November 19, 2013

Another Solo Trail Ride

Saturday was overcast and gloomy, but warm and I was determined to hit the trails. We spent the morning playing with W and then after lunch he took a nap and I headed to the barn to get the trailer hooked up and Gemmie ready to go.

FS Farms has a gate across the driveway and I stopped to unlock it. I looked up and could see my beloved mare staring at me all the way across the farm at the gate to her pasture. I yelled out "Hi Gemmie!!" She shook her head and took off at a canter away from the fence. Brat. The day she happily meets me at the gate will be the day I worry she is ill.

I am very proud of myself though. I lined up the truck and hooked up the trailer all by my lonesome with only minimal getting in and out of the truck. It only took about 5 minutes!!! The first time I ever did it involved tears, a phone call to the hubs and about 45 minutes. I am such a big girl now!

Gem had wandered all the way to the very back of her large field and was standing discreetly behind a tree. Sigh. I do love her, but she gives me such a hard time. I walked all the way over to her just to have her gallop off to the front gate again. She was tossing her head and having a grand time at my expense. The other 3 horses (Pete, Daisy and Blue) were not so impressed with her shenanigans. I walked back through the field and got her by the gate. She was looking mighty smug.

I brushed her out and examined her girth galls. I am very much not happy with these and have yet another new back up plan. Something has to work! They were healed and she was not sore at all. The hubs arrived with W and the pups and off we headed to the trails. Someday I will get brave enough to drive the truck and trailer, but for now I opt for the minivan.

The trail head was busy. We pulled in and I tacked Gem up and off we headed. We hit the trails and I was determined to speed her up this time. I let her walk the first 0.5 miles and then asked for a trot. She actually gave me one without complaint and we moved along up the trail. We almost immediately came across a group of 10 riders and so I pulled over and we waited for them to pass. We moved on out again and shortly there after came across another group. Pulled over again. Sigh.

Eventually we headed out down the trail and covered decent ground. I thought maybe I could push her through all 6 miles in the hour, but made a wrong turn at the second road crossing and headed down a new trail. This trail was nice and windy but had a ton of roots and a few steep sections, so gong was slower than I would have liked.

We made it to a lovely lake and were at about 40 minutes out. There was a creepy abandoned boat tied to the shore and since I no longer really knew where we were I thought it was a great time to turn back around. We mosied (is that not a word? to mosey.) on back down the trail and I encouraged her to actually move out a bit. We made it back across both road crossings and she started to be a big pain in my butt. She was slow. She didn't want to trot. She recognized that we were headed back and she wanted to stay out. I needed to get back. So...I got off a jogged. She was a little confused at first. She wasn't sure why she still had to trot when I wasn't on her, but we made decent time. In fact, she went faster with me on foot than on her.

We made it back to the trailer in one piece and happy. She was a little sweaty, but not bad. I think I need to push her harder and get her butt moving. I am way too easy on her in general. More on that later.

3.58 miles
1 hr 3 mins
274 ft elevation gain
281 ft elevation loss
3.9 mph moving pace
3.4 mph total pace
8.2 mph fastest pace

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