|Lily napping on the round bale remnants when I got to the barn today.|
|See this filthy, mud-crusted sheet? This is what it looked like 2 weeks ago.|
|I took this photo today. That's this same sheet, after washing. All I did was run it through the washing machine twice with 2 capfuls of Rambo Blanket Wash and cold water. Nothing else. It looks as good as new!|
Gotta start working on my own eating and drinking while in the saddle during these longer rides. It wasn't like I didn't have food and water in the saddle bags with me either. I did. It was an epic fail on my part and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been nearly as sore today if I'd hydrated myself appropriately yesterday.
I got Lily ready to go to the indoor. I chose to ride in the Alta Escuela again because it is just so much more comfortable than the Wintec. Don't get me wrong, this particular model of Wintec is comfortable too when compared to other saddles out there. But if I'd ridden in the Wintec yesterday, I guarantee you I would not have been able to ride at all today! The Alta Escuela is so much kinder to my body.
The only changes in tack were the removal of my saddlebags for this shorter ride. I'm also playing with a new bit: a Myler combination bit. It has a ported level 2/3 mouthpiece (Lily prefers ported bits. She hates jointed bits) and 3 rings which allows you to play with leverage.
|You can buy it here. |
As with most of my more expensive gear I scored it for a fraction of the regular price on eBay. It was brand-new in the package!
I mounted up and we rode over to the indoor, Charles walking along next to us. He's a trooper. It was especially awesome to have him come along because it meant having someone to open all the gates without having to dismount!
We had the indoor completely to ourselves. The owner of the property stopped by to say hello, then continued on his way to clean stalls and feed the horses that they keep in the adjoining barn.
Lily started out very distracted and "up". I think she might have been going into heat with the warmer weather, too. While cantering to the right during our warmup, she actually pulled her old, old stunt of swapping leads and trying to change directions to the left! I halted her immediately, circled her and had her pick up the canter again to the right. She didn't try it again.
|A break to stretch|
|She was inverted in this one, but I just love the composition of the photo!|
This one was Charles's favorite photo.
|Chugging along. She's blinking so it looks like she was trotting with her eyes closed!|
|Moving into the contact.|
|This photo is my absolute favorite. It's actually a still from one of the videos.|
|Hanging out with Charles for a minute; we had taken a water break.|
|Walking up the bridle path from the indoor.|
|We got too far ahead and turned around to meet up with Charles again.|
|On the way home.|
I was astounded by how much horse I had after yesterday's ride. She was riding like she'd just come out of 4 days off of work. I got a massive workout myself keeping her put together during this session; she had so much energy. I need more work! We trotted so much yesterday that today it was a relief to focus on cantering. I'd say about 65% of our workout ended up being at the canter...and she felt like she could canter forever. If she broke the canter, it was because I asked for it or because I unknowingly shifted my weight and she thought I wanted a downward transition. She'd want to go right back into it. This is completely unheard of for this mare. The geotextile footing in the indoor is wonderful and perfectly maintained: there are no hard or deep spots, two things which do happen in the arena at the barn. We were able to work on bend at the canter, spirals, and on simple lead changes, which we hadn't worked on in almost a year. The canter was mostly caught on video, which I will post later during the week.
Lily pranced most of the way home. I was beat, but she still had plenty of energy to burn.
I gasped when I saw the Runmeter reading for today:
12.78 MILES (almost THIRTEEN!!) IN 1.5 HOURS!!! What??!! After thinking about it, I do believe it. We can hit 4.5-5 mph easy doing 50% walk, 50% trot. We did a whole lot of canter work during this session and the rest was trot, so it is totally possible that this really is the amount of ground we covered. I would have questioned it if I hadn't known for a fact that there was good reception in this arena: I was listening to Pandora the entire time without a glitch; this app will not work if there are any phone signal issues.
She broke a sweat during the session, but while eating her beat pulp later her eyes sparkled and she still had a sassy edge. She was not tired.
More bad weather is moving in tonight; it's supposed to be up and down climate-wise all week. Lily will have the next 4 days off to rest. I'm still astounded by her fitness level. It's pretty awesome knowing that I'm the one that has made her this way, that has brought her this far.
Tomorrow I return to the gym!