I have been in a big, major funk since Pow Wow. Probably the worst riding slump since I've had Gem.
I would make some riding goals/plans and then watch them slip away as I chose to sit on the couch instead of go to the barn yet another night. All my "real" goals were so far off in the future that riding this spring didn't seem a priority. Add on to that a lot of work stress, the hubby picking up extra weekend shifts and losing his week day off, Wyatt growing up and wanting me around a lot plus going to bed much later, my local riding friend having a now non rideable mare due to a really bad case of Lyme, and a sad hangover from Christy and things just were not working out for Gem and me this spring.
I had really thought/hoped that the Equathon would be the catalyst to a better training routine once again, but it didn't change my mood at all. It was fun, but I missed the camaraderie that the R&T brought with it and once it was over things just went back to the new normal.
A group of you wonderful bloggers added me into an invite to attend a ride this summer in WV. The ride itself was on my "bucket list" of rides to hit, so that was a big draw already. Outside of that though, the ability to meet some wonderful horse people in real life and hopefully make some real life connections and friends has made a huge difference. I am thankful for the invite and will be doing my best to make the trip happen.
This means, however, that Gem and I must get ourselves back into the game. There are 8 weekends standing between now and the ride and if I am going to ask her to do a 50 in the hills of WV, I better be doing my darnedest to have her in the best shape possible for it. Plus, I need to get her footwear figured out as this is not a barefoot course. Farrier Lady comes back out for a second trim this Wednesday and I am going to grab some immediate pics and get her to help with measurements to decide on boots. Her hinds look like they would probably fit the regular Renegades now, but I am not so sure on the fronts. I will get pics and email them to Renegade for their opinion as well as ask Easy Care. I would much prefer to have the same brand on all 4.
As for training, this is a very tricky time. Dusty has picked up those extra shifts due to a lot of unexpected and expensive happenings this spring. He already works every other Saturday morning at his regular job, but has now picked up the extra Saturdays and picked up all day tomorrow (Sunday). I am going to have to throw away my preferred early morning ride times and make some changes in order to fit in those needed miles.
Knowing that he will be gone all day tomorrow, I forced myself to head out to the barn at 3 pm today. Typically I avoid heading to the barn when the sun is up and blazing hot, but I can't avoid it so off I went. The BO was there and I haven't seen him in forever. We ended up standing in the barn while Gemmie snoozed in the shade and slight breeze for nearly an hour. Dusty had taken the dogs and Wyatt to the park to play, so I wasn't in a hurry and could just enjoy the afternoon.
By the time I got on her it was nearly 5 pm and thankfully the sun wasn't quite as high as before. I wanted to ride a full hour and had originally wanted a faster ride - aiming to keep 8-10 mph overall. However, it was really hot and the trails at the barn offer little shade. I knew it wasn't in her best interests to plow ahead with that plan. Instead I worked on intervals. I would get her up and working in the wanted range and keep her there for a short period and then let her walk and graze to cool down. Once I was comfortable with how she was again, I would ask her to move out.
Gem did super well. She didn't spook one time even when a rabbit jumped out on the trail right in front of her and she moved out as I asked and came back down without much of a discussion. Near the end, I opened her up a bit and we did a fun little 14 mph hand gallop. She was sweaty at the end, but not breathing hard at all and she got a much deserved wash down and a soaking wet mash.
It was a really great ride and I am so happy that I made myself head to the barn in the heat of the day. Thanks once again for the invite and I really can't wait to meet everyone!