Well today we (Kittee, Dale and I) had planned to RIDE OUT at 8 am but unfortunately somehow I fell back to sleep after getting up with Levi at 6 am so when I woke up again and noticed it was 7:30 I called out there to let them know I was running a little behind. When I got there only one horse was tacked up, their paint mare Misty. Kittee told me Dale wasn't going today since he had a bit of a bucking bronc incident with Derby and fell off, possibly cracking a rib again so he wasn't really feeling up to a long ride. Can't say I blame him!
I put on the heart rate monitor today and was thrilled to see Sinwaan's resting HR at 33. (In all fairness he did seem half asleep) I also put on a Cashel tie-on but decided I didn't like it and took it off and hope I can return or exchange it.
I am not sure what time we rode out but I would guess in the neighborhood of 8:30 - 9 am. Both horses were exhibiting a fine degree of home sickness right from the start but we pressed them onward. Between Misty's short stride and Sinwaan's attempt at a "rest break" every three strides it was some slow going those first few miles.
There were a few cows in a pen, and six horses at the first farm, but otherwise we did not see any wildlife or excitment like we did on our last ride up the mountain. No sheep or other people on horseback, not even much traffic. Maybe a half dozen cars/trucks and one dirt bike. One truck had a hound in the back that was just baying up a storm once he saw us, and it made Misty edgy so we both dismounted and waited for the truck to pass. Then we decided to walk a short while to air out our pants.
Apparently I forgot to put on sunscreen and just baked like a chicken. The temps were decent (80s?) but hot enough for sweat to crystalize on my face. The breeze every so often was quite welcome!
Here's a shot of my knarly wrist burn around my HR monitor.
It seemed to take us forever to get to the quarry. Sinwaan was content to follow along behind Misty but refused to pass her. We would trot up next to her but once they got eye to eye Sinwaan would put on the brakes and just STOP.
Dale drove up and stopped to chat with us for a moment. Kittee suggested loading the horses then and getting a ride to the top. Dale scolded us and said that we hadn't completed our ride yet, and that he would be quite happy waiting for us with a cold beer. So he drove away and onward we rode.
After awhile, Sinwaan took the lead and was eager and willing to trot when I asked him for it. As his stride was much longer, even at the walk, that helped to speed up our little convey a little. We were on the lookout for mile marker 3 (a three painted on a tree that tells us we are 3 miles from the Tollgate Chalet) but it never came. When we then came across "1.5" there was much rejoicing, but then it seemed to take forever to reach "1."
I think Sinwaan did much better this time, and it was nice to compare his mental state with the HR reading. Granted, we walked more this time than last but his recoveries seemed very good. When we made it to the trailer he again refused water but I used a lot of it on his back to help cool him down and wash off the saddle-edge crusties. He ate a little hay but mostly just wanted to nap. Misty was very tired. He gave me no trouble at all loading today, walked right up and on.
We had a nice lunch at the Chalet, and Kittee drove us down the mountain. I hosed Sinwaan off and turned him out to pasture and he went right away and had a nice long roll. Then he went to the water tank but Bobby and Nugget were standing around blocking it so I went and shooed them off so he could have his drink. He didn't drink much and then went over and stood by Ollokot and the two did some grooming of each other. I am glad they are friends.
One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that I only counted three dead snakes in the road today, and Sinwaan only did two and two half body shakes with me aboard. Also coming down the mountain the truck died (but was easily restarted) and then when we got back to the barn and I hopped out to open the gate, I looked back and noticed one of the trailer tires was flat. Thankfully everyone was already home safe.