Sunday, March 10, 2019

Back to Conditioning! and a bit of sun :)

Because work is terrible lately and they want me to restrict my hours, I have been making every effort to only work 4 days a week and spend that fifth day on something fun. Last friday I took Kaylee to the movies, the friday before I trailered to the indoor arena to get some schooling in before the dressage show.

This week promised temperatures above freezing PLUS clear skies and sun. I knew I was going riding, but the question came down to where. I had lots of options available, but with footing being questionable in a lot of places, I ended up settling on the Polly Ann Trail, at the Leonard trailhead so I didn't have to do any road riding to access the trail.

I'm pretty pleased by her body condition at the moment coming out of winter. Now to get her better muscled and not cresty with spring grass.

There was still plenty of snow everywhere. I was just hoping there wouldn't be sheet of ice under the snow, which is what my place is like right now and why I opted out of riding at home.

I have been exclusively using my back on track saddle pads and I super love them. They are thick durable and I feel like Gwyn enjoys it as well. 

 Every time I've gone to the Leonard parking lot, I've gone South/West on the trail. I decided today was the day I would go north and at least try and meet up with the southernmost point I've traveled from Dryden. I didn't quite get there. Additionally, I apparently had technical issues (again) with my go pro and only the last 17 minutes were in a watchable file form. However, those 17 minutes were certainly full of action, haha.

We saw lots of deer, some wild turkeys, a possum, horses, cows and humans. The humans we encountered were below us on the trail and there were two kids bundled in like full figure snow suits playing on the ground and I could feel Gwyn tense so I called out a hello and she immediately relaxed when they responded back. I just kept telling her, it's okay! They're people! The last thing I needed was her spooking and sliding down the embankment because there was no getting up easily if that happened. Too much brush and/or barbed wire.

 Polly Ann Trail: straight and flat. Not great for conditioning on hills, but good for just getting a good working walk when conditions aren't ideal.  Look at that blue sky!

 We did encounter one downed tree which was in the Lapeer county section so I'll contact the lapeer group to let them know.
 I wasn't sure if this was a washout or not.
 Gwyn likes to look around.

 Parts of the trail were thawing.
 This was just after I saw the turkeys. There was something in the field over that ridge that Gwyn was NOT going to tolerate.
 So I made her turn back.
 Just as a note. I have not changed. What happend here was she was so desperate to get away that she leaped forward. I'm pretty sure we only had two feet on the ground in this picture. It felt like she jumped from a standstill. She had been redneck piaffing immediately before.

And then finally relaxed, long and low. I did end up doing some trotting by the end because Gwyn was offering and the footing had proven to be better than expected. But mostly we had a nice marching walk, which is a great way to start conditioning for endurance!

Have a highlights video :) It includes our dramatic leap.

It's funny, I can pull out the moments based on the speed graph.
The initial spike in that green line is where she was revving to get going and I made her slow back down. The green spike in the middle just before mile 3 is where she had had enough of the Scary Thing and decided to go back and quickly. Then the final two spikes in mile 4 were our stretches of trot!

When we got back to the parking lot there were several tractor trailers idling for delivery at the small factor next to the parking lot.

I opted to dismount as I had to walk directly in front of one of them and the diesel engine every so often let out a coughing hiss and I just knew it would be bad if I wasn't on the ground. Thankfully we got around without incident and they left minutes later before I had finished untacking.

Happy Mare who peed quite a bit back at the trailer

Feeding that night

*BOOP*  You got snacks?!

And then today we had sun in the morning and temperatures climbing to the mid thirties again. Gwyn decided it was a good day to nap in the snow.

Saffron took the watch

Flat out

I love getting pictures mid shake


  1. It's always a mixed blessing when work wants you to cut back hours.

    1. Ugh, yeah. I have complicated feelings about my employer. But suffice it to say that given my level of training and skill, they do not compensate me or my coworkers enough (or even fairly re: market) to feel any sort of obligation to go out of my way to help them out. If given the opportunity I am out of there for horse time.