I had not planned on riding today but Matt wanted to work on his truck on Sunday so I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and ride two days in a row. Matt decided he would like to go out with me and get some footage on his video camera, and get a better idea how to tape the trails for his project he will soon take on. The thermometer at the house said 54 degrees today before we left, about 1:00, and this time I only wore a t-shirt and took along a choice of jackets.
I knew I wanted to ride up Cache Hollow Road today and I was aiming for the 10 mile loop as my goal for the day. Because I am trying to get Sinwaan conditioned, and only able to ride twice a week, I am trying to put in as many hours on him as I can in that time. I called ahead and let Kittee and Dale know that I would be out there and aiming to ride a distance and they could come along if they would like to, but that Matt would be with me if they decided not to, so I would not be alone and no worries. I decided to put on Sinwaan's ezboots today because I knew we could encounter more gravel and rock than usual and he is not shod yet. I have never used the ezboots, I got them in a trade for Dee's endurance bridle and was estactic that two (out of five) of them were red. I got lucky in that the two red ones happen to be the right size for Sinwaan and he can wear them as a pair on the front. I had a little trouble figuring them out but Kittee helped me as she has used boots before. She also brought out her rasp in case we needed to smooth out any rough edges, but his feet really look amazing considering the amount of time it has been since a trim and the rasp was not needed.
The three of us rode out together and walked for awhile to warm up the horses, with Matt driving ahead of us and stopping every so often to get some footage. At the one mile point he got himself turned around and then decided to back up the next mile in the truck. Before we got to him at mile two he had turned around again and drove straight up THE HILL. Well at the two mile point Dale and Kittee decided to turn around so I bid them farewell and at this point got off and led Sinwaan up as it is very rocky and we are both still a little out of shape. What a climb! It took him about ten minutes before he realized his buddies had turned around so then he started trying to trot a little and run circles around me. Well I got him in line and put an end to that and then he was very well behaved.
We made it up to the top and I let him take a little break and graze on some short spring grasses that had started to come up. Then I remounted and we headed off for Kinnear Road. What a view!!
Kinnear Road is probably my favorite road in the area, as it has gradual climbs and generally is a good place to let the horse out a little. We set off at a trot for a distance, with Matt following. As Matt would get closer it would make Sinwaan nervous so I had Matt go on ahead of us and asked him to clock two miles so I would know when we had gone five and then could decide if we would turn around and head home, or continue onward to finish the loop. When we got to about the 1 3/4 mi point on Kinnear there were so many mini rivers in the road that the footing was not great. I decided to turn around at that point and head for home. Of course then Sinwaan kicks into high gear and suddenly wants to GO and is not tired anymore. Go figure! I let him trot but tried to hold him back a little to keep him in control and listening to me. Once in a while he would show his aggravation with me by tossing his head and giving me attitude but I did not have trouble getting him to listen to me, although a few times it was a little battle. I let him go as long as it was safe to do so, and kept him at the trot. There were places we had to walk because of rock or boards in the road, or mud (there is still snow up there and it is melting, thus all the water in the road). His ezboots seemed to work perfectly, I did not detect any soreness, although his trot was slightly different to post, and I did notice his hind feet turning red from hitting the boots (overreaching) All in all they seemed to do their job though. They were sure hard to get off! I am glad Sinwaan is so patient with me testing all this stuff out on him. He stood quietly and waited for me to wrestle them off of him. I checked his feet and all was well, no rubs.
I figure we did about 9 1/2 miles today with elevation changes and I am thrilled with that because adding to the 4 miles on Friday we put in about a loop of a LD ride this weekend, and now I have Sunday to recover. I am already feeling stiff and sore from climbing that HILL, I got off and hiked it with him both going up and down.