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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Daylight Savings

Yesterday was my first daylight savings time riding opportunity! It was very frustrating. According to how yesterday went, I have some short term goals for this spring.

My plan was to jog/walk by hand Farley on the canal banks for ~30 minutes. She was a good girl, but circumstances were against us. We jogged down my normal canal route and very shortly met a HUGE dog. Loose. Running free. Looked like a chow mix. So I turned around. The gate was closed on the other canal bank route, but I went around it (it's my understanding that canal banks are public access?), only to meet another gate I couldn't get around. All together I got about 20 minutes in. She is still slightly uneven. You have to be watching for it, but it's there. Since she's still off, I'm going to give her another week off (hand walking only) and then try jogging her again (by hand - I don't have a dog, so it's nice to have a jogging partner!).

On to Minx. After my trials and tribulations with Farley and really didn't feel like riding on the canals, so I spent the first real riding day of the the arena. Yes, really. It's been a week since I have ridden Minx so it probably was for the best. She tried some side-teleporting moves, and a slight rear, but then was good for a whole 15 minutes. We worked on bending, outside reining, halts and backing based on seat/legs instead of reins......I was planning on doing a short 20 minute ride at a walk, so it was really a shame she started being pissy 15 minutes into the ride (she's NOT an arena horse). So, I threw her into the round pen for 10 minutes. Then we worked on walking out of the round pen for 5 minutes (no, you CANNOT rush through, even if you are respecting my space!!!!!!!!!). ARRGGGGGHHHH!!!!! NOT how I wanted to spend my first riding day of the year!

And then I cleaned pens.

My goal everyday is to do something that will bring me one step closer to completing my first 100. It could mean improving my physical condition (going for a run etc.), or making good food choices. On the horse side, it could be as strenuous as trailering out and going for a hilly 20 mile LSD, or as simple as allowing Farley to recuperate, while engaging her brain (ground driving, obstacle courses etc.).

Short term goals:
I'm hoping to have Minx ready for a 50 in 6-8 weeks. It's easier to get a horse in condition if they have been in excellent shape before. Minx raced as a 5 and 6 year old and so was in very good shape. Since that time we have been in "50 mile shape" twice. She's had ~7 months off, so any nagging little injuries should have had a chance to heal. I want this horse to have fun. She's so grumpy and pissy all the time. I'll alternate arena days and canal/trail days until she's more responsive. (This horse is going to kill me. Seriously. Someday I'll get around to posting her story and try to explain why I put up with her).

I'll give Farley as much time as she needs to heal. Once she's trotting 100% sound, I'll hand jog her for 2 weeks, followed by light riding for 1 week. Then we'll gradually return to normal conditioning. If her ultrasound is not favorable at the end of May, I'll give her the summer off (still ride, but no competitions) and see how she's feeling in the fall.

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