Sunday, April 13, 2008

Monster Hill at Andy Guest State Park

At first, Karen, Betsy, Christa, and I had planned on going riding...but then Karen had 500 excuses why she couldnt go, one of which she had been helping with the O.D. No Frills ride all day on Sat. and she was tired.
Christa has little kids and couldnt go so it was just Betsy and Me.

Falcon would not load by himself, but he did walk on nicely with me and stood quietly which was a relief. Despite that my legs turned to jello and shook so hard I could barely get off of the trailer. I felt a panic attack coming on and had to re-focus.

Ok, so then I went to pick up Betsy and Tristana. When I arrived, they were in the pasture, but walking up the fenceline. Christa had just pulled in and got out of her car as I was pulling in. Betsy opened the gate and Tristana wheeled around and ran right over the top of Betsy, knocking her face in to the dirt.

Off she went at a full gallop to her pasture mates on the other side of the fenceline.Then she would not be caught, kicking up her heels and racing all around.Finally she stopped at the fence and attempted to go over it, but thankfully, it was more of a thought on her part and not a lot of action and she stood, sides heaving while Betsy got a hold on her.

Man, I thought we wouldnt go riding, but Betsy said her ankle was just grazed and she was fine....although beat red in the face. She said that Tristana has NEVER done anything like that in 10 years. Well, guess there is a first time for averything eh?

We drove to Andy Guest State Park about 15 miles north. It was very cloudy, 50 and looked like it was going to drop buckets of rain at any time. Betsy said, well, even if we don't ride, it was good trailering experience for Falcon....I think she was wishing that it WOULD rain, so she could just go crawl in to bed and grab a cigarette and a glass of wine! heee hee.

The park has great trails, down a long hill, up to a ridge, ride the ridge, down again and then a lot of floodplain trail and gravel road to trot on. Creeks to cross and two bridges. The worst part is a trail that goes STRAIGHT up, or at least it feels like it and Falcon tried to gallop up it. NOT. My coat got hung up on the saddle horn (which is why I HATE saddles with horns) and ripped yet another button off my coat. So I now am left with 2 buttons!

Falcon just wants to go at full speed instead of a nice steady trot, but we did finally get him to trot along side of Tristana without extending.I only got nervous when a whole club of about 15 riders came up behind us. Falcon was all over the place, very antsy and not listening atall, so when they went right, we went left , only to find that they were just doing a small loop and were gaining on us again, so that is when we took off at a full trot down the river road and got far enough away so that Falcon didnt turn and look for them constantly.
Try trotting or cantering forward with your horse looking at whats back behind fun atall!
Betsy kept asking if I was ok and did I want to trot more, because when she rode with me last week, I mainly kept it at a walk and she was quite bored with the ride and told me that "you really need to trot down hills" and "trot more than THIS" if you are going to endurance ride.So I proved to her today that I could indeed trot down a hill if I had control of my horse and that I could trot longer than one minute.

It did a lot to boost my confidence and I could have ridden longer. Both Falcon and I had plenty of energy left when we were done.I think we rode about 10 miles. We looped back once or twice, so I need to look at the trail map and see if I can figure it out.I have no clue what his heart rate is and need to see what it is now before he ever gets muscled up. He broke a sweat going up A.J.'s Drop hill but he powered up it pretty well for being soft.

When we got home, he was really cute. Didnt holler at all for Dakota, Just looked and hung by me for a min. Pee"d and then walked to the lower field looking for Dakota, When he saw him, he trotted to the lower field gate and Hollered out to Dakota.Still standing at the gate, he waited for Dakota to scream and run FULL GALLOP down and then up the hills from the far pasture. When Dakota arrived, he walked over to some dirt and had a good roll, and then both went about munching grass.I have never seen one of my horses do that when I turn them out. Normally they are tearing out of the halter and racing for their pasture buddies. So it was interesting that Falcon seemed to say "Hey, I had to ride on that horrible trailer and took a trail ride with MONSTER hills, now YOU come to ME!"

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