Now that I’ve had a good night’s sleep and am over my near-miss on the road last night…. I had a lovely ride in the Ganaraska yesterday. Here is the GPS track… http://connect.garmin.com/activity/127711547
Just like last time, I passed Chrystal as she was trotting down Porter Road. Although unlike last time she was trotting down the road on Miss T, not Grace. I sort of laughed when I saw her and thought “I bet her knees are hurting”. Grace is an awesome little horse. But she does do a bit of careening when she gets excited. And sometimes after a long ride, Chrystal looks a bit battle-worn.
So when she trotted into the parking lot as I was tacking up Dressy, I asked mildly “knees sore?” Chrystal laughed. Sure enough, she had gone out to tack up Grace and looked between her hot young firecracker mare and professional, reliable Miss T and changed her mind. Which is not to say that Miss T is slow, or quiet. But at least all she does is gallop off wildly in a straight line. Grace does a lot of lead-swapping flips back and forth across the trail as she tries to convince Chrystal that they could easily set a world record on the next few miles.
Miss T is a small but mighty Morgan. I think she’s 17 this year? And has been doing 50s for quite a few years. She finished the Old Dominion 100 in 2008 (she was pulled at 90 miles the year before when she lost the padding from a shoe and came up a little sore). She broke a splint bone in the spring, but is completely recovered and sound. By then though, Chrystal had discovered just how truly fast Grace was, so never quite got back to riding Miss T. It was nice to see the little bay tyrant back on the trail.
It was overcast, but warm enough to ride without a jacket. Well for me to ride without a jacket anyway. Dressy was not so impressed at being out at first. She’s been a little grumpy in general lately. I think I’m going to have to address some saddle fit issues with her. I’ve been riding her in King’s aussie saddle, but it’s really not right for her back and I’ve seen a bit of a change in her topline lately that I don’t like.
We walked for a long time. Rides at the end of the season are nice. No pressure to get any particular distance or speed in. Just riding for the fun of it. Eventually Dressy decided that all this walking was boring and trotted out a little bit. Then she tried to get Miss T out in front, but she wanted Miss T to go FAST out in front. It was interesting to see her maneuvering to accomplish that. She’d drop back and then forge up a bit on Miss T’s shoulder to try to taunt her into competing a little bit. Two boss mares on trail are a very political mix.
At one point, going up a hill, Dressy actually cantered. She tucked her nose, arched her neck, and did a beautiful, slow, three-beat canter! Okay, so it was only about five strides… but I take every little improvement as it comes. She got a great deal of praise for that one.
After we turned back towards home, Miss T picked up speed and went into the front at a trot. Dressy trotted. Miss T broke to canter. Dressy took one stride of slow gallop and bolted. Flat out. Went past Miss T at a run. AAAAGGHHH!!!!! I cranked on her and finally managed to get her down to a hand gallop. Which still wasn’t slow but at least gave me the illusion of control. Sometimes I forget that she used to be a racehorse. I am thinking that it’s time to move along from the very soft myler snaffle I’ve been riding her in.
She settled down after she’d done a bit of faster work though. I think she was just bored with the walking. She’s reasonably fit at this point. We had one more really great moment towards the end of the three hour ride…. Dressy changed leads!!!! It was… well…. not pretty. I have to admit that for a moment I thought she was either bucking or falling down. I think she must’ve started out by accident on the lead she doesn’t like (ummm… doesn’t have?) and had to untangle her legs. But again… I take what I can get, when I can get it 😀