So it rained overnight, and it was raining when we left for church, and raining raining raining! On the way home from church Matt asked me if I was going to ride....I paused...I decided that if the temperature on the car was above 40, I would say yes. It was 41! Not exactly real warm, but....enough that I had to say yes to riding! I regretted making that decision, but decided quickly that this was the perfect opportunity to try out my new rain coat. I figured if I can stay warm and dry in 40 degree weather in mid-March that whatever April and beyond might dish out at a ride would be no trouble!
Arabee was standing under the roof, wet and shivering. She didn't seem to be too keen on being caught, either, but didn't try too hard to stop me, but sure didn't help me either.
Saddled her up, walked and jogged her in circles on the end of the rein to warm up, got on, and did some walking and slow jogging to get her and her muscles warm. (I'm not going to do anymore play-by-play details of the entire ride anymore, I'll keep a log of that separately and just do the highlights on here) We walked and trotted and I left the rump rug on her the entire time. It wasn't raining hard, but a nice (nice??) steady drizzle. It was nice, my horse was paying attention..mostly, and we were working well together. The ride was 105 minutes long, and we went farther and faster than before. But I firmly believe I'm not pushing her too far, she had plenty left but it was a good workout for her - we did a LOT of walking, plenty of trotting, plenty of slipsliding around in the mud. I think a good balance.
I wish I could easily stick to the principle of increase speed, then distance, never both. But since I don't have a GPS that will tell me mileage, and I dont' want to be tied down to the same old boring route every ride, I'm going to just stick with adding 5 minutes to each ride until we get to 2 1/2 hours. I'm also going to add more and more trotting as it makes sense to do so, gradually and easily - if I'm out of breath, we'll walk....if horse is acting stupid, we'll walk....if Arabee's making it clear she's ready to walk again, we'll walk....but if we're having a nice time trotting along down the way, we'll keep trotting!
So the rain coat worked really really well....I pulled the hood up and wore it under my helmet, unzipped the pit zips for ventilation, and stayed PLENTY warm, maybe even too warm, but I had several layers on underneath. I feel good about my rain-preparedness. Granted, it was not a full-out downpour, but still....rain is rain, to a certain extent.
Had a good ride today, and I'm hoping and praying that we don't encounter any setbacks (read: injuries!)