Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Putting in the Miles

New gear
Saturday, my goal was for 2 hours of riding and 12 miles which wound up being perfectly met. I know I could have ridden longer, for further distance, and for better time, but I didn't want to push things since the most I've ridden on the trails is about an hour and a half at any amount of speed. Spyder was UP because the track was getting leveled out, and he wasn't paying attention to me from the very start. We started in a small warm up circle to make sure he was listening to me, and everything was SO SCARY! He was spooking at birds flying from the bushes, jumps that didn't move, and his own shadow. I didn't let it stop me, and I kept pushing until he'd get over things.

His ginger snap face.
About that pushing... Spyder was not focused when another horse came out in the area to graze with his owner, and the kids from the barn next door came over to get in the trails around the track. Spyder forgot where his feet were because he was too busy paying attention to everything else. We were going up a very small incline, and he wanted to stop because the horses were out of his sight. I pushed him to keep moving and he fell flat on his face - face plant! I managed to stay on with him coming down on his knees, and I really don't know how, but it was awesome. Awesome? Is that the right word? It was awesome that I stayed on, that is. We walked it off and kept on keeping on like nothing happened.

Spyder was getting bored of the trot and it was HIS idea to canter. I let it happen and didn't push for fear of more tripping, but he did a great job. We moved out on a larger circle to try the "going straight" thing, but he would get off balance and come back to a trot. Good horse, he did it on his own! We cooled out around the barn and I decided to hose him since it was "warm" at 50-60 for a change. I put him in his stall to eat so he could dry off before I put him back out because it is still very cold at night. He was happy to have his food, and I was happy to have him trot in hand after all of those miles! Ginger snaps > Being Lazy.

I rode while my husband took his enduro out in the woods by his brother's house. The woods connects from his town to ours, and the trails are ENDLESS. In a car, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour, so you can imagine how big it is. 115,000 acres of FUN (and over 500 miles of paved roads)! ... and there are many more woods and trails attached to them from other parks that are easy to get to (and sort of attached). The picture is for reference of the size, and for the size of the state, it's a lot of open space. While they were in the woods, they found a rider that said she does endurance rides. I posted in the NJ Trail Ride Association group to see if anyone would know who this was, and it ended up being a rider that was in the group! She friended me, and the owner of the horse did, as well. I plan on trying to ride with them soon, and it turns out, the horse belongs to a member of the equestrian club that I knew from Stockton. It's such a small world!

The red is the area we live by (from above) to compare to the size of the state, and the blue is where the endurance ride is.
Is this a bad idea?

Sunday, I did a 45 minute quick ride with w/t/c. I wanted to make sure that Spyder was listening to my leg since the day before, I just let him trot along without asking for much else. I pushed him off of my leg around a circle and had him go round to really round out our turns and get him focused. The canter was collected and I was able to sit way back in the saddle, but pushing straight was an issue. I tried to open up the circle, but he would lose his balance and begin to trot. The good news is, each time he broke, I would ask him to canter again and he would pick it right back up. He got off easy since I pushed so hard the day before, and I went home to help Chris work on my horse trailer (sort of, but not really, he did all of the work). It's ALMOST there!

Worked him more than usual. Furry, sweaty mess.
Tired after pushing for 12 miles!