Monday, April 5, 2010

Blow me

OMG, it was SO windy today! Cersei was sure that she was going to explode if she didn't go somewhere, so I rode anyway, but man it was windy. My face is windburned. My helmet would've blown off my head if it wasn't for the chin strap. My horse went noticeably slower into the wind (even though "into the wind" was headed home!) But at least the dirt bikes weren't out :)

We did six miles in just under an hour again. Dixie's rack continues to improve - it's about 10 mph, and she can keep it going longer and longer. She likes to (step) pace on slight downhills, which is fine with me and just as fast. I was very happy with how steady she was, even in that wind.

It's funny, the weird regional superstitions we develop. In Memphis, I would never have ridden in that kind of wind - horses get stupid when it's windy! But out here, it's incredibly windy like 30% of the time, so the horse and I are learning to deal with it. And it's not like we were all wusses back home - we'd ride at speed on ground no sane Nevadan would walk her horse through.

Oh experienced endurance peeps, tell me how to deal with trails with "waves" in them! You know how they get hollowed out from quads and dirt bikes, where the crests are 15-20 feet apart and the troughs are 1-2 feet deep? It seems like there's no good gait, there's no way to stay centered on the horse, and it feels like it's really rough on the horse. Almost all of the walking we did was because the road was wavy - I won't ride that trail again, but how am I supposed to deal with it in the future?

I have this love-hate relationship with Dixie's mane. Yeah, sometimes I do think longingly about pulling it - it'd be so thin and short! It wouldn't get tangled in my reins! But it's just beautiful. Today in the wind it was like a living thing - it looked like a sea anemone waving around my hands, or like Medusa's hair, or like foamy waves crashing on the beach. And yes, it totally got in the way of the reins. Sigh.

Got a new camera. It's too new to take riding, but I did get a nice glamour shot of Dixie before we headed out. I made it my profile pic, but here's a link to the bigger version.



  1. What a glamorous girl, especially in PURPLE! I guess I can relate to Dixie--I cut mine all off a few years back in a fit of arthritic frustration. It was much easier to take care of, but I missed my long tresses. So I'm growing it back--it's just gotten long enough to get it all in a pony tail again. I did like your braids in Dixie's main that one ride. But that takes some time...

  2. The girly-girl wears purple!

    I just had to say the title of your post was awesome!

  3. She's such a pretty girl--great "glamour" shot!

    Those wave-y bits of trail are surely a pain in the patoot. I have seen people trot those things (we call them "whoop-de-doos"), but I've never been happy above a walk on them, because of the potential for a tendon injury. Seems to me that a gaited horse should be able to handle them at a stepping pace, though--if I ever get Fiddle and myself fluent at that gait, I'll probably do that.

    Mane: braids! Some folks braid even for training rides, especially on the longflowingmane horses!

  4. Sorry you're plagued with wind, but it sounds like you're dealing with it!

  5. Start braiding at the top and go down the neck like a french braid. That's what I do with my one mare. On the whoops, we always rode on the side of the road where it wasn't as bad.

  6. Oh ya on the wind. When I was a kid I rode around bareback every where. So I would just hide my face in his mane and let the wind have at it. My horse knew his way home. One time my mom came looking for me since I got really really windy and thought the horse was coming home by himself until I popped up to see who was driving towards us

  7. The braids take way too long to do regularly, and I don't like to leave them in more than a day. When it's hot and not windy, I put her mane up in a row of ponytails to keep her neck a bit cooler. She starts tossing her head if she thinks I'm taking too long, and honestly, I don't have much patience either.

    Aarene, I will try step pacing the waves. I feel like I ought to train them a bit, for the same reason I let her learn to trot down hills - it's probably bad for her tendons, but she should know how to do it in case we ever need to.

    foxtrotter - What a cute story :)


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