May IRL 2015
|June 2, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Mel's Life, Pregnancy, Uncategorized|
Oh my friends, I had such a lovely month! Pictures in this post come courtesy of a fabulous conditioning ride with blogger Aurora and new friend C*. Picture credits goes to one of the three of us for any particular picture.
She got a couple of ground sessions and I actually hopped on her once in the big arena while my sister rode Farley. It was a good ride but trotting was a bit beyond her that day. My focus was getting one last conditioning ride on Farley pre Wild West so she sat mostly neglected except for scratches and replacing fly masks again and again and again…and again…and again. Yesterday I glared at her and exclaimed that keeping the fly mask on her was like keeping clothes on a toddler. And then I realized she WAS a toddler. To be exact, a three year old one. That apparently delights in distinguishing herself from Farley by virtue of personality, length of leg…..and the lack of a fly mask.
I have to admit I love this filly. I have a pasture offer for her when it’s time and I need a couple of months to focus on other things, but I have a hard time letting her go before I have to. So for now she’s hanging out and I’m hoping that June is month of a lot more adventures with her.
(I just want to say that from this point on I had the entire post finished, typed out on my iPad on my lunch time….and then inexplicably DELETED it the next time I logged onto the app to post it. The WordPress app has screwed me so many times and yet I forget and every couple months retry it. I deserve a gold star for rewriting this. I really do. It was good. So if you detect a hint a bitterness in the below paragraphs you know why)
This month Farley got ridden by my sister in the arena lightly, went out on one polo set….and completed one gorgeous and awesome long conditioning ride the last day of the month.
Despite a lack of regularly riding week to week, I’ve been really consistent about getting longer conditioning rides in every 4-6 weeks this year and I think that is going to make a huge difference in three weeks when we do her first fifty in over year, while carrying twenty more pounds then usual AND me unable to get off and run as much to help her out.
She also looks great right now with a body condition score of 5/9. She’s been a 4-4.5 which is great for a horse in moderate work However, going into a ride fifty miles or longer I really like to see an additional fifty pounds or so on my horses that bring them closer to that 5/9 rating. IMO the extra reserves this gives them more then offsets any disadvantage that comes from carrying more weight (heat dispersion arguments etc). Another benefit of the weight is that my solstice fits again! I have TWO saddles that I can use for endurance rides right now. I can’t remember the last time I had that kind of flexibility.
Here’s three things I need to follow up on in the three weeks before Wild West:
- Yesterday for my long conditioning ride was introduced to a local trail that is perfect for conditioning at endurance ride speeds – technical enough to stay interesting and provide challenge, but good enough footing and grades to move out at a reasonable pace. Not to mention enough trail to easily do 20-30 miles without endless loops. I’m seriously STOKED. Here’s the bad-ish news. Since my conditioning is usually on really technical trails that require slowing down regularly, or on river bottom trails with gorgeous footing and no rocks, I haven’t conditioned in boots for a couple of years. So, I didn’t even take boots with me yesterday. Mid way through the ride the speed and miles caught up to us and Farley started to be a bit ouchy over rocks. By the end she was noticeably foot sore. UGH. I’m confident enough that it will resolve without consequence that I went ahead and sent in my ride entry, but lesson learned. For double digit rides done at endurance pace, at least have boots available.
- This season some grey hairs have grown in her mane at the level of her neck where the cross strap of the breast collar sits. Some horses have a bit of grey sprinkled into their mane and tail as they age but not typical for Farley. The location is suspicious and I need to look into padding the area, especially when using the breast collar as an anchor point for saddle bags.
- The rear of the free form is still slightly shifted to the right , even though I’m balanced over her back. It’s possible that I didn’t correct the right sided lean completely with my tack modification post cache creek conditioning…or it’s because I used my older pad…or something else. Need to investigate prior to Wild West!
EDIT: I wrote this post Monday early afternoon before going out and evaluating Farley. Last night she was still lame with a slight head bob on the right front. The good news is that it is NOT left front, where her old bow is. No evidence of soft tissue swelling or tendon stuff going on. So working hypothesis is right front hit a rock pretty darn hard (would fit with what I felt at the ride, and she will probably be fine in 3 weeks, especially because I’ll be booting her for the ride), or there’s something else going on unrelated to the rocks (in which case it goes under the heading of “sometimes sh*t happens” and we will just have to see!). She got 2 grams of bute last night and I’ll take a look at her today. I didn’t bute her Sunday when it happened because firstly I didn’t know for sure what was going on and I wanted to be able to assess the progress, AND we had been riding/trailering/dinking around in the sun for 9 hours and she only had about 1 gallon of fluids. She didn’t look dehydrated and she didn’t sweat that much…but unless it’s an emergency I really hate giving NSAIDs to a horse that *might* be sub clinically dehydrated. I’ll keep you guys posted. Really wanted to leave this part out of my update and leave the post how it stood….but that’s not what we do on this blog!
After the unfortunate pineapple incident turned bronchitis I did manage to finish a half marathon (wild cat canyon) at the beginning of the month. I didn’t run for two weeks, then ran a single four mile run and declared my self ready for my next half (dirty diva) the next weekend. Wild cat had a total elevation gain of 2200′ and after finishing Dirty Diva I declared DD brutal but not as hard as Wild Cat. DD was on the same stretch of trail that I had to run during my fifty miler last fall before I DNFed at mile 32. I remember it being brutally hard, dispite a rather unremarkable elevation map. I did not remember wrong. True single track between deep banks (poison oak at face level! Woot woot!), brush covering trail with no visual for foot placement, and leaping off boulders onto downhill trail. As I catapulted down the trail Saturday I had a thought that while my midwife and husband had been remarkably tolerant of my adventures, that would probably end if I fell and required stitches so DONT FALL.
When I finally sat down with the elevation map to figure out the elevation gain for Dirty Diva I was pleasantly surprised to see it was 3700′! Substantially more than wild cat three weeks prior, similar finish time, and no muscle soreness. But I haven’t even gotten to the best part….
Requesting a medium shirt at both rides means I have TWO shirts that might fit me for the next month. Now I just need a nice 5 or 10k in the next month or two so I can obtain a large…..
In all seriousness, I’m on cloud nine to have finished so strong on a technical trail with that much gain. And have it feel easier then three weeks prior.
- A couple mini vacations (anyone local wanna housesit the German shepherd dog? 😉
- Wild West 50 mile endurance ride
- Starting new job!