Distance: 10.37 mi
Avg Pace: 9:59 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 9:39 min/ mi
Best Pace 4:30 min/mi
Average Speed: 6 mph
So we were able to pulse down, and maintain our 6 mph average. I'm very happy with that. Now we need to be able to do that for at least two loops, but don't plan a long run again until two weeks ahead of our next competition.
Journey gave an epic spin back at the canter today. A crazed squirrel came barreling out in front of us and she just reacted BOOM! We ended up face first into the brush looking the opposite direction. She was kind of wiggy after this, and didn't want to maintain a canter...some kind of horse / squirrel quantum physics logic thing I guess. To avoid squirrels on the super highway, don't canter. That would be it in a "nutshell". (sorry couldn't help myself).
As for getting a quick pulse down today (I'd say about a minute), I eased off the pace a mile out from finish, alternating walking, with a slow trot. A quarter mile from the finish we dropped to a walk, and then at the service road in about 1/16th of a mile I got off, loosened her girth, dropped her bit, and handwalked her in. No that is not accurate, I about had to draaaaaaaaaaaaaag her in because she was in "I can't possibly walk faster than 2 mph mode." HORSE!
So in we come, she grabs some hay and starts chewing, gets a mouth full of grain and her pulse pops up. I asked LSEGH to take the grain away until she pulsed. I sponged her about a half minute, checked, and she was down to 51 bpm. We are getting it figured out. I'm just going to have to garner enough speed out on the trail, to allow me the luxury of hand walking her in. It really helped bringing that pace down gradually. The walk trot intervals in particular I feel was very helpful.
Journey was panting again today. I've never had a horse that pants (all arabs for the most part previously), so this is new to me. I know it was frowned on much more back in the day than it is now, and some horses use that as a cooling mechanism. Soon as I backed off though it quickly resolved.
The only tack issue we had today was the electrode for the heart rate monitor put an indentation on her back where it was under the saddle. Over longer mileage I think it might have been a problem. Next time I'm going to place it in a different spot and see if that helps. If not, I'll go back to the hand held. The pulse monitor has been very helpful of late though to know when to back off for a while. Using it I've been able to keep pulse down below 156 on even uphill canters.
For the most part we have no news, which is usually GOOD NEWS.