Endurance Riding

Jan 07 2011

Training Day #1!

Published by under Endurance Riding

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I woke up on January 6th and decided to make the commitment to train for endurance. My New Year’s Resolution. This would be our first day of training. I decided to ride English, saddling Asali in my Pessoa. I wore my new breeches and tall boots and my purple vest to match Asali’s purple Nurtural bitless bridle and her purple saddle pad. My theory in every competition has always been that if I don’t win, I will at least look good trying!

endurance-riding

A sunny day for our first day of training in the Pessoa and Nurtural.

We left for Stirling City around 11 am. We hadn’t been riding for more than 15 minutes when we came to a couple of huge trees blocking our trail. Unfortunately, the trees were not safe to jump and there was no way around them. It would have been more dangerous to go up into the side of the mountain, or down around the trees rather than to just navigate through them. I dismounted and used the trail knife I had just gotten for Christmas to cut away some of the branches. Once I cleaned up the branches, I guided Asali over them. She had to put her front legs between two logs, then maneuver her back legs over the first log, then get her front legs over the last log. It was a bit tricky and it took about 20 minutes of coaxing and guiding to get her to do it. (I used one of the tree branches as a carrot stick.)

After that mess, I decided to walk aways before remounting. That was difficult in my tall field boots (made for riding, not hiking) with the snow and ice. I slipped and landed on my bottom 3 different times. But Asali never ran me over and after I remounted, it was a pretty easy ride to Stirling City, although we couldn’t move out very fast because of the ground conditions – where it wasn’t icy, the ground was covered in thick, slippery mud.

We didn’t stay in Stirling City long because Asali was making a fuss when I tied her to a tree. She was snorting and pacing around it, and digging. This behavior is unlike her, as she normally ties well. The only thing I could think was that she didn’t like being left alone.

As I was leading Asali out to the trail to find a place to remount, I decided to do a little of the circling game with her because she was becoming increasingly difficult to handle… when Asali gets excited, she can act extremely high strung. Sometimes I think she’s an Arab, not a Missouri Fox Trotter. During the circling game, Asali slipped in the mud, and I saw my sure-footed horse fall. I decided to lead her for awhile after that because the ground was so unstable. I walked, leading her, for about 4 miles before remounting. I let her run almost all the way home. She jumped a log as if it was a 5 foot fence and we completed our 14 mile ride in 4 hours, certainly not a record time.

endurance-riding

Ready to go with our dog in tow!

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