Thursday, June 9, 2011

two quick rides

obligatory ear shot

The sun is finally out, the weather has warmed, and now all I want to do is ride. Work to pay bills? No way! But alas it has to be. I've been able to ride after work, and it has been lovely.

I did a quick 30 minute ride the other night, and forgot how much fun you can have in just a little time. We trotted and cantered all over the place (avoiding the new mud bogs from the last rain, soon they'll be dry). Major was in a good mood, and I pretty much let him choose. I think that is a delicate balance, and there are days when I have to guide every step, but then there are days where we're quite a team. We just rode for 26 minutes, covered 3.23 miles, average speed 7.3. On my trails that is moving pretty good, all the single track can be tough to manuever, and remembering to duck is paramount!

lover's trees
Last night we headed a different direction. Major's ears perked up...we've been this way many times, but not for awhile. We went by the Lover's trees (I've pictured them before, but they're just two amazing intertwined oaks) and up to a lookout point. I can't believe that I don't know the name for this spot, I'll have to find out. It is a good spot for photos, and we stood on the rock and took an obligatory ear shot. I was going to stop here but continued on another half mile to a pond. I did look this one up, it doesn't have a name on the map, but it is quite pretty. Major was totally enthralled. We stood in the water, he just keep gazing out, there were fish jumping and also near our feet. It was a nice, quiet spot. All I could hear was the breeze, a few birds and frogs, and our breathing.
peaceful at the pond

After about five minutes we headed for home, at a fast but controlled trot. We got to the trail we call Mandy's cutoff, and Major picked up a canter. The trail uphill has lots of twists and turns, so I didn't think the canter was a good idea. I asked him to slow, he slowed to a really nice slow controlled canter, and while I should have asked for the trot again, I let him try it. I thought after a quick corner he'd break back to a trot. Instead I got a canter though a corner, switch leads, canter corner, switch leads, canter corner, switch leads. I had no idea he could even do that! I certainly do not school in the arena on leads (though I should, I know!), and while we pick up both leads on trails this was quite cool! I am not going to make it a habit of letting him canter tight corners, but this experiment turned out OK, and let me see how athletic he is.

Charging up the hill we came down to a walk, as there is a tree trunk that will grab your knee if you're not super careful (and barb wire off trail, and a branch to whack your head on, it is a tricky spot). The rest of the way home was more sedate, but he was very hot and sweaty after this ride. We'll have to acclimate to this temperature (that should have been a month ago!).

He got hosed off (not his favorite thing) and to roll in the arena (that part is ok) and to eat grass (the best part for him). It was a fun day, for us both, and that is the best part for me.

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