Monday, November 16, 2009

Many miles

Big update!

Saturday S and I did the Palomino Valley ride.
Distance: 9.53 miles
Elapsed Time: 3:54:24
Avg Speed: 2.4 mph
Avg Pace: 24' 35" per mile
Min Altitude: 4,928 ft
Max Altitude: 5,702 ft

The good thing was that Dixie was completely comfortable walking over the roughest rocky part of the ride.

The bad thing: she was never really mentally with me the whole ride - she led ok for the first half of the ride, then rode along Summer up and down the mountain, but she wouldn't ever give me her attention. I got frustrated and started trying to get her to pay attention to me when we were about 1.5 miles from home - asking her to circle and change speeds. She got more and more frantic as Summer got further ahead of us, and I ended up getting off and leading her for a while. She was so mentally checked out that she wouldn't even drop her head and look at me when I was in front of her, and I was so frustrated and angry. I walked for a half mile or so, til we'd both calmed down, then got back on and rode her home.

It's just one more challenge for us to work on. She does fine alone, and she does fine if she's leading other horses, but she gets totally unglued when another horse passes her. This will never work for endurance, or for any sport other than "leading QHs on very slow trail rides," so we'll deal with it.

Sunday I did not want to deal with it. I rode with three other people, and I let Dixie lead. This was the Canyon Ride, and I am quite impressed that the iPhone didn't lose satellite signal down in there. I forgot to turn the tracker on when we left, so it's maybe .4 miles longer than it says:
Distance: 5.56 miles
Elapsed Time: 2:02:13
Avg Speed: 2.7 mph
Avg Pace: 21' 58" per mile
Min Altitude: 4,804 ft
Max Altitude: 5,513 ft

I am always on the lookout for new places to ride. When I zoom in on the sat map, it looks like there's a jeep trail / horse path leading up out of the canyon about halfway along the trail - just south of where the trail changes from N-S to NE-SW. I will have to remember to bring the iPhone next time we ride, so we can pull up a map and look for that maybe-trail in the right spot.

Anyway, my horse was superb on Saturday. I have been really concentrating on halting with my seat before I pick up the reins, and it was showing - she halted so softly, often just from my seat, and waited pretty patiently for the other horses to catch up. (No, she has no problem at all leaving other horses behind; she just doesn't want to be the one getting left!)

Today I really meant to give her a light day, just a little schooling, but it didn't really work out that way.
Distance: 5.81 miles
Elapsed Time: 2:01:57
Avg Speed: 2.9 mph
Max Speed: 10.4 mph

We worked on being forward about going out, and coming home without rushing. There's one particular spot where she loves to rush home, for no reason that I can see, so we worked there for quite a while. I am extremely amused at this picture.

She eventually quit blowing me off and walked nicely around that corner and we got to go home. But as we got back, S had just gotten home and I decided to do a tiny ride with her. Tiny, hahahha. We were out for another 1:15, and the sun was behind the mountains and it was FREEZING by the time we got back. I rode Dixie just at the edge of her comfort level, right at the point where she and Summer got nervous about being so far apart. I kept her paying attention to me - wandering through the sagebrush, halting softly, backing softly. She did well, but it'll take more time, I know.

When I got home, the charging cradle for my Forerunner had arrived. I'm reading the manual and watching MNF. I just can't keep using the iPhone GPS for all my rides - today's 2 hour ride sucked over half my battery, and Saturday's 4 hour ride took 95% of the battery. It looks like the Forerunner will give me the same info, plus I can overlay my track onto Google Earth and get screenshots - it's just a crappier interface.


  1. Nice use of technology, Funder!

    It's frustrating, isn't it, when you KNOW your horse can behave better but she just DOESN'T?!? What's up with that? I don't have any advice, either, except to not give up.

    I rode a horse like yours for years--he HATED to have another horse in front of him, and would fight me for 50 miles to go faster. My "whoa-dammit" muscles were dem sore after that, I tell you. And (partly because his owner didn't WANT the behavior fixed) he never changed. I gave him back after 8 years, having tried my best...

    with my OWN horse, we play the follow-me/follow-you game a lot. Maybe that will help. I hope to start her in endurance this year if the money gods are willing...I'll let you know.

    Meantime, I'm staying glued to your updates!

  2. It's the sort of thing you have to just chip away at, piece by piece - my Maisie is quite like that - loves to leave, hates to be left and even hates to be anywhere but first in the order. We need to work more on that. It's hard not to get frustrated and angry - but just try to think of it as a task to get accomplished - sort of yippee! another training challenge for me to get my brain around and for us to have success together!

  3. Haha ok Funder that picture of the back and forth part cracked me up! And I am seriously jealous of all the riding you get to do.... sighhhhhh.

  4. Argh, Aarene, that sounds so frustrating! I don't want my horse to be my perfectly obedient slave, but I don't want to be her passenger either. I want her to think for herself, but give me the veto power - I have the big brain, and there's usually a reason I'm asking for something!

    Kate, I'm glad I'm not the only one wrestling with this. When I get angry everything falls to pieces - luckily I don't get angry often. Saturday was not a shining example of gentle leadership.

    Andrea - haha, glad you appreciated it! I won't get to ride this often forever; pretty soon I'll get a job and pass the bar. But then I'll have $$, so that'll be good too. :)


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