Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekend Fun

Since I'm on this CTR kick, I've been trying to work out places to go, people to ride with, and questions I have to ask. I sent in my membership for the NJ TRA, but I haven't yet heard anything. They don't really respond to questions much, and it's really annoying! I tried to use it as a network tool, but the people they gave me to contact are just as non responsive as the group. I've joined a few Facebook groups to sit back and read about the sport, and I am trying to figure out a training plan. Training plan? Really?

Saturday was cold and windy, but I decided to ride since the sun was out. We warmed up, and then I used the "track my hack" app to figure out our pace and distance. It's pretty awful for the most part, and I may pick up endomondo again. We worked on the track doing trot sets, and we even cantered a bit (in circles, but it happened). I decided to man up because we both get bored and dive into the trails between the track for something different and to cool out. Spyder was 100% fine and super excited to be doing something different. We've got a whole new set of fun to be had at the farm! We did just over 3 miles with warm up and cooling out.

Very Tired Puppy
After riding, April came over so Kaiden and Gucci could have a doggie play date and we could catch up. Winter is getting to both of us, and the riding less thing is upsetting. We need spring to come so we can get out and get off the farm. Since I need to practice with the trailer, I am working on a truck, and that will make it much easier to get the job done! There are a few places to ride that aren't too far from where April keeps Shadow, and I can even ride at the farm with her there if they allow it. This riding alone thing is SO boring for both of us so we're making that happen this spring. The dogs got along after they worked out their boundaries and were looping around the yard like crazy! It was nice to have a tired pup at the end of the night.

Sunday, I had the same schedule - warm up on the track, trot sets on the track, and cantering while TRYING to move out straight which turned into a funky gait (so I came back to trot then started over with asking). Spyder's leap into the canter is so dramatic that I never know if he's going to pull a stunt or move away nicely, but he was moving nicely. There was one point where I'd say we went about 50 feet in a straight line down the track to the left. To the right, it's still just circles. To either side it's been frustrating, but it's been easier to move him out off my left leg (and I think that's my fault because it's stronger). We went faster today, and did about 3.25 miles. I have no idea what a good pace is for a ride so I guess I need to figure that out.

Amped in the Woods
Most of both days this weekend was trotting and south jersey is just too flat for the "use hills" suggestion everyone gives to work on muscle and cantering. He's got the command, and he knows that when I sit in the saddle and grab mane, I mean pick it up and go, but we are still stuck in the circles which I don't get. I'm a lot less scared to try things with him (even though he sits more, and I think it might be because he's a bit more spunky having time off in between rides which means he's more willing to go when asked. Not using spurs or a crop both days made for a great work out, and the two-point at the trot both days has really helped me stretch my legs and work on my core. I think that I'll have to get in better shape than Spyder will have to if we plan on making this happen in March. I've also networked within the groups to ask for people in the area to ride with, and I found a person a little older than me in the area where the CTR's are. I hope to get out and off the farm with her if it's nice at the end of February, and if not, early March. Spring is just around the corner! We've got 4-10 inches of snow coming tomorrow so skiing this weekend will be fun, but I'll be missing the riding time.

Blue Skies
Shadow Selfie