OOOOPPPSSSS!!! I forgot to talk about the boy part of our Dynamic Duo. Sorry, guys!
The hubs does this for me. He looks at trails and wishes he was running instead of riding. Don't get me wrong, he loves his Pete horse. Its just that riding is not his first love. While arena riding is like pulling teeth for the two of them, show them a trail and watch them go! I love riding with him. We generally are on the same page in respect to pace and distance. He knows when I like to walk and not to push too hard. There are instances of disagreement on rides. He can't always keep Pete to a nice pace which is in part Pete's fault and in part the hubs' fault. All in all if they were up for it, I think doing a 50 with them would be great. But while Pete has the best trot I have ever seen, a love of the trail and easy going personality, he is pushing it in age and the amount of work to get him in shape and keep him there just isn't in the cards. If I switched to riding him, yes I could do it. His resting hear rate is already above 60, so pulsing in at rides is an issue from the get go. He would just require a lot to get there and maintain.
He was like a rocket at the start. Standing still isn't his best characteristic, but the hubs has managed, through a lot of time and patience, to teach him to contain his excitement and impatience to a dull roar. He was jumping out of his skin to get going. Once let loose, it was all the hubs could do to keep him from galloping off. I love his enthusiasm.
Pete loves to be in the lead and led the majority of the day. He is braver than Gem and I don't recall him spooking at anything all day. He had that one fall which was just due to bad timing, but didn't get hurt.
His trot is just ground eating amazing. I swear he has some gaited breed in him the way he moves. It annoys the hubs a bit because he rarely canters. He prefers to just "power trot" along rather than kick it up to the canter. It isn't a true gaited pace though or at least it isn't a very smooth one. The hubs has to post it at some incredible speed and I think he would like a canter break here and there.
Pete started to act tired about mile 6.5 or so. We came into a big open field and had to turn left along the woods and eventually wound our way around the back of the field and back to the right. A horse ahead of us was visible off to the right. Pete figured he could just cut right and be done with it. He gave the hubs a lot of grief about that, but once we got into the woods, he calmed down and got back to work. He looked tired at the trailer, but was happy and sound.
Pete has a back that any saddle can fit. Lucky. The hubs purchased a new Wintec All Purpose saddle when he got Pete and it has stayed the same ever since. I don't monkey with their gear at all, so maybe it could fit a little better or maybe not. Pete is sound and pain free so I don't stick my nose in.
The hubs rides in Ariat clogs which are no longer available, but he loves them and never complains about foot issues.
They also use a halter/bridle I bought them for Christmas one year in John Deer green and yellow. He loves it and won't use anything else.
Pete is barefoot as well. He chose to walk on the shoulder on all the roads and I don't think he is quite as "rock crunching" comfortable as Gem is, but he does just fine in most cases. I want to get him some boots as well some day.
He had fun. I think. Not as much fun as if he had run the 9 mile trail, but fun nonetheless.
He wore one of his favorite t-shirts. We got it at a hiking store in Virginia when we went for a conference back when we still lived in PA. It says "Hike Naked: Put color on your cheeks" Or something along those lines. Anyway, when we came up to the half way point the guy in charge of the beverages asked the hubs if he had been to the pace the month before. Nope. He asked if he wore that shirt out and about in town. Yep, sometimes. Apparently, he remembered seeing him at a restaurant wearing the shirt and recognized him at the ride!!! I guess that is what you get when you wear shirts like that :)
He was a little sore the day after, but mostly in his shoulders from having to hold Pete back so much. He lacks interest in going for a 50, but will continue with the paces. It is a good distance for them and will require little other than his typical riding to be in decent shape for them.