Earlier this week, ~C and I decided to ride Palomino Valley today, and S and I were going to trailer across the highway to Hungry Valley for a (slight) change of pace on Saturday. S was going to take Tempus, the gelding, because neither of us think it's a real smart move to put my hussy in a trailer with Summer. The catch with Tempus is that he has some nerve damage in his face from a long-ago pasture accident, and he can not deal with stuff touching his face - like rain or snow. When the NWS put a chance of snow in the forecast for tomorrow, that nixed our Hungry Valley ride. I was still on with ~C til her truck made some very disturbing noises this morning, and then that was off too.
I have nothing but respect for the type of people who can say "Ok, next week I need to do 30 miles in five days of riding, so it'll be 5 miles Monday, speed work Tuesday, off Wednesday..." and so on. I am not, and will never be, one of those people. I try not to plan more than two days ahead, and I don't like to box myself into a corner, where, say, if I don't ride tomorrow I won't get to ride for the next three days so I have to ride tomorrow even if it's pouring down rain. I was hoping to do a long ride today, but since it didn't happen, I'll do a long (>5 miles) ride tomorrow or Sunday.
Dixie was in raging heat, so I figured we'd do a shorter ride at a faster speed today. And the Garmin was actually charged, so I got lap times and everything!
She is, unfortunately, a lot like me. She can walk at a good clip for miles and miles, but she doesn't have the muscles or stamina to do faster work yet. I don't think I'm pushing her too hard by asking for short faster days, but feel free to let me know if you think I'm doin it wrong! Our totals were 3.87 miles in 1:14, average of 3.1 mph.
We did our usual stop-and-go warmup for 20 minutes, then we headed out down the trail at a nice fast walk. Then we were attacked! We rounded a corner and a covey of quail exploded across the trail in front of us, all flappy feathers and blood-drenched talons and weird whirring noises from their robotic innards. Dixie froze, all on her own! She jumped a bit, but she didn't try to run. It took a LONG time before she felt ok to move on, but eventually we did.
Our first speed lap was .4 miles at 5.9 mph average. She mostly racked. Then a .2 mi cooldown, then a .2 mile speed lap at 8.7 mph - rack and canter. A long half-mile cooldown to get her thinking again, with just a few strides of trot here and there, then a little more fast work. She was getting tired at this point, and I had to ask her to continue instead of asking her to slow down. .15 miles at 6.4 mph of foxtrot, baby - a gait I'm getting very fond of - then .15 miles at a fast walk, then a final .15 miles of foxtrot at 7.4 mph. Then I dismounted, took off her bridle, loosened her girth, and hand-walked her home for the last half mile. She didn't sweat too hard, and she was lightly blowing but not out of breath.
Dixie's getting trimmed early next week, and I had the time and inclination to take pictures today, so these are my December '09 "before" pictures. I saw some very interesting things, and I really welcome any comments or hypotheses about them. Here's the whole set. It contains more views than what I'm linking here, so click over if you want to take a closer look.
Front feet, side view. Right is clubby, left is long-toed. This is the posture she usually stands in, and I suspect it contributes to the growth pattern.
Right front solar. Pretty balanced, clefts are a little deep because the heels are a little long. White line could be tighter in the quarters.
Edit: Lythia noticed I got these pictures wrong
Edit: Here's the left front, with the weird wear pattern and long bars.
Left front Weird View!
Her toe is totally worn asymmetrically! And it's worn on the OUTSIDE, not the lateral side! Here's my guess: she paddles. But does she paddle with the left foot only? Because the right toe is worn pretty evenly. Also of note: the bars really do look long in this picture.
Here's one more picture of her left front. This is from ground level, looking toward the back - I don't have a clue what the Latin would be.
Weird stuff I see here: The whole medial wall looks weird. Something's off about the line of the wall. There's some ridges on the medial wall, but her coronet band at the medial quarter isn't "pushed up" like I'd expect to see. If you look through the hay, you can clearly see how the lateral tip of the toe is worn more than the medial tip of the toe. This is SO WEIRD to me!
I'll point this all out to the trimmer next week, but I'd love to hear yall's thoughts on it. How do you think this should be addressed? What's going on here?