As promised yesterday was cold, and windy. What I did not expect was that there would be snow. There was to be little or no precipitation especially in the south. There were no 70 mph wind gusts (thank you Lord), but it was cold and windy. Personally for me it was a good day to be cold, and windy so I didn’t have to feel guilty about staying inside doing absolutely nothing. I was exhausted. I guess my body just isn’t used to riding every day anymore. It’s probably been more than six years since I’ve ridden this much. I’m in good physical shape, but I suppose I will have to give my body some time to get back in the routine of daily riding. There was a time my body wouldn’t have cared, but those days are gone. It’s the pits.
Today was a different story. I awoke refreshed (or at least not so tired), and feeling as good as the day was beautiful (well, maybe not quite that good). Today was Marina’s day to ride (moan & groan). Not only is she overweight (for her), but this winter her fur grew a little too long, and now she is shedding. While the little birdies in the barn surely appreciate this little nesting gift, it’s a pain. You brush, and brush, and it seemingly never ends. The worst part is having it fly up your nose. I hate that. It flies everywhere, and sticks to everything. The payoff is that the horses won’t look like fur balls. Marina especially with her fine iridescent coat glimmers in the sunshine during the summer months. Like Ibn she somehow remains clean, unless she sunbathes in the mud. Ibn is too prissy, he doesn’t like to get dirty, and he doesn’t. Don’t ask me how, but he doesn’t.
Having been ridden a few times, Marina is not only getting in shape, her energy level is increasing. She really wasn’t as high as she was the first few times we went out, she did however, have more energy. I took her straight down the road towards the grassy knoll I found with Ibn. She was fairly well behaved until she saw that knoll. It was just too tempting. After about five minutes she started trotting. I kept her at a trot because after all I’m supposed to be building up her stamina (like she needs it). We took the knoll as far as we could east, till we came to a fence. I hate fences, but like us, people have the right to fence in their land. While once you could have gone all the way to Ft Stanton, I don’t think there a way to do that anymore. Too many people have fenced in their land either for cattle or privacy. I could see the Spencer Theater though. It’s the slanted white building on the right of the picture.
Since we couldn’t go any further in that direction we turned back across the knoll. Then I found another trail. It went slanting down the ridge on the other side. We came across another maintained road, and followed that till it petered out. I was thinking we had gone far enough anyway so we headed back up the ridge. This time Marina couldn’t help herself when she came to the knoll, and took off at a canter. I let her canter only holding her from going into a full gallop. She had to have a little fun after all. She got all hyped again, but I keept her to a slow trot, and then to a walk the rest of the way back to our road. She wasn’t so pleased about that. When we got to the main road I looked at the pedometer, and we hadn’t gone as far as I thought. Ok, there’s another gas line road off to the left. It has a rather steep hill, but what the heck.
The road is nice for a while till it starts climbing, then it gets super rocky. In fact, at the top it is pure rock, like slabs of rock. I made her go down at a trot, and then up again until it leveled out when I brought her back to a walk. I saw a car, but then it went out of sight. When I got to the road I could see that it was private drive, and then I saw the gate. Oops, it was a gated drive. I came in the back way, that’s not fenced so I had no way of knowing. We turned around again. I was hoping to be able to go around in a loop, but that was not to be. We would have to go up that steep grade one more time. Marina wasted no time cantering up the hill of rock. I just hoped she knew what she was doing (which of course she did). We don’t shoe our horses because of breeding, and at that point in time I was very grateful for that seemingly small fact. I shiver at the thought of metal hitting those slabs of bedrock. That’s just me, silly child that I am.
Up Marina went without missing a step, or so much as stumbling over a single loose rock. I gave her, her head, letting her figure out the best way up. From that point on I had to keep reining her in because all she wanted to do was run after that. I kept telling her that she had to cool down before we got home. She really didn’t care, but she did walk. When we came to the last stretch, she calmed down, knowing we were almost home. She was in fact cool when we reached the barn. I checked the pedometer, and we have gone a little over eight miles just where I wanted to keep our rides for now. Later I will nudge it up to ten miles. I’m not sure how I will accomplish that once I start working. I will probably have to shorten our rides, riding in the evening except on the weekends when I will have the whole day to ride. They may not be as well conditioned, as I would like, still I think we can pull it off. Marina just goes and goes, and Ibn while slower, rarely breaks a sweat. During the summer it will be different, but if he’s in good enough shape, he still won’t get too sweaty. Their constitutions are so strong I don’t really think it will be a problem. We’ll have to wait, and see.
Tomorrow after I ride I have to go to town to get the mail, and Wed, I have to go get hay. One of these days I have to clean the barn stalls. Between the weather, and all the work that entailed, the barn has suffered. As long as I keep building up stamina, I should be able to go back to my routine of cleaning stalls every day, lets not get too ambitious, say every other day instead. Who knows maybe every once in a while I may even clean house.