April 28, 2014

I'm Still Here!!

It has been insane lately. The business opened up last week and even though my patient volume isn't so great since it just opened, there are sooooo many things to do that my time is just eaten up with it all.

I did manage to get out to the barn 3 times last week which is great. I only rode 1.5 times though. That's better than the 0 times the previous 2 weeks, so I am getting better. Now that life is sort of kind of settling a little bit, I am really trying to get out to the barn 3 times a week. The hot weather is going to settle itself in soon and I want to get as much conditioning in before that occurs.

So how did I go to the barn 3 times and only ride 1.5? How do you ride a half a time?

The first attempt was early in the week and it just wasn't in the cards to ride. I left later than intended and so my window to ride in the light was already shortened. Then Gemmie decided to drop the remaining winter coat (or most of it...she always leaves the top of her butt for absolute last) she has been carrying around with her and so the grooming process took an hour. The trainer lady was also there and finishing up and was apparently in the mood to talk, so we chatted it up while Gem got the spa treatment and the sun set. She got her dinner, supplements and a lot of love before going back out in her now greening up pasture.

The second attempt was on Thursday. I got to the barn good and early and even managed to dodge my usual 35 minute conversation with the BO so that I could actually get a ride in. I remembered my Garmin and we headed into the arena. My goal: ride 1 hour spending at least 35 minutes of that at speed (trot and canter). We began and it was apparent Gem was not mentally prepared for this. She was spooking at everything. The fence around the arena? Yup, scary. The jump standards against the fence? Yup, scary. The gate leading into the arena? Yup, scary. We worked through it and I was focusing on keeping her at speed. I thought things were going super great until I looked down at my watch and noticed we had only been at it for 4 minutes. Ugh. It already felt like an eternity and we still had 56 minutes to go!

To break it up a little I put down some ground poles to work her over and she did good with those, but we were still bored. So I made a small jump and worked her over that which didn't start out so great but eventually she jumped it like the good girl she can be. But it still had only eaten up around 15 minutes of our ride and I was bored.

Time to discover those trails on property! We headed out of the arena and across the driveway tot he trail entrance. Remember how she was spooking at everything in the arena? Well, this quadrupled as soon as we hit the trails. I swear sometimes Gemmie is infuriatingly annoying. I can trailer her someplace completely new and she will mostly behave herself. Take her out on the property she lives on and she becomes a giraffe on cocaine. Saying that she was on high alert is an understatement. The pigs were a problem, the dogs barking were a problem, the ditch was a problem, the leaf that blew across her path was a problem. It was borderline not very smart to continue this way. And we had gone all of 100 yards.

So..I did the smart thing and got off her. We hand jogged along the trails and she was still on high alert but at least then she could look around and feel safer. And I was much safer on the ground as well. We went about 2 miles (the longest I have run in a long time) and the trails are gorgeous. Once she gets her head around those will be very nice to train on. We didn't even explore the entire set. It is mostly double wide trails and there are not many hills, but there are a few steeper sections. Basically once she gets calmer on them, they will be a great way to get out of the arena and we can start working on some canter sets out on trails. I'm very excited about it!

But that only counted as a half a ride since I think in the end I did more work than she did.

I will post my equally annoying, but in a different way ride from out on the trails Sunday with pictures soon.

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