When Mel wrote about having some heavy-mileage weeks and some low-mileage weeks, I briefly wondered how I’d manage the latter. Answer: life!
After our 12-mile ride last Monday, we took it pretty easy for the rest of the week. We went out for a slow two miles on Thursday, then back out with gaited horses for a moderate-to-slow five miles. I switched to another pony for my third ride that day – it just didn’t seem mentally fair to ask her to do ANOTHER slow ride where she would have to be in front.
Horse Expo was Saturday, so Friday’s riding consisted of walking around the arena bareback in the early morning. Expo was HOT HOT HOT for this redwood-adjusted girl, and it reinforced to me that I do not handle sudden heat well. How will I handle that this summer? I’m not sure yet. Electrolytes, maybe. Lots more water for me, definitely.
Saturday’s ride was maybe a mile or two in the semi-darkness. Nice and uneventful until Fetti spooked at a housecat when we were just about home. Sigh.
Sunday we trailered out, tried a new place, asked the ponies to do some stuff they probably shouldn’t have, discovered just how much my poor pony will do if I ask (although she’ll make it clear she’s less than thrilled about it when water crossings try to make her miserable), missed our turn, and hit some very, very not-horse-friendly trail. We turned around and aborted the whole thing. It was the most stressful ride I’ve had in ages and none of it was the pony’s fault.
Bareback again on Monday, not doing much. Short trail ride on Tuesday, where Fetti felt totally OK even after Sunday’s disastrous trail, and the other pony was a bit stiff.
Thursday? Thursday, we went for the first Real Ride in a week and a half. Off to the deck by ourselves with only minor fits! 6.48miles, 4.3mph average, which includes stopping briefly on three different occasions for children to pet the social pony. We also encountered a skunk, but I paused the tracking for that one – I wasn’t about to rush past the skunk. I still have no idea what the correct way to proceed is for that. I’m pretty sure that’s our best speed yet, and she was still happy to trot home. No HRM – it was hot, and I didn’t really want to know, just wanted her to go if she was willing – but I’ll add that back on for our next ride.
My main purchase at the Expo was a sheepskin cover. I’ve been riding with a seat cover pretty much since I got the saddle, but the edges on my seat-only non-sheepskin one were starting to get irritating. I went with the partial-fender cover since it bugs me when my lower leg slides around much. So far, I do like it, but it definitely puts me in a slightly different position. It’s also not very comfortable for walking around since there’s not enough cushion at the seat itself. The flaw there is definitely in my saddle, not so much in the cover, and I’m not sure if it’s going to be an issue long-term or if I’ll end up getting used to it. There’s some adjusting yet to be done before I’m 100% satisfied with the fit and my position in it.