June 30, 2014

Weekends Until Biltmore: 2

Two weekends. That's it. I am so excited and nervous!! It is time to break out the horse sized bubble wrap :)

I had big plans for the weekend. This was the closest I was comfortable asking for miles from Gem and so S and met at Clemson Friday morning for a ride. It felt like forever since I rode with her last and it was so good to see her and Ria again. Ria is looking great and is completely barefoot now too :)

The 10 miles flew by without a hitch and just a tad bit of sweat. Ok...I lied...there was a ton of sweating going on for all four of us. It was overcast and only about 80 out, but the humidity had to be 80% with storms brewing for the weekend. Great training for a July ride :) We kept a decent pace too and while Gem wasn't overly enthusiastic by the end, she kept up pretty well without complaining. She even went out front a good bit to give Ria a break from the flies.

Three things did pop up:
1) S let me try out her s-hack which was awesome since I have had it on my wish list for forever. It was the exact type I want to order as well. It is a good thing I tried it before shelling out the dough  because no matter what we did it just wouldn't fit. Gem's head is odd...not tiny by any means, but I always have a hard time getting head gear to fit her. She needs either a cob or small horse sized anything and even on the smallest settings, this thing was way too large. Cross that item off the list!

2) I used her black ear bonnet again. This is the 3rd ride using it and she seems to like it. I tied like in the past, but at mile 8 she shook her head really hard and the thing flopped off her ears and under her chin. Oops...guess I need to tie it tighter next time. The ground was very hard and dusty and the next day the BO called to let us know her eyes were runny. It was clear fluid and she kept her eyes open and not blinky, so we waited until Sunday to check her out and all looked fine. I'm thinking the dust got to her and maybe that was why she shook her head?

3) After we were done I noticed two very small swollen areas at the front of the girth. Crap. She hasn't had a single rub in this get up since I got it. She has gone farther than this too, so it couldn't have been the distance. I checked and it was all fit where it should and no rubs or soreness from the saddle. Not what I needed this close to the ride. I grabbed the girth to take home and wash and then thought since I was cleaning that I might as well grab the saddle pad and bridle too, so everything came home with me and got a good cleaning that afternoon. Hopefully this will solve the problem and if not I will have show sheen along with me.

So that was Friday. S mentioned that T wanted to ride Sunday morning and do at least a 10 mile loop with a break for lunch then another 10 or 15 mile loop after. I didn't want to put that many miles on Gem, but thought about joining them for just the first loop. But then S texted me Saturday night that they were meeting at 1100 and that is just way too late for me, so I opted to just ride at the barn. I woke up Sunday morning to a phone call from S at 0730 asking if I got her text message.

Hmmm...no. Apparently she decided 1100 was too late as well and wanted to ride at 0900 and then possibly make her second loop T's first loop at 1100. She had texted me after I went to bed so I hadn't seen it. Well, I was game for that and managed the impossible....I got myself, the hubs and W all up, dressed and out the door in 20 minutes!!! Unfortunately, just as we were setting out S called back and said she wasn't comfortable with the forecast calling for T-storms all day and wasn't going to go anymore.

Having managed to get everyone up and moving I wasn't going to just stay home, so we loaded up the truck with some supplies for a project I had in mind for the hubby and we went to the barn. The hubby worked hard on my project and I hung out with W playing in the barn. Bones came along too and was able to run around with the barn dog and even jumped in the pond for a swim. It ended up being a lovely morning. It wasn't raining, so I decided to go get Gem. I needed to check out her eyes anyway. When I got her, the right eye was dry and the left had just a smidge of clear fluid. I really think it was just the dusty trail that got to her.

I pulled her in to ride and just then remembered my nice and clean bridle, girth and saddle pad sitting at home. Crap :( I ran out of the house so fast I didn't remember to grab them. I'm not brave enough to ride both bareback and in just a halter, so I took Gem to the arena for some free lunging. She looked absolutely beautiful running around and is looking so fit. I paid close attention to her feet and legs, but nothing looked off at all. I think we are just about as ready as we can be!!

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