Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Miles on Miles on Miles

The past month+ has been really great for riding, getting fitness built on all three horses, and enjoying great company. 

It's such a treat to get all three horses out at once!

When I sit down and quantify it, I can see that in the past 6 weeks I've logged more than 124 miles on trail with the horses thanks to friends joining me for rides.

Chelsey on Stanimal atop Cabin Mountain

Q has tackled ~108 miles, Stan ~76 miles, and Grif ~43+ miles (I don't log mileage for a lot of his flat rides - of which there were 7 - only the time and qualitative data about what we worked on).

Q (and Taiga the white dot) and I on a conditioning ride

It's a real shame I don't have the finances to compete this year when I look at how freaking fit the horses are!

A gorgeous misty morning en route to Aimee's ranchette; I love that it's quicker to ride the 2½ miles than to trailer!
We rarely see cars on this road...though clearly some dumbdumb drove off it the night before evidenced by all of the berm gravel out of place!

But that's just life sometimes. 

Almost back to the field! It's behind the trees after the road signs.

Ultimately, I'm grateful the horses are all in good health and that I've been able to enjoy so many wonderful miles with so many lady friends in Canaan. It's been such a treat!

Ponied Miss Thing for 12 miles from Stan

And competition or no, it's really nice to be able to put such a strong fitness base on the horses. 

Hello, Mister HunkaChunk!

Q in particular I know will take this fitness and hold it through the inevitable winter break. After a year+ of little to no work following her suspensory lesions, this is exactly what she needed - a rebuild of her base fitness that will last.

Q after 15 solo miles. Yes, I removed hind hoofboot then paused for a photo lol

All of the horses have been doing so very well with the miles. I think it's been good for all of our brains.

Aimee on Griffin. The view from their ranchette really doesn't suck. This is the horses' main turnout pasture.

Griffin had quite the hiatus from trails for a few years after we lost access at the old barn. I can't express how nice it is to see his happy ears again when he's out in front. He hunts the trail like he hunts jumps. It's no wonder he enjoys XC so much - it's the perfect combo of his two favorite jobs. Additionally, he's picked up another job he  had taken a break from in recent years and is now giving a lesson once a week(ish) to our friend Aimee. She's a natural rider with innate ability, but none of it has been channeled or honed until now.  We have SO much fun working together! Her progress is absolutely astounding in the three lessons we've had, and she is working so very well with Griffin. I daresay he's even enjoying the lessons!

Oh yes, and Griffin turned 8 at the end of July! Where does the time go?! His topline isn't where I want it, but the rest of him is lovely.

Stan is as patient and stoic as ever. I've ridden him only 12 miles this summer as he's the perfect companion for my friends who don't ride as often to get to enjoy miles with. Of all my horses, Stan has built quite the reputation in the Valley. Between the ladies who have enjoyed riding him the past few weeks and the men who worked with him during the Army training last year, he is very loved by so many. It thrills me to see the horse I've had so many amazing memories with over the past 13 years give others so many more memorable experiences. He is truly one of a kind. 

Look at those happy ears!!

And Q. Oh, Q. I'm so very happy to see this mare absolutely THRIVING for the first time in a long time. After a year+ of only being ridden by me as I worked with her to build confidence and trust, I've finally let friends ride on her and she has been a doll for them! She's been so lovely for me, too, but to see her ridden by others is such a treat; I fall head over heels for her all over again every time - she is such a gorgeous little thing when she's in motion. Amy had Q leading at a hand gallop for miles and miles of trail last weekend with only 2 spooks the entire time. I was just thrilled to watch Q zoom along the trail so happy and confident.

Being a good trail poneh

And yeah... That's basically it lately. Nothing too crazy or exciting. Just lots of miles full of smiling faces surrounded by gorgeous scenery. The year isn't quite what I expected it would be, but the contingency plan sure doesn't suck. 😉