Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sleet and Wind and a rough ride

Yesterday was pretty nasty out here - we had sleet and a sharp wind, and it was cold! But, as soon as my husband got home I headed outside to ride! How crazy is this?? Our daughter was napping, so Matt got to do some stuff he had wanted to do while I rode, then after she woke up I fixed dinner while Matt worked in the garage. Making a committment to training for endurance riding is tricky, since I can't just ignore my family's needs!

I had planned on riding in unknown territory (for Arabee) to broaden our horizons. It has been getting a little boring riding around in the barn lot. This would have involved riding on the road for about 50 -100 feet then turning and riding around the field there, down the lane and around. There's a lot of potential for good riding areas where I live, but I will have to ride on the road for short distances (as short as just directly across the road, to as much as 1/2 mile) to get to these woodsy farm lanes. I am blessed, I have access to "trails," water crossings, hills, quiet country roads all within riding distance from home!

Anyway, with the way the wind was whipping around, throwing that stinging sleet, Arabee was feeling mighty fresh! So, I decided (or arabee did) that we were going to practice single-rein-stops and keeping at a walk near the grain bins, since they were making scary noises in the wind. It wasn't the most pleasant ride, but I felt proud of myself for riding anyway, and it helped build my confidence (I was scared at times but didn't fall off!).

Hopefully today if the wind is a bit quieter I can get across the road a bit, and even do a minute or two of trotting! It is time to start building my mare's endurance!
(this photo from 2005 shows the barn lot and where I've been riding the past couple months. To the right side of the picture is the road, on the other side of the trees in the field I was talking about trying to ride in yesterday.)


Tamara of In the Night Farm said...

What a gorgeous place you have there! I can't wait to read about your journey into endurance. Are you shooting for your first race in 2009?

Also, thanks for the tip on warm boots. I'll check into them! Gotta love winter weather...and wind...

Nicole said...


Yes, well, I am not sure how much of a "race" it will be, but my "right now" goal is 2 LD's this year.

My main thing is to have fun. And, since I tend to have more fun with Arabee when I ride consistently, and I have a tough time doing ANYTHING consistently unless I have a goal, I've set the goal for 2 LD's this year, and then we'll see how it goes!

Endurance Granny said...


Your farm is just beautiful! It does look like you have many fields and woodlines that you can ride the perimeters. Please remember to give someone at home a "ride plan" as to your route when you leave and try to stick to it. Safer training a horse that way. I can't wait to have you join up with us!

In your early phase of training it might help to wear a watch and record your time over the same route. Each time record how long it took you and make note of Arabee's condition during and after. (Did she come in huffing and puffing? or did she seem okay with the work load. If you have an ATV on the farm maybe your route can be measured that way, which will give you a clear picture of how far you are going vs. how much time it takes. This will give you a nice baseline of your progress.

Just think back when I met you at Nationals Phebes was only doing 3-5 miles, now we are up to 20! Like you I am very goal driven and I need a plan to motivate and challenge me. Just don't get discouraged when you have times that you can't ride. Just slide in a training somewhere else, and like you said, have fun. Because if we aren't enjoying ourselves, what is the point?

So excited about your progress and this blog.