Thursday, April 09, 2015

Spring is really here!

We were scheduled to go to McCulley Farms last week for Sasha and me to do the 25 mile ride, but due to unavoidable issues at home, we didn't. Instead, on Sunday, I rode her out from the house and managed to get in just under 18 miles in 3 hours 30 minutes, including an extra long warm up, cool down and 4 climbs of our training hill.

Around my place, I have to ride on or next to the road. If I want trails, I have to trailer out. Sasha has been learning all about traffic. She's been getting progressively better. She was doing so well, we kept going about 3 miles further than she'd gone out from the house before. Even around the scary big curve. She did really well with the traffic. Although one of the climbs of the hill she hit her running martingale when a car passed us. I think it surprised her, but she behaved and seemed much better about cars after that. Drivers were very courteous today, giving us space and most of them slowing down. Sasha was very, very forward. It was hard to rein her in and keep her to the 5 mph overall average and no more than 10 mph trot.

A running martingale is new to my tack list. When Lillie rode Sasha last, Sasha had a mini bolt with her nose straight up in the air. While I can handle Sasha when she acts like that, I decided to put a running martingale on her when the kids ride her. And before that can happen, I need to ride her in it to be sure I know how she'll react. Most of the time she doesn't hit the martingale. She only hit it once on Sunday early in the ride and managed to keep her nose down the rest of the time. I have the RM adjusted as loose as it will go. One thing that surprised me is the weight of the rings. I use lightweight flat braid reins with biothane ends next to the bit. And the weight of the martingale is definitely noticeable.

From Distance Depot

Sasha's conditioning is going very well. I'm quite pleased with her.

Perky Sasha after her training ride

Tanna is just now getting under saddle again. He had a long hiatus after his 100 mile attempt. I rode him a few times, but he just wasn't quite right. This week, I took him to my vet and had a lameness evaluation done on him to look for pain. He wasn't lame per se. Just not quite right. After the exam indicated hock issues, we decided to go ahead and inject his hocks. Tanna is 21 and has 2400+ miles over 12 seasons. Likely just catching up to him.

Today, I rode him for the first time since the injections and he was my old bouncy guy again. Energetic, happy, forward. The quality of his gait was so much better.

Looking forward to getting to at least a couple AERC rides in the month of May. Hopefully, Tanna will be ready to do a ride by the end of May. Sasha may just get her first 50 in May or June.

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