Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I don’t watch many movies. We go to a movie theater about once a year. We don’t have television reception at home either. However we do subscribe to Netflix and choose a series or two and watch them on DVD as we have indoor time (which is kind of rare for us). I had enough people tell me they couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen Hidalgo that I broke the mold and ordered a movie from Netflix.

Khaleesi's Daddy "Hidalgo"
Khaleesi’s Daddy “Hidalgo”

I assume “everyone” has already seen this 2004 movie about a paint mustang that was shipped in the 1890s to the middle east to take Frank Hopkins on the 3,000 mile horse race across the desert. I don’t know a lot about Frank Hopkins, but I have read that he was one of the greatest American Endurance riders and a champion of the mustang.

Plus… Khaleesi’s daddy is a paint horse named Hidalgo. So I had to watch it.

IMG_9682It was a fun movie- I enjoyed that it was based on a true story. I loved the mustang they used. I love to fantasize that there is some fateful reason Apple Horse Farm took on a Paint stallion (Saddlebred x Racking horse) in 2004 and decided to name him Hidalgo, and that means that Khaleesi is destined to be a great endurance competitor.

The jury is certainly still out with her!

IMG_9684Meanwhile I went for a really lovely ride with my future-crew extrordinaire Madison this week and she had a blast on Faygo the fine while I continued my Khaleesi training. This ride was the first time I used the heart rate monitor on Khaleesi- mostly to see if it would work and just watch what it told me. The good news is she has fantastic cardio. We can trot along at a nice pace (6-8mph) and if it’s flat she won’t rise above about 100-110 bpm. Uphill she might go up to 130, but every time we’d walk a stretch or flatten out, her heart rate went down quickly. I never saw her really work hard on the ride, and though we weren’t racing, we moved out a lot.

Also- we didn’t lose one good boot in the 10 miles we traveled!

No kicking attempts, but she did balk at me twice refusing to go forward without some serious pressure. I’m still not sure why she does this, but it NEVER happens on the loop headed home. This refusing to move forward seems to be at a standstill- it doesn’t seem to be improving or getting worse. I always win at some point. Madison said her mare would also do that sometimes- and begin backing up. She said one thing she tried was turning her around, then making her back the direction that they supposed to be going- the horse doesn’t like backing, so would turn forward and start moving on willingly after that. She still has to do it occasionally. I might try that next time!

IMG_9698I had hoped to do an alone ride before leaving for the Old Dominion ride this weekend, but turns out I’ve picked up some sort of stomach bug and just didn’t have it in me. I took the morning to rest instead and stay close to the bathroom. It seems mild enough- but speaking of fateful circumstances, I started a poison ivy rash yesterday, stomach bug today… I’m wondering if the universe is trying to keep me from volunteering!

Well…. I’m going!

Next blog will be about the OD ride… getting up at 3:30 am to watch the 5am start, and helping at the vet checks as the riders go through- no sleep for 24 hours.  I’m SO excited, and also looking forward to spending more horse time with my crew!!


Published by JaimeHope

Violin teacher and endurance rider living in a rural mountain county - one of the least population dense and without a single stoplight.

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