them! All in all, we did about 11 miles (stupid GPS quit after 2 hrs at 8.7 miles) We were out a total of 2 ½ and we averaged about 4.8 mph. Still no where fast enough, but faster than we have been doing. Robin is still having trouble with her ankle, But the horses were fit and able, and I felt ok. This route offered a number of hills. Good for building muscles.

It was enough work that Belle actually came home sweaty and so I hooked up the hose to the warm water and gave her a wash off. She dried while eating a bucket of grain. I was also happy to note that she drank from a bucket hung on the rail. She needs to be willing to drink when it is offered, and she seems to be learning that.

I just worked out a chart of how often, how long and how far I have ridden each week. The first week I only rode her twice and lunged her once, for a total work time of under 2 hours. The 2nd and 3rd week, I rode just over 3 hrs total covering 11 miles. 4th week of training was 6 hrs of riding, covering 18 ½ miles with one free lunge session. Last week, I again rode for 6 hrs, but it covered 26 miles, and I did 2 free lunge sets. This week, I have already ridden her for 6 hrs and covered over 24 miles. So, I feel like I am on track for the second month of training. But we are going to have to get traveling faster! Tomorrow, I will try to do a 6 mile ride in about 30 minutes!

Friday April 2 – Day off for Belle

Saturday – April 3 – Did arena work – it was windy, and she is spookier in the ring than out on the trail – so I got to test my Velcro butt with a couple wicked little leaps sideways! She is SO tiny and she can be SO darned quick! But we got in a really good gallop in both directions – since I know my arena footing is safe, I am more willing to let her go. It was a short set, as we had friends come over to introduce their two little boys to horses! But 30 minutes is better than no minutes. And boy oh boy, she can go FAST! And she was able to maintain a steady forward trot without getting winded - so my guess is we added 4 miles to our weeks work total. So we will call it 6 1/2 hours, and 28 miles. Happy Easter to all - we will all take a day off.

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Tags: blog, equestrian, equestrian blog, horse blog, rider blog

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Comment by Monica Whitmer on April 4, 2010 at 8:31pm
Actually, I am thinking of keeping with it until Robin and I complete a 50 miler! We are Not going to try and top 10 at this first race, so it might be fun to actually try to place at some point. Thanks for the positive feedback - always good to know someone is reading!
Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 4, 2010 at 8:11pm
So much work, so much devotion to your goal. Keep on going, you'll get there.
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