One thing after another has conspired to keep Gemmie on a lovely vacation since Biltmore. Between rain every night I am free to ride, family events, work, getting sick etc...the only real mileage she has seen was the trip to Sumter 2 weeks ago. Barefoot Shine and Wine 50 is looming ever closer in the future and we aren't getting any fitter this way.
This past weekend I decided to change all of that and buckle back down. The weather was going to be nice and I debated between trailering out or just staying on property. In the end, we had family day at the barn Saturday and the hubby/W/Bones hiked while I rode.
I was up, out the door, tacked up and mounted by 9:1 5am which is no small feat with a 2 year old and living 35 minutes from the barn. I was also caked in sweat just by the effort of tacking Miss Thang up. It was humid!
I went back to the tried and true and used the Reinsman pad and left her bare. She was so unhappy at Sumter and I wanted to make sure it truly wasn't something else bothering her. End result: a happy (tired and sweaty) mare, so I am blaming it al on the Coolback pad.
I headed out to the pond and she was being a snot about the whole thing, so up the hill we went. There must have been a least a dozen massive spider webs crossing the trail that all ended up on me. Yuck! I made her walk back down the other side and then back up we went! We did a full 30 minutes of trot, canter and some gallop work up the hill and walking down the backside for recovery. She wasn't too impressed with the repetitive nature of the ride, but it was a good work out and she was puffing by the end of it.
At 30 minutes I let her leave the pond hill and we worked our way behind the barn and into the hay field. I really wish it had a path mowed in it. Just a simple perimeter with a big old X across the middle would leave me with some pretty awesome riding. You could do the entire 20 acre perimeter, then gallop down the straightway in the middle, make a figure 8, circle, all sorts of fun. In fact, the hubby is going to ask BO if we can borrow her tractor to do this and then I am going to get some flood lights to put out there so I can still ride in the evenings.
Anyway....she was being a big snot and wanted to be done, but we had another 30 minutes to go so I forced her to walk down the field to the trail at the back and did that. Then we galloped in a lovely controlled fashion back up the field and hit the other set of trails. When we popped back out by her pasture, we still had 15 minutes, so my plan was to head down the gravel road and hit the power lines. Her hooves are still awesome, but with the reduced miles and use of boots I am worried they are as strong and prepared for a barefoot 50 miles as I would like. Some light work on the gravel road would really help.
We crossed over onto the road and were doing fine until two dogs came charging, snarling and barking from a house behind some bushes. I saw them coming and they were definitely not being friendly or curious. I could see blood and teeth and gashes and a lame horse in my future, so I spun her around and we charge doff back to our property.
We still had 7 minutes left of the hour ride I wanted and she was now way past being a good mare and just wanted to be done. She was dripping with sweat and breathing hard from our most recent gallop. I asked her to just walk back down the hill and around the backside of the barn to be finished and then we untacked. She got a good hose down and her breakfast.
I am really trying to work on getting her to eat. She has been doing really well at eating after a ride at home, but she ignores it at ridecamp or even at the trail head. This is my biggest concern about doing a 50. She can get through a 25 no problem without eating, but it will catch up to her on a 50. Hopefully this helps some.