What a great way to start out the New Year, trail riding! It has always been my tradition to saddle up and ride no matter the weather on New Year's Day. As you begin the year, so goes the year, or at least that is my theory. Doug went with me, and Phebes covered about eight miles today. We trotted about half the time, cantered up some hills, and enjoyed the sunshine. Temperatures were about 36 degrees, but the trails were still frozen, and some of the creeks were too. She rode really nice today. Plenty of impulsion, and lots of fuel left in her tank when we finished. She is ready to move up to 15-18 miles now, I'm sure of it. So long as we pace it right.
I finally tried out the S-Hack, and so far I really like it. The nose band we changed out for one made at Locust Grove Tack by Mr. Huffman. It fit her far better than the nose band that came on the S-Hack. Though the one that came on it was constructed nice, it had no bend and wouldn't hang right on her nose. The one Mr. Huffman made is small and cups right over the nose real sweet. She stopped today when ever I asked her, even at the gallop. So whoa was working. The real test will be how she acts on Saturday in the group.
Chicken Chase is in April and I'm trying to think out my ride strategy. Chris thinks we are best off to leave with the pack and settle in somewhere in the middle. I'll only be able to do this if Phebes is over the pulling behavior well prior to the ride. Otherwise, I'd rather leave after the pack. This does have its problems though, such as being alone on trail if something goes wrong. Nobody is going to ride up and find you. We may end up back of the pack anyway if she burns her self up fighting to stay with the herd. I'm wanting to develop a nice steady 7 mph rhythm.
My Phebers gets all A's today on her report card. She loaded well both coming and going. She moved out on the trail with plenty of impulsion (actually more than I can keep up with, I have to rest!). She spooked in place at a couple of scary things, but did not spin back. She bypassed a frozen area in the creek where the trail was pretty technical, lots of tree roots, and uneven rocks rocking under foot. I had fun! Imagine that...on Phebes I had fun!!!
To do list:
*Find a rope halter that will work under the hackamore without getting in the way.
*Start getting her used to having her mouth handled, she is like wrestling an alligator to look at her gums.
*More foot handling. She has taken a swipe at me and Doug this week when trying to pick up her hind foot.
*Purchase her new boots for all the way around. I'll probably have to get those a pair at a time. I'll take along my old Epic and some vet wrap for an emergency.
*Soon as the weather warms a little I have to set up the electric pen and see how she does in that for a weekend.
*I really need my exercise bike home!!!
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association