Got the chance to get out and ride yesterday - it was a gorgeous day for a ride, or really for anything outside.
I'd planned to ride for 135 minutes (2 hrs, 15 minutes), which was 5 minutes longer than the last ride. I was really wondering how in the world I would find enough places to go to last that long!
I started South and rode around, checked out some new territory. Rode around in the Polly field - my rule of thumb for whether to ride in a field or not is to ride out into it a few feet, and if the hoofprints I leave are no deeper than what a deer would leave, then it's okay. Even with all the rain we'd had Sunday and Monday, I was good to go!
So we went around and around, back and forth in there for about a half hour, following the woods and the creek bank, then down to the next farm lane we'd never ridden on before. So altogether, we did an hour of riding South of the driveway. Then moved on to the pasture across the road, and rode around in there for another 15 minutes, then headed north again to ride the lanes, filter strip, and road for 45 minutes, then rode around in the hog woods for the last 15 minutes.
I have no idea how far we went, or how fast. No clue. But we did a lot of walking, and a lot of trotting, and a little bit of stopping at puddles. And wow, the 4-H Horse and Pony Superintendant was right when he said: NEVER let your horse graze while you are holding the lead rope, or while you are riding - it leads to disrespect and the horse loses focus on what you're doing (riding) and starts looking around for good grass to eat. Wow.....I about got my arms yanked out of their sockets umpteen times yesterday afternoon....no more grazing for her. Here I thought I was doing her a favor by letting her graze on our training rides - well...she's going to have to learn to fill up on hay instead - I will not stand for any more of her motoring along only to stop ABRUPTLY and start grazing and ignoring my hands and legs as I urge her forward.
But, I have taken the hint, the mare is hungry - so her hay ration has increased, and I dug my hands into the bag of senior pelleted horse feed (what we keep around for Jack) after the ride and fed her a heaping two handsful worth. She seemed to appreciate it!
Not sure what to do - I think I'll try to ride again on Thursday.....but whether to make it 2 hrs and 20 minutes, or what?? Got a training ride planned for Saturday, so I don't want her to be tired out for that, but seems like going from Tuesday to Saturday w/out anything is a bit excessive rest-wise. Or Maybe I'll just halter her and go for a walk/jog with her. It would be good for us both. Any votes?