Sunday, February 7, 2016

and so it begins

Finally got in a conditioning ride in the mountains on Saturday.

watching those cows!
Tesla did pretty well getting up on the trailer with Amanda's help as usual.  I even tried doing it with the escape door open to feel less cramped but didn't make much difference.   We got there quite a bit earlier than everyone else but that was OK. He needs some 'think' time tied to the trailer out alone. He mostly stood staring down the cows he could see down the road in the pasture.  Tacking up went pretty well, not too much dancing. We tried out some Easy Boot Back Country for this ride and they seemed to fit well and stayed on.  Easy to get on too!

He started out very full of himself!  I think all the horses were feeling a bit fresh, and a large group definitely put him in race brain mode.  He was pushing himself and I kind of let him teach himself a lesson trying to keep up with "the big dogs" on the 4 mile climb.  He finally went to a walk with little trot and canter spurts.

Things were going OK and we got back to riding with 2 others on the climb, and then we came across an icy part of the fire road. The tire areas were ice, but the center was "safe".  The horse on our right went down to her knees on the ice, and her rider Melissa off onto the ground (nice slow roll). They both recovered and in the process Tesla side stepped and hit ice. I felt him scramble and start to go down and I bailed un-gracefully going straight onto my hip.  We both got back up, he got his feet under him and slowly made it over to the center safe zone. We walked a bit before mounting up again.  Talk about an adrenaline rush from
nerves!  We finished the climb nice and slow and then started down the other side slowly all together as a group to Hoover camp and our lunch break.  I worked on his hips and rump muscles at the break which he enjoyed.  I had mild concerns he may have stretched himself a bit on that scramble, but he was rearing to go as we headed out of lunch.  I ended up fighting up him to rate down and not race down the hills the whole way back.  I finally put enough distance between us and then fast group but then came to an intersection I didn't know where to go!  Knowing I had 3 riders behind me went back a ways and met up with Natalie and her daughter Maria and found our way back on trail...sort of!  We did make one mistake but caught it fairly quickly (see map).  We caught up with Melissa again on the way back from our bobble and headed back together keeping horses more level headed.  Tesla led great across water and all, still feeling good and looking perky as we got to the trailers & dove into his hay.  Took a little convincing to get back on the trailer - thanks to Natalie and Maria for their help with that!

Unfortunately it appears he is a bit sore on the hind after all, and I've called Sarah (equine massage) to work on him sometime this week to fix him up!

I haven't been this sore since April after No Frills. Part of it my own doing, I had water with me but I didn't drink enough. Didn't prep myself like I would for a competition ride and my body is feeling it. My legs really hurt and my arms hurt from the fiery dragon charge under me.  Good thing I'm due for a massage this week myself!

Our next big plan is for the 20th and a trailer loading lesson with a local trainer, so he'll have some rest too. Hopefully we get our issues sorted out and can be mobile on our own after that.

Ride summary...even with a lunch break & walking a bunch 

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