Tuesday, April 12, 2016
It’s nice to have a run where all falls into place. I will try to remember this the next it all seems to fall apart (realistically you do get both).
Since my last post I’ve been riding, studying, researching, working out and processing.
The processing is what I do here… Putting it all together and thinking in the wee hours of the morning half-asleep, while I’m driving or jogging the 2 miles to pick up my trailer after dropping off and riding home.
The riding has been great. Good miles and increasing speed overall. I keep seeing increasingly better sweat patterns and little or no flinching or tenderness in Khaleesi’s top line. With more attention to my weaker right side I am feeling more balanced and light in the saddle.
Her heart rate and recovery is still great although I find the heat starting to slow her down. Last year it sleeted on me during the No Frills and this year the weather is looking nice and warm. I think I’m going to do a trace clip to help her cool as she’s not quite shed out enough fur yet.
As for research…
I’ve been working on tweaking my nutrition and electolyte plan. I’ve already cut off half their pasture so they don’t end up with too much green (cake!!) grass too soon and I’ll be asking them to eat a little hay with the grass as the ride approaches to encourage drinking (in addition to the loose salt I already add to their feed).
We have a new electrolyte recipe and Susan and I have been dosing with plain applesauce to make them better at taking a syringe when we need them to. I already mix a complete grain with a balancer pellet (I don’t feed enough grain for the complete grain to truly be complete) and will continue to up the calorie ratio as we work harder toward the race and then rest a few days as well to give them some good grocery loading.
I will be prepared with cut apples and carrots and pick up some alfalfa cubes for quick on the go snack on trail (the alfalfa-hydration balance has been on my mind a lot but I think a few cubes won’t upset that enough to override the need for her to keep snacking on trail).
Of course we LOVE the soaked beet pulp and will continue to use that as a super forage that also encourages hydration.
Video of my favorite sound… Lots of slurping up wet beet pulp after a good ride
Working out- the least fun of all the steps to success.
I go to the gym to get some help and a push from a trainer. I am aware of my weaker right side now all the time and it’s growing stronger.
[by the way… I think this might have been exacerbated by a minor foot/ankle injury I somehow picked up over the winter. I started really favoring my left to help the right heal, and it has… Now I have to rebuild]
I am still working slowly on dropping a few pounds to ease the weight on my horse and have the fitness and stamina to ride balanced with more core and sustain that posting trot for up to the 12 hours we are allowed to complete our first 50 miler.
It’s a process but I’m taking steps each day to get there.
Then there’s the studying.
Each new virtual classroom through Simple Equine Teaching has new ‘ah-ha’ moments. My mom recently asked what I attributed our good roll lately to… Was it the power pack de-wormer?
Yes. Actually, I am really glad I followed that advice. I think she looks healthier in her hair and coat, and she’s moving better (of course so am I) but she also used to occasionally have marks on her sides where she’d chew/scratch. I haven’t seen evidence of that since the super-wormer.
However! I attribute a large part of our good roll to the relationship and training/leadership concepts out of the SET lessons.
They build in layers and I find myself regularly going back to a previous class and re-connecting a concept in a more complex way to new things I observe.
I am working more connected with my horse by getting better at how SHE perceives me every week. In many ways it’s a lesson on how to really think like a horse scientifically — not what the horse might be thinking based on our human brains. I am doing so much better because I don’t treat her like a little human- I work with her more naturally like a horse. And a great one who deserves to be understood for who she is – not anthropomorphised.
It is a small shift actually. But it has moved our universe.
We were pretty good before. We are better now… And it makes me smile to imagine what we might do together as we grow.