Winter Speed Ceiling

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I woke up to snow flurries yesterday morning and temps in the 20s. I figured we’d ridden in worse weather in February so better get out there and get some miles in anyway. Plus there’s no stopping Susan – she doesn’t get cold!

Thankfully it didn’t take long for the overnight/early morning wind to die down and the sun to come out. We were both sick of riding from home and decided to load up and find somewhere new to ride.

The loop I had in mind definitely required saws – especially in light of our spring winds this year but would be a trail I ride seldom and had been thinking about trying a loop at lately. 

  
Jordan Run is a dirt (with embedded rocks) road about 7 miles back to a dead end and used mostly for hunting. There is also a ridge trail that intersects the road twice before heading out toward Muddy Run (the one-way we usually ride). This ride I wanted to try out the ridge trail then returning to the dirt road for around 12 miles. It turned out to be a great ride. 

We had creek crossing, bush whacking, climbing up goat trail rocky paths, a downed tree to stop and cut out, beautiful ridge riding and some good road riding all in one loop. 

 

what most of the climbing trail looks like up to the ridge
 
This ride piggy-backed on a great Sunday ride for both Susan and I (separately) and the horses did incredibly well. They were motivated, ears forward, waited patiently when we tied to cut out the trail, and hauled ass on the dirt road at a steady trot/gait for the last 7 miles. 

I continued to work on my imbalance and occasionally if I had to adjust or shift Khaleesi would look back at me with her ear flattened as if to say:

can you get it together up there? I’m doing all I can to drag your clumsy butt through this!”

Faygo thrives on cold weather and she led the way through much of the ride home along the road. 

  
Upon approaching the trailer I checked the gps to see we had finally broken the winter speed ceiling and had our overall average at 5mph and our moving average for the 12 miles was 5.7mph. Very respectable for the day!

  
We celebrated with cheers at the personal victory and rubbed the horses as we got off to walk them in. 

Then I removed my saddle and pad to find our best sweat pattern yet. Almost no roughed up hairs and completely even wet from sweat under the pad with no dry spots and as a bonus hardly any sweat on the horse otherwise. 

   
 Amazing to think my riding could have so much to do with her back as I had been conscious of trying to ride as balanced as possible. I’m sure the one tiny shim pad helps as well but I think my uneven riding was the source and continuation of the issue. Not the saddle in this case. 

Knock on wood, we seem to be on a roll!

  

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