Ride of 11/3/16, Nala and Halla were great, went on the beach with foam, through the neighborhood and the forest and back.
11/6/15 (Took 11/4/16 off due to weather) Same view as before!
Rode today at the barn, warmed up in the round pen (in the rain), then rode through the barns, to the field trail, then the forest trail, and we jumped a log, then back to the fields to end our ride. I hosed her off since it was early and she was sweaty from today and past rides.
I was able to tie her and tack her up but she moved around a bit. I also practiced leading and backing her so she would give me space. She backs right away when you say, but she is not backing on her own to give the bigger space bubble like she did with Charley Snell. A new young horse was out at the barn and distracted her quite a bit, but we made it work.
I shortened my stirrup leathers a hole (just put on the new bates leather ones, my birthday gift from September, LOL). SO lets see how I do. It felt pretty secure, not reaching for stirrups but my knees might be tired. It is much more relaxing on your legs to let the stirrups be long but Nala and I might not be fit enough for that, or trained enough! With stirrups too long my lower back was getting sore from holding me up. The real test will be a gallop!
… I realized I was getting bruised from the leathers turning and these irons have the ability to be turned with an allan wrench so the eyes face forward allowing the stirrup to hang straight. I brought my saddle home to try and change it so I can see how that helps? Also since we got rained on I will clean and condition it!
I also brought my pads home to wash. My old Fleece works saddle pad is falling apart so I am considering ordering a half pad (the fleece is coming off a the girth area where it rubs?) But it’s old I got it in 2003 to show foxy!
11/10/16 Beach ride with Halla and 11/12/16 Solo beach ride and cool down with Amore. Nala relaxing after her ride!
11/18/16 Went on a great beach ride with Halla. We did the estuary loop with a gallop. Nala was great out and back. She was relaxed when not galloping and not spooky even though it was windy. She did a great gallop too, I did not click to push her and she went over a mile from the estuary almost back to Gearhart beach entrance. After the gallop we jumped a log or two and then cooled out for a stretch. Finally doing a relaxed rounded canter home!
Her jumping has greatly improved as well, she used to be nervous and rushing. I take it as an issue that occurred from her previous experiences. But now she jumps fine and canters away without rushing! We only jump a few times at most so I am not drilling her and she likes the canter away part. I think they had over drilled her, maybe caught her mouth a bit and she was stressed anticipating the jump. So she did not like to jump when she came to me. I enjoy jumping her but I am still in the dressage saddle, shorted a hole so I am not in proper form to jump too high. There was a very big log we jumped though, without a problem, maybe two feet around and we cleared it pretty well.
I am slowing on pics, since it is hard to get my phone out of a zipped coat pocket, it’s much easier if I am wearing my pocket breeches!
Dana has increased her evening grain (to 1.5 #) and I have increased her rice bran and BOSS, so we hope she can put some weight on. She is thin for going into winter. I may have to add something else since she has pasture all day but the grass is short and she get as much hay as she can eat at night but she is not gaining. She has good energy though!
Review of Nala’s progress! I bought her from a barn that had her stalled 24/7. She had developed head nodding and a bucking habit at the canter. She was unbalanced and under-muscled. It took about 3 months for her to build a top line and resolve the bucking with proper balance. And after a year she is a great trail horse! She was also very nervous jumping and would rush. I did not work on it at all until recently but now on trail she will jump logs like a pro.
11/27/16 The weather gave us a break and we did the Sunset Beach trail loop with Halla and Becka. I have been reading about endurance and may be interested in a 25 mile ride.
I am sure the horses can do it fine. My left knee gets tired of bracing and pulling to rate her speed. I might just have to let her go and ride it out. I also had shortened my stirrups since I got new leathers and I might just have to go back to riding with a half hole too long rather than too short! I can also ride her in the deeper sand to slow her canter and try to use the left lead so my right knee can take some of the work.
We may have to look into getting a trailer or finding one to rent/borrow for our rides.
I found a training schedule for spring:
Limited time Training plan endurance L/D
Weeks 1-4: Start doing 8 mile loop in 1.5 hours.
Each Saturday/Sunday cut the time down until by the 4th week you’re near 1 hour.
Weeks 5-6: Add 4 miles.
Now up to 12 each Saturday/Sunday.
Do it in 2 hours or so.
Weeks 7-8: Now at 16 miles.
Have a VC (vet check) break in between the 8 mile loops.
Begin checking recovery HR (heart rate) time (magic number is 60 for me) adjust pace accordingly.
Faster if they come in at 60. Slower if it takes them over 10 minutes to hit 60.
This is prior to any cool down.
Weeks 9-11: If all is going well – I add a third 8 mile loop.
So for these three weeks, I’m doing a practice LD (Limited Distance) every Saturday/Sunday.
I’m checking recovery times at the two trailer breaks, making sure they eat/drink well, and adjusting pace/electrolytes accordingly.
Also finding out what snacks and clothes work for me as well.
Week 12-on: I back off. Do 20+ miles training ride 2-3 times each month, with a short one thrown in – or skip one.
At this point, if you just do a 20+ mile ride every other week – they’ll stay in shape.