Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lake Almanor, hopefully!

I've finished all the new/new-to-me books and I'm just waiting for the new Dresden Files, so I might as well try to post. I really have started working through the backlog of unread blog posts, I promise!

Barring calamity, I'm off to Lake Almanor at the end of the month... on an Arab! I've ridden this super fun, all heart, great recoveries grey mare twice now, and I'll probably ride her in the 50. Her owner has two horses ready for the 50, and we might swap last minute, but I really do think the grey is fun so I'll probably ride her if I get the chance. She reminds me a lot of Dixie, without the extra gaits. Trotting downhill is weird, yall. So is trotting at 12 mph! When are you going to break into a rack, horse?? She's skinny and jiggy, and she's got a nasty habit of stumbling hard on level ground when she's daydreaming about whatever Arabs think about, but I like her anyway.

I am trying so hard to get my nerve up to ride Dixie again. We went out on Thursday or Friday for a couple miles of easy neighborhood walking and a bit of sand gaiting. She was totally sound, totally fresh, no heat or swelling since then.. but I'm so scared of breaking her. Nobody can tell me the magic formula of X miles Y times per week, and I desperately want that. I rehabbed her exactly like I was supposed to, and she looks great, and what do I do now? For once in my life I desperately want an Authority Figure that I can believe in 100% for guaranteed perfect results.

Tomorrow I'm going to do the pit loop. It's about five miles, easy, flat. I'm reaching out to people in town to hopefully get some company for some easy 5-10 mile rides later this week and next week. This is so hard - harder, in a different way, than when she first came up lame, and even harder than riding her when she terrified me.


  1. You are exactly in the place I was with Phebes, only I had been there a couple of times. Have had several people tell me they'd have rehabbed and hit the trail again. But that "fear" inside me of totally breaking her had me in knots.

    It is hard when you have no crystal ball.

    Sounds like Dixie has come along quite well.

    ~ E.G.

  2. Good luck on the little arab.

    I completely understand your fears of breaking Dixie and desire for an absolute answer. Go slow is my only advice.

  3. That's exciting that you have a ride for the 50! The little grey Arab mare sounds like a good match for you ;)

    As for Dixie's rehab, it sounds like she's doing great! It would be really nice to have a prescribed routine that is 100% guaranteed to work, but sadly, that's never the case with horses. I'm sure there's lots of advice out there on rehabbing injuries like Dixie's, and it seems like as long as you keep it slow and easy for now, and let her build up gradually, that you're doing the right thing. What does your vet have to say about rehab at this point?

  4. It sounds to me like you have done and are doing everything you can to be sure that Dixie is not put at risk for further injury. Athletes build to their optimum peak of performance. Your 5-10 mile flat rides are doing exactly that. Maybe you can talk to other endurance riders who have brought a horse back from injury and see what protocol they used? While your building her up keep watching her closely. Back off if needed. Because you care about her so much, I believe you are going to do this just the way it needs to be done, and Dixie will be fine.

  5. Go slowly, check frequently, take your time. You'll be fine.

    And have a great time on the grey!!!!

  6. AareneX's advice sounds wise to me.

    Have fun with the daydreaming arab - can't wait to hear all about your ride :)

  7. If I had a magic wand I'd wave it for Dixie and heal her forever so you wouldn't have to worry. If only we were so lucky...

    Have fun on the arab, I bet she'll be a blast!

  8. Nobody knows Dixie better than you do. You'll know.

    Have a blast on the Arab!

  9. i wanted to say thank you for correctly identifying my watch - it's an eye (iris), not a sun/flower/whatever everyone else says!

    you rock. we wait for your next ride report anxiously!

  10. I am going to Lake Almanor as well! My gelding and I in the 25. Redhead with a little bay Arab. Maybe I'll see ya ;)

  11. I know how you feel. Right now Farley is sound and happy in the pasture. If I pull her out and actually start riding her, I risk breaking her - and for good this time. It scares me silly. I literally can't imagine myself doing an endurance ride on her again because I'm so afraid she will get injuried - but I know from past experience I will get over that and evenntually have the confidence to do so. It's just really really really hard in the beginning stage, because you are right - there is no magic formula.

  12. sounds like you're doing the right thing with Dixie, but I agree, it is nerve wracking! and i hope you get to do Lake Almanor - what fun!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond


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