Sunday, September 12, 2010

building up speed

I love the canal trail. It parallels Folsom Lake, is nice and sandy with great water access. The water laps the edges, the footing is great, beautiful views, with intersting historical significance (being an 1850s canal that once carried the river water to the Folsom Powerhouse, long before the lake exisited).

Major loves it too. Maybe a little too much. My plan on Saturday was to ride the upper Pioneer trail, so I booted up and got ready to go. My plans changed when I came across the lost runners running from Auburn to Granite Bay. I redirected them, and I know that we all can use the trail, but it is easier to move off and let them have the access than dodging runners and slowing them (or us) down.

So Canal trail it was. I think the minute Major felt the nice sand (even though booted), the flat open trail, he was wanting to go. I worked on just trotting, trying to keep it at a trot I could post (below 10mph) and slowing for the rocks and granite slabs that punctuate the trail. It worked...sometimes. I can read him pretty well, but he can still sneak that canter in with almost no warning, or just enough for me to start slowing him down. We had a few pretty good discussions, and I just pull him back from the canter and continue trotting. A few discussions ended in circling till his feet stopped moving.

I like that he is not running off with me, he is just having so much fun and wanting to go even faster. I don’t like that he is forgetting I’m up there and not listening to my aids. Work in progress.

Since I’d had other plans for a longer ride, when I finished part of the canal (and Major was still wanting to go) I was thinking of doing more miles, more training. Then I stopped and reevaluated: I’m not training for anything. I just had a good, safe ride on a happy horse. Going home and giving him a nice bath and some grazing time sounded like a good plan as well. So we did.

P.S. Newly adjusted boots stayed on the whole ride! Through sand and rocks with no rubbing, just took getting them adjusted correctly.

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