I'm more partial to my outdoors gym...even if the weather lately (until this week) has sucked major with high heat and humidity. Suck-o.
Q's a champ though.
I'm learning that she is the most sociable horse I've ever met. Ever. Especially when she's in heat. Which makes doing work nigh impossible because she's super concerned with being with her friends. In order to get her focus I've really got to make her work and move her feet and give her a LOT to concentrate on. Bring that need-to-be-with-friends drive to a must-focus-on-work drive.
Additionally, when she's in heat she's spookier than normal. Hence more flat and jump work around the barnyard. Its hard because her friends are near, but I'd rather deal with that than her decide the normal log we pass on the trail every day is now a bear that she should run from, dislodging me from her back in the process.
We're getting to know each other better, but I still don't want to take any silly chances.
: : : : :
Friday morning Q and I went on a 6 mile walk ride with D and Oliver. After that A came over and jumped her and gave me a flat lesson and then I put her over the little jumps 3 or 4 times. It was a nice long workout for her. Some slow (not necessarily long) distance and then some fitness work. It was her longest workout to date. (First video is A riding Q on one of her best sets; second video is A working Oliver [a 3 year old Kentucky Mtn. Horse])
She got Saturday off since I was participating in this thing we call wedding season, and then Sunday morning it was ON (like donkey kong!). It was our first solo trail ride in awhile, and the longest one to date - and to top that off, I planned to really push her for the first time.
She does SO much better when she's pushed and having to move out on the trail. Ohmygoodness.
I gave her three solid walking breaks, but the rest of the ride we pushed through at a solid trot with a few sections of cantering. She was wary of a lot of logs and dead leaves, but she pushed past them and I praised her every time. One deer, and one mystery animal spooked her into a 3-4 stride bolting canter, but that was it.
It was in the 90s and the humidity was absurdly high. Conditions very similar to last year's endurance ride here - so I was very curious to see how quickly she could pulse down after that workout.
She got to walk the last 1/5 of a mile to the barn - I was curious to see how quickly she could bring her heart rate down without a perfect riding cool down. My thinking, I may not remember exactly where I need to start walking in a ride because of new territory, memory malfunctions, or a combo of the two with some yucky heat to befuddle me because I'm tired.
We got into the barn, Chris took her and got the fly mask/bridle off while I quickly doused my head in water. I then took off her tack and then checked her heart rate w/ my stethoscope. I thought it was absurdly high, like >130, but I'm nearly positive I was counting breaths not heart beats - I'm new at this and not quite perfect at hearing what I should.
I walked her in the round pen for ~7 minutes and then let her stand for a few minutes more. I then listened to her pulse again. This time I heard a very distinct boom instead of a questionable rhythm of something or other. 57 bpm. Down to that in no greater than 15 minutes. Not too shabby!
|Hosed off and watching her friends longingly|
My vet encouraged me to bump up our workouts if she's coming down that quickly in that kind of weather. (I'm glad she's keeping track of my Facebook posts!)
Our 6 mile ride had an average speed of 5.7 mph according to my Endomondo app. We will have a little over 7 hours to complete our 30 mile ride in August. My goal is to finish before that time is over and finish with a happy, healthy horse. I have no other great speed or time expectations. Hopefully with training going the way it is, we'll be right on track!