Sum total of things I did in June to prep for a mid-July ride: take horse for trail rides whenever she was neither sick nor lame. Effectively tapered off Real Work as of June 1.
Total number of Real Works in the past six weeks: I think, maybe, six? And that’s combined sprints and longer rides. That’s surprisingly more than I expected.
Sunday before the ride, things not recommended:
1. Boot for the first time since last competitive ride (May 3rd). Discover that 3 of 4 boots are looser than I normally think correct – although all go on quite easily for once, so that’s something! Follow that discovery by being unable to find the bag of Boot Stuff that holds both hex wrenches for adjusting boots.
2. In digging through all the bins and boxes in the tack room (reorganized and condensed as of the last week of May), fail to find bag of boot stuff. Instead find very-baby rats. Remove rats from tack room and hope that their mother relocates them elsewhere. Location does explain why the nice endurance saddle was getting chewed on for the first time ever.
3. Conclude that GPS tracking app is still not functioning correctly (as of last Thursday). Reinstall does not fix. Fail to find suitable replacement prior to Sunday’s ride.*
4. Debate putting on heart monitor** (again, for the first time since last competitive ride). Skip it. Too hot. Too much work.
5. Replace stirrups on saddle for less-squished ones. Why not change all the things immediately before the ride? Realize everything is suddenly very springy.***
6. Ride with the slightly-too-loose boots anyway. Might as well see if they work. Verdict: very impressed with the Renegades, as they stayed on, no twisting or anything.
7. Discover that summer-coat pony has started shedding; winter coat soon to show up.
8. Continue trying to plan how horse is going to get to ridecamp. (Thankfully we’re very local and I have several options if a trailer ride over does not fall into place.)
*What do the rest of you use? Prefer something that shows average MPH, lets you view individual section speeds, pretty visual graph is a plus, free or close to it a must since I’m hoping current app will start playing nice again soon. iPhone, not Android.
**I’ll probably ride with the heart monitor at Fireworks, but use it mainly to see how she does pulsing down at checks. My sense of how well she’s doing otherwise is going to have to be sufficient, since we have not trained with it very much lately.
***Next major purchase: caged stirrups from ATG. My year with my previous pair of stirrups is just about up, and their lifespan appears to be over.