Friday, November 13, 2009

Things are clicking into place

I have read a lot about horses in the three years I've owned them - just about everything online, all the horse training books in all the libraries I've lived near, books my friends have mailed me. The thing I never read, that I wish I had read, was some kind of reassurance that eventually things start to click into place. Apparently, they do!

Today Dixie and I did the Mines. The SCARY Mines, down in a canyon where a bear could eat us, going past the mineshafts that clearly have demons lurking in them. She was fantastic! Not perfectly loose and relaxed, but not so antsy she made me nervous and I made her more nervous. I watch her head mainly, and her head was held juuuust below the point where she's really nervous.

Another thing that's paying off - when I think she's nervous, I ask her to stop. When she's nervous, she sometimes even stops on her own. Then we just stand there, facing the scary unknown, until I sigh - and then she will sigh, and her head will drop a bit, and I'll ask her to walk forward, and she will. My horse RULES.

Here's today's results:
Name: Track 006
Date: Nov 13, 2009 3:13 pm
Distance: 4.45 miles
Elapsed Time: 1:17:32
Avg Speed: 3.4 mph
Max Speed: 8.4 mph
Avg Pace: 17' 26" per mile
Min Altitude: 4,766 ft
Max Altitude: 5,377 ft

Notice that this trail is a bit steeper - we went up a bit, then down about 500', then climbed gradually back up to about 5,100'. With the altitude, and the "new scary all alone" factor, I'm pretty happy with 3.4 mph. And this time I am pretty sure 8.4 mph was our true max speed - I managed to grab the phone while she was trotting up a straight jeep trail, and it said 8.4, and it felt about that fast. Again, she surprised me with her walk, hitting 5 mph a couple of times.

The most horrible thing we encountered was a flock of Terror Birds when we were almost home. We were rockin' on up the last straight jeep trail at a very nice forward trot when the Terror Birds (probably some kind of jays) started plotting her dismemberment (squawking at each other) and circling around to hamstring her (flying out of the junipers away from us). She almost lost her cool, but I got her to stop and stare til the birds finished squawking and moving away from us.

Here's our map. Hope y'all had lovely days with your horses too!


  1. Love your maps - it's fun to see where you've gone!

  2. It's nice to see the maps. With all that climbing, your horse is going to get fit. It sounds like she's getting good experience in too. Do keep on having fun.


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