We needed a long ride last week. I knew it was supposed to be warm, so we headed out mid-morning, figuring a brisk 15-18 miles with boots should be doable.
– The ride did not start well. Fetti decided there was something terrifying in the woods and I walked her down to the river, then got back on. I think she was serious, not making it up, but it did not set a good tone.
– She was behind my leg very consistently and I was pony-kicking her into a 6mph trot. Ugh.
– in fact, I’m not sure we ever got to our proper 8mph trail-trot. If we did, it was a fluke.
– Did not balk hard going into the river, only a little bit; that was acceptable. Did throw the brakes on at the usual spot in Pogonip. I was unimpressed. It lasted not as long as usual, so that does show progress, I guess.
– Faked me out through the entire Pogonip section pretending that she needed to pee. She just wanted to turn around and quit early. I have got to remember that she does this through here on her lazy days.
– Nice canter even up in Pogonip, but RF boot twisted and we stuck to trotting after that.
– Garmin started throwing low battery warnings around mile 10.
– Pony drank from the major river crossing! This is super exciting, since I’ve never had her drink here before. It’s reassuring that she’ll drink here if/when she’s thirsty.
– A big tree fell down and she spooked two steps, very politely. I stopped telling her how awful she was for being slow and lazy and started telling her how happy I was with slow and lazy.
– My tall boots rubbed behind my knee. Lesson learned: tall boots will not work for long rides.
So: we did do fifteen miles, but they were pretty miserable and ugly. I think it took something like four hours, maybe a bit more with the tree falling down bit.
For bonus miserable and ugly, I had about two hours of relaxing at home before a migraine kicked in, and then I slept on and off from 4 until about midnight, complete with asking a very kind soul at the barn to please feed my horse because I can’t get out of bed. Mostly they’re not that bad! Thankfully this one subsided by midnight, I slept some more, and returned to being human by the next morning.
– I ordered a new Garmin model with a longer lifespan. I’ll review after my first competitive ride with it, later this month or early next month. This was a fixable problem I could throw a reasonable amount of money at to resolve a re-occurring headache, and I was sufficiently frustrated I was willing to do it. It had been on my ‘maybe eventually’ list for a while.
– I ordered two new battery packs, so I don’t have to borrow my boyfriend’s spare at when I want a second one at rides. This was a problem I felt needed to be fixed immediately. I feel a lot better having a backup phone charger with me on long rides, just in case. They’re also not very expensive.
– Tall boots went back in the closet for at least a week for my knee to heal.
– Hoof rasping is high on the priority list, and another test will need to occur before our next ride.