Thursday, November 19, 2009

Putting the "slow" in long slow rides

Oh man, today was Scary Day Part 2. We did 2.09 in 50 minutes - lots of stopping!

It's trash day in the neighborhood, so we have to very carefully make our way around those sneaky trash cans sitting at the end of each driveway. I encourage her to investigate them and I praise her mightily when she does! But each new driveway has a new trash can, and horses just don't generalize well. Stop, all bug-eyed, and stare. Approach the monster can in full imitation Arab mode, stepping very lightly with an arched neck. Slooowly stretch that neck out and sniff the monster can. Relax almost completely, because it's obviously not a monster, just a trash can. Move 50 yards to the next monster can.

When we left the road, she changed to looking for monsters in the scrub. Lots of slamming on the brakes and staring around. I eased her through it until she started slamming on the brakes without her head up - that's when she's gone from really afraid to "I wonder if we can just go home now?" Sorry, Dixie, we cannot just go home now.

We'd just worked through all that and started to pick up some real forward movement when ZOMG monsters! Actually, it was the neighbors, on two horses, so she calmed down real quick and let me talk to them for almost 15 minutes. Then they rode off in one direction and we headed off in the other - look, a training opportunity! She got "frozen" and wouldn't move for a while, but she wasn't trying to turn and run, so I'll call it improvement.

Then we racked almost all the way home. She is getting fitter!

I am getting the Garmin figured out. It's not very intuitive. I told it I'm riding a bike, so at least it displays my speed as MPH and doesn't auto-pause when we stop!


  1. Progress - if s . . l . . o . .w progress!

  2. The scary thing about trash cans is that they MOVE (clearly a monster!) and that they SMELL DIFFERENT each week (*clearly* a monster!). My old mare never could get over that. She tiptoed past trash cans every single week (my day off happened to be trash-collection day) for years. Sigh.

    Oh hey! WV=huffloir
    That tip-toe gait past a scary object when you would very much prefer to run the heck away making steam-train noises.


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