Saturday, July 7, 2012

Forty degrees hotter

Look, yall, I try not to rub it in about the weather here. Nobody wants to hear my first-world Pacific coast weather problems. But I do live where it's about 60 degrees 24/7, and I did just get home (58F) from Almaden Quicksilver (96F) and let me tell you buddy it totally sucked.

Here is my Strava:

Long rides, for me, are a microcosm of all the emotions. In four hours, I ran through feeling proud, smug, bored, elated, resigned, despairing, and back to triumphant. The tl;dr version:

It was so hot. I drank all my water. I didn't electrolyte Dixie enough and she ran out of go-juice at 16 miles, so I got off and walked the last two miles in. I let her graze, and she wasn't in any distress, and when we finally got back to the trailer she dove into her mash and drank a couple gallons of water and pulsed right down. I got blisters on the bottoms of both my heels and a heatstroke-headache.


Before the last two miles, it was quite a bit of fun. Dixie was a perfect angel to meet a random kid in the parking lot. She plugged on up the hills and trotted/gaited the flats and the downhills. Bikes and hikers and dogs didn't phase her, but she had to stop and stare HARD at a kid with a butterfly net. I had him wave it around and she eventually decided it was ok.

I have got to get my shit together and ride with people. I do great on solo 10 mile rides, and I do ok on 15 mile rides, but 20 miles all alone is just so hard mentally. And it's not like I don't have any choice - I have at least four endurance people I could email and meet up with! I just didn't get around to talking to them this week and then last night I was like "must go ride 20 miles tomorrow." Ugh.

I took a bunch of little videos on my phone but splicing them together and uploading them is WAY MORE EFFORT than I can put forth tonight. Here's some conformation shots of my incredibly ripped horse. I think I'd be happy if she was a little fatter, actually. Thoughts/feelings?

That face. <3 that horse.

Shameful dirty.

Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt. It's so muscular and veiny. Wait, that's not how it goes at all...

I just hope Gold Country has troughs every five miles for me to stick my head in. I do ok if I can stick my head in a trough.


  1. She looks good. If you were heading into a long, dark winter I'd want her a little bit fatter, but she looks fine to me. Can you feel ribs but not see them? Is there any/much fat around her withers?

    Heat: do you have a cooling vest?

    Snooty equestrian version, $119:

    Cheap construction worker version, $25.99:

    You can lay in on Dixie's neck to cool her, also. Or get one for each of you...

  2. I live in the land of fat horses... but I think she looks great. Fit and SO muscular. Look at that muscle above her hock! Body builder mare!
    I don't envy your heat!

  3. She looks good, but keep socking the groceries to her for sure. This heat is rough on them, I'm noticing I have to feed mine more (and of course our pasture is Dead Dead)

    I feel you on the emotional ups and downs on a long solo ride. Totally been there. It's kinda weird and you wonder if you're going a little crazy? Especially with a good headache brewing..

    See ya at Gold Country! Blaze will show Dixie a belly to envy ;)

  4. It's been maaaybe 80s here in the afternoons. Happily spoiled indeed! Anything over 90, and I just wait a few hours and ride in the evening instead.
    Though I'm extra-spoiled and ride in the forest near a river, so even when it's hot, it's frequently cooler on the trails than at the barn.

    Great view in that first photo, but yikes, the sunshine!

  5. I am NOT a heat person, I feel ya on getting those heat headaches. We're heading into a heatwave here, forecasted to be almost 90F which may not be hot to some but its all about what you're acclimated to right? And here that is hot. (I freaking hope it doesn't get humid or bring tornado weather either)

    IMHO Dixie could use a few lbs. But all y'all endurance peeps have horses way thinner and fitter in a different way than what the majority of people have. (and it makes sense considering what they do, that was in NO way a dis. just to be clear)

    And thanks, now I've got Baby Got Back zipping around my brain (and I didn't even click the link) Thought you might get a giggle out of this, the "horse version" (it was posted AGES ago so I think you didn't see it)

  6. You are SO much tougher than I'll ever be. I rode two hours yesterday in the 70 degree weather and it was just right. Four hours in 96 degrees? Not for me. But I admire the heck out of you. Go Dixie!

    And yeah, I'd want her a little fatter for my own use, but I believe lean is the way endurance horses are supposed to be. Right?

  7. I think she looks great. She can certainly eat anything she wants as a tough athlete! Long solo rides are tough, I totally lose focus. But finding a riding friend with similar style is tough too.

    Adjusting to a weather difference like that would be hard, cold at home, hot at the barn. I figure I'm ahead of the game: same climate and no AC! Gold Country is gonna be hot, and it's super dry right now, I'll hope for tons of troughs for you both!

  8. "I do okay if I can stick my head in a trough."

    Can I borrow that line?

  9. I think she looks great! I won't post any pictures of Dazzby right now- I got scolded by the vet for her, uh, rotundness. She's unhappily in the diet pen now.

    Hey, how's the coffee in SF area? I've heard they have some good stuff down there.

  10. Forty degrees is a lot of fluctuation. Our temps sometimes do that here - in the 60s overnight/early morning, then well up over 90F during the day. I would prefer 60-70 myself, but you sort of get used to after awhile. Although, heat headaches are no fun at all...

    I think Dixie looks great - very lean and fit - more like a STB or TB type build than your typical QH or something.

  11. Wow, look how lean and mean she is!!! I live in a barn of too fat horses and my first thought was "yikes, she needs some major groceries." Upon close inspection, and removal of my "fat horse glasses," she actually looks super and in great shape!

  12. Sweet Jesus she is awesome looking!!! If you're concerned you could shove some veggie oil into her for cool calories but she's built for her job!


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