All 4 horses went out for 10km (6 miles) yesterday. I guess that means we are officially legging up…
I have been really battling with motivation this summer. It’s so HOT, and I am really quite enjoying my running (and I’m signed up for a 12km charity run in May), and getting horses ride fit involves starting at 5.30 a.m. because I work full time… It was really quite nice sleeping in till 7, and having nothing to do on Saturday afternoons, not feeling like I needed to go out and clock up 2 1/2-3 hours in the saddle. Pretty sure the family liked having me around a bit more too:
I think the horses also enjoyed their break: they have had a solid three months off:
Although I have been riding baby horses, they only need about 30 – 45 minutes at a time, and half of that tends to be at a walk..
It was the first time I have thrown a leg over Joe since October. He was his usual bold (Fallen tree? Meh. Orange hazard warning tape? Kinda scary but I’m not going to back pedal at speed like the other three horses), wimpy (OMG Mum don’t make me go close to Savannah she’s gonna kill me!), slightly cheeky (are you SURE I can’t canter?) self.
Jeez I love that horse. It sounds kinda sappy, but getting into that saddle felt like.. coming home. He’s not daft, he knows his job, he knows what I’m about to ask for half a second before I ask (when I’m just thinking about asking…). He’ll go in front, or behind (he’s not that happy in the middle, but that’s because he is then surrounded by scary mares). I can drop the reins and expect him to stand there, mid ride, while I deal with Savannah trying to dump her small jockey, or I can turn in the saddle mid trot session to answer a question from someone without worrying about whether he’s going to spook, or dump me.
Part of me gets a warm fuzzy glow because I MADE him into what he is… another part knows that he came into this world being bold, funny and obliging: I just took advantage of it. Can I just keep him at this age, and this level of education, forever?
Whatever the reason for it, the enthusiasm has come back. First things first: we need to string a couple of 40km (25 mile) rides together to get Ashleigh and Savannah up to speed, then find a conveniently spaced 50 miler for their first crack at the full distance. Looking at the calendar, looks like the Easter ride will be a good place to start. It’s close to home and runs a 25 miler on both the friday and the Sunday. We can duck up and back for 25 miles in the day, so the rest of the family will be happy (we’ve spent the whole of Easter for the last 3 years at one multi day ride or another, and I have had to promise that I would spend at least SOME of the Easter holiday out of the saddle!).
So, I guess this view will be part of my weekends for the foreseeable:
Then again, who could resist spending time with these faces?