This past weekend was the Summer’s End training ride at the Pecile’s farm in Ganaraska forest. The original plan was to bring Bentley, but due to the recent re-occurrence of his lameness, I was not able to bring him. Fortunately Phyllis and Solstice offered up one of their horses for me to ride, and I ended up with Desiray, who is half sister to Solstice’s pony Angel.
On Saturday, they held the clinic which was very informative. I already know Set Speed very well since it is kind of the entry sport for OCTRA and therefore that’s most of what I have done this year and last, so that part although well done, wasn’t that important to me (which is ok because we came a little late and missed some of that!) But thankfully we were there in time for Kathy’s presentation on vetting which was beyond concise, but everything I was needing to hear. Last weekend Linda had a bit of a scare with gut sounds, so she was also particularly interested in all the vetting info.
Also got a lot out of Michelle’s presentation on how to calm your horse. If you read about how my Sunday went at Coates, you probably remember my frustration with Bentley’s Teenage Boy Syndrome. So I came home with a few things I want to try with him.
Sunday came around, which was the riding component of the training ride. The first scheduled event was the 4 mile ride and tie. I had partnered with Linda on Sable for the RNT component. We had planned on switching right at the vet check since Sable doesn’t yet tie well. Since Solstice and Michelle sponsored our horse (in other words watched her while she was “tied”) Linda decided to give me a break and about 1.5 miles in, I found myself with a fresh horse to ride!
We did mega trot back to the vet site, just passing Linda near the end of the 2 mile loop where I tied Sable and took off for Linda to do the vetting. I knew there was at least 1 runner ahead of me at that point, so I did my best to run again, and surprisingly the 2nd loop felt easier than the first loop, especially when I saw the runner close ahead of me and I knew I was on the way home. Linda caught up with me just before the end of the race and we swapped so she could finish while running.
My mind was working in mysterious ways at that point, and I was dead set that if we passed the runner ahead of me, we would win since I hadn’t seen her horse yet. So I was trying to tell Linda to ride ahead and tie in front of her, so I could pass her again on the horse. Well I clearly looked far to into it, because I forgot that its the last person to cross the finish line counts, whether that be the runner OR the horse. So it didn’t really matter. Clearly i was too tired to look at the big picture and focused too much on one little detail. It would have worked however if we desperately needed to pass that runner. I will save that strategy for next time. So if you followed my story there, the result was we won the ride and tie completing 4 miles in 45 minutes! (Even if I almost was sick from running too hard with no breakfast!)
Next we rode the set speed, which I rode Desiray in.
If Bentley is a Bentley, Desiray is a motorcycle. Bentley is big, powerful and flashy, and sometimes takes a lot to handle, where Desi is small and light, and works easily from the seat, but doesn’t have the big endurance trot and has to canter to keep up. I had so much fun on her, its nice having a 100% sane horse to ride, and although she was just broke in February, she was an absolute pleasure. Imagine being able to canter without snaky head, bucking, galloping or loss of steering! It was divine! But also, I clearly lack the tone in my core due to the meager amount of canter work recently. It was nice to work on my seat, but boy am I sore all over today. In fact, we cantered close to 2 hours as the “caboose” on the train of Michelle, Solstice and myself. We completed in just under 7mph which is the max speed with a final pulse of 36! In set-speed terms, this is great and earned us the best score of the day! Of course, I really cant take credit, Solstice and her family have been doing a great job training and conditioning Desiray, I just didn’t screw anything up!
Between the 2 wins, I brought home 2 new camping chairs, which is great since my parents just took back the ones we had borrowed from them.
I really needed that fun fun ride to lift my spirits with everything that has been going on with Bentley. What a great weekend!
Solstice and I are trying to convince Lee to let me go to the ride this weekend. I did kind of promise myself to him for this weekend before Solstice asked me to join them, but I am hoping with enough persistence it will happen.