Today, I took Falcon out with the plan to head over to the other side of my small mountain and head back on the gravel "Summers Road" which is a 4 mile loop....or at least I think it is.
I took my GPS with me to check it out.
Falcon balked twice upon leaving the barn, but then perked up and took off up the trail with out further ado. I was riding him in my Plantation Saddle, which really doesn't fit his body, but I used the Skito pad with it for extra protection to his back.
Our first obstacle was a shiny red bicycle in the neighbors yard, semi blocking the trail to radio tower hill. He shied slightly and then after minimal encouragement walked up to the bike and then tried to walk OVER it. SILLY BOY!
We had a nice trot/canter up the "Hill" towards the radio tower. At the top, the road drops down the other side pretty steeply. Normally I would not be afraid to ride down a hill with this grade, but there is a lot of gravel on this one, so I dismounted and we walked all of the way down.
But alas, the road was gated off and I couldnt get through. Mounting again, I turned around and took some cleared side trails. One dead ended in thick brush, but I could see the road ahead.
There was no way that I was going to tackle the brush and briars bare handed so we turned around again, and this time headed for home.
Falcon galloped up the road until he was short of breath and then slowed to a trot/walk.
Back at the barn, his sweat marks from the saddle were even with no dry spots, so I suppose the saddle does fit pretty well but seems a little tight at his shoulders. I am comfortable in my Cheyenne, which fits Falcon well, so I guess I will keep that for my endurance treks.
GPS stated that I had gone about 4 miles with all of my backtracking. So that was a good work out with the two hills. Average speed was only 2.9 miles and hour though, with Falcons fasted at 12.3 mph during the gallop uphill.
It was a fun ride.