We had an excellent solo ride today. Still a little slow, but no shananigan's so I'll take that! A ride without a spin back is a beautiful thing. And 22 miles of that makes an incredibly wonderfully fantabulous day! So what went well?
Uh....dare I say almost everything? It was windy and cold today, in the mid-thirty degree range. Trail conditions continue to be soft and muddy. Funder if you are in "earshot" here is what we did today.
*Before hauling (to and from) I gave a syringe of organic aloe juice for the tummy.
*We rode slow, 3-8 mph depending on footing.
I offered water at every stop, but if she didn't show real interest (not just head dropping) we rode on. I've had so many people tell me their horses don't drink before mile 10, 15, or 20. I know she finally succumbs to an urge at around mile eighteen, like clockwork. You don't always have water hole at the critical moment, but I carry an extra bottle of water that I can give to her, and her watered down electrolytes which I give intermittently. Today she sipped about a half of a gatorade bottle that I'd added water, a little salt, and a little lite salt. I don't syringe it, I just let her swig it out of the bottle. I relyed on this stuff for the first eighteen miles. Then we took a break at the horse trailer so I could chow on chinese food (I'm so freaking spoiled by my hubby, and I love it). She nibbled a little grain mix, and ate some hay from her hay bag. Her pulse came down to 57 in under five minutes. It was so cold I kept her rump covered at the trailer so she wouldn't cramp. She seemed really bewildered going back out, like NO! I thought we were done! She pulled the old lets stop trick a few times, but finally she got back into the swing of things enough to average 4 mph on the last 4 miles. She drank four times on this last 4 mile loop. When we got back to the trailer she started chowing down on her hay. She did not drink any bucket water at the trailer, but I wasn't concerned because she was drinking out of natural water sources really well after 18 miles. It will be interesting to go farther sometime, and see how she does, and if I can interest her with carrots, cookies, and bits of hay pellets out on the trail. Our total ride time was 4 1/2 hours for 22 miles with average ride time 4.8 mph. Once the ground dries out I think we can easily drop some time off of that and pull it closer to 5 or 6 mph. Now I have to figure out some kind of a strategy to make this all happen at an actual LD! ~E.G.