Sunday, June 28, 2015
After two days of pouring down rain, Sunday brought partly cloudy skies and mild breezy temps. Perfect for a Faygo day. I hadn’t been on her in more than a week, and just hopping into her saddle (the one I bought this spring- which I love!) felt like going home.
Khaleesi is fun to ride, and it’s rewarding to train her and work up her trail skills, but Faygo is (basically) fantastic and a joy to ride.
As I headed out the dirt road through the hay field I decided to put some of my better riding (Jedi) skills to work and see how much I could communicate with her through energy and keep my seat more still. Faygo and I have a few solid riding years between us and already have pretty good communication. I found that she picked up my signals really well. I thought more about our pace, she is almost always in a 4-beat gait unless she’s cantering because the fox-trot is also 4-beats and she doesn’t hard trot. [1….2….3….4….1….2…..3….4].
I was able to work on changing her speed with my mind and had some luck with that. My upper body steering was also better although her issue is not so much “What? I didn’t understand you.” as it is “What? I don’t want to do THAT… we should do THIS.” And because I don’t usually do as she asks she assumes I’m a bit of an idiot and she says it pretty loudly so I can understand better.
She’s not at all dangerous- just has her own mind and likes to be sure you hear her.
We had a lovely ride, we went at a good clip and averaged just under 5mph for about 9 miles. The breeze was nice and we enjoyed the time.
One thing I learned… this Jedi stuff can be kind of exhausting. At a certain point I felt pretty drained from all the energy and mind-melding. Especially with this mare! After a nice canter up a green hill I wanted her to slow it down and I really worked on letting all the hot energy go and relaxing down my breathing and my tension. I felt her slow her pace a bit with me. It was neat.
On our way out I noticed my trail that used to be basically clear has been slowing creeping in with downs and vines. I’ve done some cutting and sawing, but the limbs are gradually dropping lower and there are a few spots I decided are almost getting dangerous.
I need to come through here with a saw and just clean this area up soon.
On the way back I was trying to pay attention to exactly what areas were in the most need… and remembering “duck” here, weave a bit here, oh look out ahead for… BAM.
I got a decent branch right in the face. Across my check by my eye- then slightly caught up in my helmet straps.
I saw stars I think… for just a moment…
I Jedi energy and serious rein pulled for Faygo (who was antsy to GET HOME) to STOP RIGHT NOW PLEASE. And wondered if I was going to pass out… nope… hurts, but I’m coming back around… can I see out of that eye? … uh… yes! that’s good.
Ok, I’m coming back here to do some trail work next week.
Thankfully I had a half frozen water still and asked her to please walk with me a bit (very hard for a forward mare who’d been hot-footing the whole ride to now, at the very end slow down. But she kind of did. She has little patience for incompetence.
With ice packs and an anti-inflammatory my eye is slightly swollen but much better than I’d thought. My Jedi powers are still growing, and this week is a 3-day camping trip for Khaleesi and the girls in West Virginia! Onward!