I have pictures but I updated my website and now I cannot add any pictures (bleck) I have been having a bad month. I am stressed to the max over getting the New York Adventure ride going and I have not been sleeping and I was supposed to go to Pure Country Campground to meet with Jim and finalize stuff and …
I am just going to go ride at NJ100 … except, I wanted to ride on Saturday and they’re predicting a monsoon. So, maybe I’ll ride on Sunday.
I call the ride manager and ask to change my entry from Saturday to Sunday. I was honest, I do not want to ride in a monsoon and I don’t want to subject my new horse to those kinds of conditions this soon in her career learning curve.
What a nice ride manager … yes, I can change my entry from Saturday to Sunday, no worries.
AND THANK THE GODS, because it was a monsoon and everyone that rode on Saturday was drenched, drowned and freezing. The daily high was only 52, with rain and strong winds.
Sunday proved to be a gorgeous day, partly sunny and in the low 70’s. On a whim, I asked Ro if she wanted to go and ride Steel. After the interference I caused at Chesapeake, I told her that Steel had to ride in the Pass/Fail division so she could wear her boots. Ro was totally in for that and she got up early Sunday morning and drive down with me.
When we arrived, the weather was most perfect. Sun peeking through the puffy white clouds, a small breeze, and already nearing 60 degrees. What a difference from yesterday, which was cold, rainy and windy. Even though it was New Jersey (snort) it was a beautiful morning.
Steel, being her stoic self, maintained an even keel while Penny was trying to warm up at warp-speed. I had to laugh at Penny. She was sure the ride was in the parking lot because each time we made a lap, the next lap was a little faster. At one point I asked Penny to stop and eat grass while we waited on our time to go out. Steel was all about that and Penny kept looking down the trail where all the horses kept disappearing.
She will learn. Eventually, Penny will learn.
Since I am having troubles with the Renegade boots on conditioning rides, and Penny rode 26 miles at Cheshire barefooted with no issues, I decided to take her barefoot to this ride. They promised me that the trail was all sand, no road. I had specifically asked about pea gravel because of the no boots, and they assured me there was none.
There was several miles of pea gravel and by the end of the ride, poor Penny was ouchy. I was concerned for a completion. On the sandy trails, she was booking it out at a good pace. On the pea gravel, she was barely moving along towards the end … and I was sad for her.
Here she is starting the day.
And here she is finishing the day. A little less animated and definitely ouchy on her feet.
I have to get these boots figured out. So many people I know compete in the Renegades with no issues.
Here is Steel starting the ride and asking Penny to SLOW THE F&*%%$* DOWN. LOL. Yes, Steel is not used to such a high energy pace at all. Penny started out the ride moving along at a 13 mph pace.
At the halfway hold, which was out on trail, Steel seemed to be a bit stiff in the hind end. Well, after trying to keep up with Penny that first loop, I was not surprised. Ro did some massage and stretching and Steel did pass the vetting to continue the ride. Leaving out Steel was much more relaxed and moving freer in the back. I carefully watched Ro working her legs and butt. Learning, it’s all about learning.
And here is Steel finishing the ride, thanking the gods for pea gravel because it slowed Penny down. The second loop was at a more stable pace, Penny was starting to ouchy on the pea gravel so she had slowed down from her 13 mph trot to about 8 miles an hour. Ro kept track of our time and said if we maintained this pace we would complete right in the middle of our time frame.
We did complete, although Penny lost 2 points on gait at the end because her RF was slightly off (ouchy ouchy) and believe it or not, she actually got 3rd place at the ride.
Steel completed, too. She finished with no tightness (probably because we slowed down!) and got her mileage.
I enjoyed the ride so much. Ro is great company on the trail and Penny (once again) proved to me that she was totally enjoying this sport.
So what’s next? I think we’ll take Penny and Steel to OD and see how Penny handles the challenge of that technical mountain trail. So far her rides have all been easy peasy trail.