Monday, February 13, 2012

NEDA Valentines: I love it, she's not feeling it

Sunday we went out to Silver Springs for the fourth time since Halloween and rode. The day was lovely - high near 55, no clouds, no massive wind. I got to ride with my friend R, which was a treat. We've been meaning to ride together all winter and it just hasn't happened enough. But something didn't feel quite right.

Here's the Strava:

And here's the New Years ride for comparison.

I was talking it out on IM with a friend Sunday night, and I just discovered that yall can't see the Performance info that I can see! If you're logged in to your own Strava account, you can see it, but not if you're a non-user - and I certainly don't expect yall to join just to see a graph :) I emailed Strava and politely complained, and I really hope they'll consider adding that option, even if it's just for pro users. But for now - here's what I see.

Click to embiggen. New Years:

The blue line is our MPH. New Years was pretty much perfect. Dixie started out rocking hard, we came into the hold hot and sweaty and stayed there for 20 minutes (where the blue line bottoms out in the middle), then she went out on the second loop feeling pretty good. She wasn't nearly as fresh as the first loop, but she still picked up a trot (or something) and held it a decent amount of time, then recovered fast at a walk and went back to work again.


Valentines was just worse. The first loop went well at first, but then she got pokey a couple miles from camp. When we really slowed down right before the hold was when I got off and (gasp!) jogged, and she didn't even want to trot behind me. She wasn't very hot, she didn't have that tired eye, I gave the usual amount of electrolytes and she ate the usual nibble of food at the hold. Since she wasn't tired, we headed back out pretty promptly, and she continued to be BLAH.

See how the second loop gets really sawtoothed? My friend's horse would slowly outpace us, and I'd urge her up to a trot. She'd trot out strong then start slowing down and eventually drop to a walk. Again, the last little bit at the end was my pitiful jogging. I ended up unclipping the lead and jogging off without her, and she just kinda half-ass followed me.

So of course by the time I got home I was sure Dixie was probably dying, or starving, or overtrained, or something equally horrible. I wailed to my friends online for most of the night, and by the time I went to bed I tentatively thought she was possibly bored - but I wasn't entirely ruling out tired from overtraining.

Today I've decided Dixie's definitely bored. I slept in til the shocking hour of 7:30 and Miss Thing was raging when I went out to feed - trotting around tossing her head at me and flinging herself on the ground to roll then leaping up to toss her head again. (Do I have the only horse who passive-aggressively rolls, or do other horses do it too??)

After I had some coffee, I backed the truck up near the paddock and started loading scrap metal. Another huge display - lots of cantering around snorting and trotting up to the gate then back to the far corner where she likes to hang out then back up front, over and over again. And when I got home late this afternoon, I decided I was hungrier than she was and I ate dinner first. I'm a terrible horse owner, I know. She behaved herself when I finally went out and fed, but she was just a crackling ball of energy walking beside me on the lead. It's just not the behavior of a horse who's actually tired from doing 20 miles at 7 mph.

So! I'm going to stick with my current training schedule, but try to work in some new stuff. There aren't any more NEDA rides at Silver Springs for a while - the next one is in Washoe Valley, which isn't totally new but isn't old and passé to her either. We're going to a reining clinic on Sunday, and I'm on the lookout for not-too-expensive fun things to do.

You may be wondering how I could've loaded scrap metal in the morning and stayed out til after Dixie's dinnertime - I sold the scrap, bought 19 boxes of engineered hardwood, some crap from Home Depot, a tank of gas, and my usual random junk from Costco, then came home and unloaded it. We have commenced a new phase of destruction at Casa Dixie - I am ripping up the unspeakably gross carpet in the den and kitchen and putting in some (extremely affordable!) cinnamon colored hardwood. I'm so excited! And I only feel utterly overwhelmed about a third of the time! Yippie!


  1. Yeah, that's not the behavior of an exhausted horse. The reining clinic should wake her back up--I can't wait to hear all about it!

  2. Dang girl, you are so productive. Makes me feel like a lazy slob, I tell you.

    Can't wait to see the new flooring, and I'm glad to hear that your fire-breathing monster horse is juuust fine. ;)

  3. My horse Sunny rolls and then gets up and gallops off sometimes when I walk down to feed. I dunno what it means. Just feeling good, I think. And Sunny definitely gets bored/exasperated if I do the same ride too often. He's cranky and uncooperative and dogs it on the way out and does a sort of mild F-you sort of jigging on the downhills on the way back--all stuff he doesn't do when he feels good and is happy to go out (which is most of the time). He also acts like this if I ride too many days in a row. He likes to go out 2 or 3 times a week, and makes it plain that 4 or 5 times is too many. But then, I'm not training for endurance--or anything else--so your situation is different.

  4. A reining clinic! What a fun change of pace.

  5. I had a BLAST at the reining clinic I did with Farley a few years back. Have fun:)

    I totally agree with you on the bored thing. Good call.


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