Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial day fun

I guess it has been a few weeks since posting?!  Nothing really exciting has been going on. We've been tooling around the ring or the barn trails mainly. Just keeping ourselves fit for the OD coming up.  Although, the week after the ride I gave him off, went to get back on and it was like he had no brain LOL...didn't remember how to bend and trot a circle :P  That fixed itself at least, but geeze!

I have been trying out the Matrix around the barn as a 2nd pad but having some slip issues on the hills so I will be sticking with my HAF until I get that figured out. 
I just received my snap on headstall for the S-hack to have it's own set up. Looking forward to trying that out, but I do want to Bling it up some :) another DIY project!  Hoping we can get to using that more, though I do love my Myler combo bit regardless and it works for us well.

Oh and I consider myself very experienced now on repairing Renegade boots!  I've repaired (reset cables) on 3 of his 4 vipers... The last one I'm having some issue with being able to get the cables to pass so I might have to send it in.  It was the boot I found hard to adjust, so I'm thinking there is a tightness there that I can't easily overcome... I'll keep at it a few more days till I give in!

Since we don't typically do the BBQ for memorial day I got to take advantage of a "free day" and go riding with some endurance friends. I am ever grateful for all who served and gave their lives for our freedom; 2 legged and 4 legged warriors.

This was my first time back to Graves Mill since last summer (so only my 2nd time there at all).   I have fond memories that first ride ...  It was my first trip to anywhere other than Pleasant Grove with Traveler (since being in VA).  Our first real "test" so I could decide on if I should do the intro ride or full on LD at Iron Mountain end of Aug.  With the limited conditioning miles I managed to get in weekly I was really worried about pushing him.  But, after that ride I saw a whole new side of him and really learned to trust him more.  Those damn goat trails nearly gave me a heart attack, but he proved himself worthy!
Riding Tesla there was therapeutic in a way I guess... It was nice to reminisce on how far I'd come with Traveler and as a rider overall. We chatted on the trail ride a little about him and what happened at IMJ; I still have a hard time when thinking about those last few hours with him...More because I feel and see his panic. I will never forget that guy.

Traveler, Post Graves training ride Aug 2014

Tesla enjoying a munch
On to the happier side of the trip, we did a nice 30miles Monday.  Loading Tesla took only 2 tries with a 2nd set of hands to leave the barn.  He stood nicely while I finished getting everything into the trailer and rode well to the parking spot.  Offloaded when another rider arrived and he stood well at the trailer.  Very calm actually...when he is usually quite the ping pong tied up.  Tacked up well, fly sprayed (both of us) and off we went in our gang of 4!  We enjoyed several (many) mountain climbs, some grass, and a break at Big Meadows in SNP (where I finally got a few pictures).  We were quite the spectacle apparently.  Lots of folks stopping us to ask questions (especially about the fly mask on Elvis), taking pictures as we moved down the fire road.  Horses encountered a Kite flying too...that was kind of funny the stare down that Tesla and Elvis had of the people wrangling this thing in the field.  When heading "back" both Tesla & Brooke would stop and stare to our left.  We knew they heard something, figuring it was deer.  Eventually they came to a dead stop looking.  Finally caught sight of what it was - a momma bear and 2 cubs.  They were quite a ways away and she was standing at the base of the tree watching us as her babies scurried up.  No pictures.  I ride with Bells on my saddle for riding alone, and apparently they came in handy in the mountains too!

Karen with her girl Brooke, Ann with her girl Lilly

Amanda and her boy Elvis

A few of things I have been working on with Tesla: Tying, Creeks, and trailering.
Tying appears to be conquered!  Creeks, well by the last big crossing on Monday he FINALLY went across first stepping down into the water.  Across something is fine, but stepping down really gets him!  Trailering....well, we have more work to do.  Took 3 of us working for about 30min to get him on the trailer to go home.  He is too smart and always looks for a way out of getting on.  He is not fearful of the trailer itself, just doesn't relish the idea of getting on alone.  We will continue to work on that one!

Next up for AERC rides is Old Dominion 30 in June! Looking forward to seeing many of my endurance friends and fellow Greenbeans there :)  look for my rig! Ford 150 with a CM GN trailer and this on my camper door!