I'm getting ready to send in my pre-entry for the Milwaukee Road Rail Trail ride on April 30. I haven't been to this ride before but I hear it can get pretty windy some years. Hope this isn't one of them!
I've been contemplating what went wrong, and right, at HTTR. Given Dazzby's frustration and acting out at the beginning of the ride, (well I guess it did go on for 15 miles) I think I will try a different tactic this time out.
For starters I will try to get to ridecamp in time to take a short leg stretcher on Friday before the ride. I think my girl needs to blow off a little steam after the trailer ride and to help her settle in and relax the nite before.
Second, I will try to get saddled and warmed up for 1/2 or so before our ride starts this time. If we're able to do that, then we will be able to implement step three of the plan.
Third, we will head out at a little quicker pace that I tried at HTTR. She seems to settle in quicker if she can move out.
I realized the other day that I train her to want to move out. Since I tend to work so many hours and have to squeeze training in sometimes, I tend to rush home, groom, saddle, trailer to the trailhead, walk a 1/4 or 1/2 mile or so and then trot, trot, trot.....canter..... trot, trot, trot........ and so on and so on. We don't tend to dawdle around. So, I don't now why I've been expecting her to behave differently at rides!
I will say that Dazzby spends all day turned out, so it's not like I'm taking her out of a stall and running her straight off or anything. We do warm up- we just do it pretty quickly.
So, that will be the strategy for ride two!
And, I will try to be more conscious of what I'm training my horse to do, in relation to how I want them to behave at rides, especially when I start in with Cartman.
Speaking of Cartman, after all the wierd skin/fungal/bacterial stuff he's had going on, yesterday he developed hives all over the left side of his neck. I brought him and Dazzby in about 6pm and fed them their nightly alfalfa. By the time I was done doing chores and feeding the others Cartman had gotten hives. I watched him for the next few hours and they didn't get worse. This morning they were completely gone.