"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm"
Back when I was 16 I went on a week long camping and canoeing trip in Canada. Backpack weight was a concern due to the many trails we would need to travel between the lakes. The fact that I was all of 90 lbs didn't help much either. I decided to ditch my sleeping air pad to make room for other things and just sleep on the ground in my sleeping bag. I slept like a baby and never missed it.
In 2012 I couldn't find my air pad and decided to go without because, hey, I did it all the time before. I felt every single rock, root and bump and every part of me fell asleep except my brain. Getting old stinks. We woke up stiff and sore, but ready to have fun.
Gem was still refusing to acknowledge my existence, but ate from the hubs and was energetic and sound. Time to ride! We tacked up and headed the opposite direction from the day before and did loop 2 from the previous fall. We had a lot of fun as we always do together. Pete always leads and we scoot on down the trail.
I felt bad for Gem having gone 12 miles the day before and after a few of the bigger hills she started to ask to walk. I let her. Somewhere along the way in the winter I had read about how the longer distance riders will get off and jog with the horse, mainly on hills. Techniques vary, but it seemed half decided to go on foot for the uphills and half for the downhills. To give Gem a break I dismounted and walked on foot up the next hill. She seemed to appreciate it and I got back on at the top.
We kept going and got to the bottom of the next big hill. I got off again and she seemed to recover by the top. We turned around to head back to camp and she was super energetic, so when we got to the bottom of the next hill, I stayed on. Halfway up she put on the breaks. I urged her forward telling her that I knew she wasn't that tired. She refused to move and instead craned her neck around and looked at me. I told her to walk. She kept looking at me. The hubby looked back and laughed saying that she was wondering why on earth I was still on her. Didn't I realize this was a hill? I created a monster :)