Weather today is predicted to be 107 degrees, HOT HOT HOT. I set my alarm for 6:07 am and hit snooze twice before I finally drug myself out of bed. I haven't been feeling 100% lately, battling a mild cold or something, so I wasn't real eager to go out and exercise but I knew Sinwaan needed it, and so did I - to stay somewhat in shape for my toughie ride next weekend in the hills of Virginia.
I had hoped to ride with Ernie but he was doing a 50 mi training ride in the mountains today with Dean. Nope, not ready for that distance yet. :-)
I was able to get the dogs pottied, chickens fed, and filled up a water bottle, got dressed and grabbed some carrots, all without waking up Levi. Gave Matt a kiss goodbye and quietly snuck out of the house. The weather was perfect for a motorcycle ride out to the barn, and I even wished for a jacket when I hit the 40 mph straightaway.
Sinwaan eagerly came over to greet me, thinking I had some breakfast for him I reckon. I pulled him out and had just gotten done grooming him when Darold came out to say hello. I asked him if he would join me today and he said he wished he could but he was watching his grandchildren at 8 am. Maybe next time. He did say he would wait to feed the horses until I was gone, which was very nice of him.
We headed out at a brisk walk and then had a little startle when Sinwaan saw a lady walking up the road. He was acting up a little on the short stretch to Elliot but once there we could trot and get some of his bugs out. He actually did better for me today than I expected, considering he hasn't been ridden for an entire week, and he was going out without his breakfast. I was relieved, as I was feeling a bit faint already. Power through....
It was getting warm already. We saw a man out working on his grapevines at the first homestead, I said good morning and he responded. When we hit the dirt road I asked for a trot again and he was moving sloppy, really clipping himself. We stopped at the junkyard for a bite of wheat and then I asked him for the canter. He wasn't thrilled, but willingly went along. We turned up Telephone Pole Road and trotted most of it to the corner, where I let him rest and eat the grasses and alfalfa alongside the road. At this point the heat really hit us. Sinwaan's shoulder was all sweaty and I could feel heat just coming off my arms and my head under the helmet. Yuk! My arms were glistening. Time to go, let's get home before the real heat hits.
Riding through the stubble of the wheat field Sinwaan knew now we were headed back in the "right" direction - towards home - and he was happy to pick up the pace. I let him set it, knowing this would be more work for him plowing through all the churned dirt. At first he started his flying trot which soon turned into head tossing and a little buck, he was agitated. Ok then, GO! And go we did, we had a very nice canter after that and were through the entire field in no time.
On the road for a very short stretch to cross over the railroad tracks and turn back onto Elliot, I saw a truck heading towards us. No worries, we were off the pavement with a minute to spare. More trotting, loose rein, ears ahead, good attitude. Sinwaan was a joy to ride the rest of the way home. Even slowed to a walk a couple times on his own, I think that field wore him out. We had a bit of a breeze and occasional patches of shade. Saw the man with the grapevines taking a break as we went past.
I had Sinwaan walk the last 1/4 mile to cool him off a little but once we got back to Braden he wanted to trot. Eager for food! I had let him stop periodically to much on wheat or weeds or alfalfa on our ride but nothing beats a good meal. I was hungry too. I untacked and put him in the shower stall and hosed him off. He was pretty sweaty today. It looks like his hair is shedding and clumping up under his girth by my stirrup. I didn't like the looks of that but otherwise didn't see any problem areas. I fed him his carrots, I had thought about working him in halter a little today but I want to set him up for success and didn't think he would be in a very good mood if I withheld breakfast any longer. He gave me a great ride - 8 mi in about an hour +, so he deserved to be done. (I forgot a watch and know I was only gone from the house 2 hr total)
I hope to go out tomorrow to work on halter, and will try to arrange some more help from Shane on clipping, etc before I leave town.