Summer is here to stay

A much more productive weekend this weekend, horse-wise. Beamer really had his head together this weekend, even on Saturday, which is normally his rather weebly day. Both ponies were in total ride-mode – Beamer was very bold and forward, so much that he wanted to lead the entire ride. None of us were complaining. And Mimi shocked me – instead of being in ultra-competitive mode, she was instead in “conserve and naturally rate thyself” mode, meaning she was a total push-button (well, for the pony) blast to ride. Soft, light, not pulling at all…t’was very unnatural. She must be lulling me into a false sense of security.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics…I’m still futzing around with my saddle packs, trying to figure out how to balance minimalist with function. Always tougher in the summer when the need to carry pony water arises. However, I don’t want to carry too much stuff, I feel bad enough making the pony pack my butt around.

We got our heat conditioning in this weekend, that’s for sure. Say it all together now: “Good Tevis training!” Saturday we did the bigger loop, which is a great mix-up of trail with sand washes, trottable singletracks, some technical ups and downs and rocks, and climing – both longer and fairly short and intense. It’s one of my favorite trails in the park, as it’s very interesting and there are about half a dozen variations you can do: make it longer or shorter, run it in both directions (we usually start east, go west, then loop back around to the east in a clockwise direction), take different trails out to the back loop, take different trails back to the trailhead from the back loop…it keeps thing interesting for us and the horses.

It was warm yesterday, but I actually wasn’t feeling it until today. I did really well – over about 3-1/2 hours, I drank my entire 70oz Camelbak of water, as well as a 16oz waterbottle of a half Gatorade/half water mix…as well as remembered to take electrolyte caps and even nibble on half an energy bar. The heat kills my appetite, and when I’m hot, there’s so much that is unappealing for me to eat. Must explore options for that.

The ponies got a water break halfway through…they both drank – yay! This is the first time Beamer has actually drank on one of our training ride mid-trail breaks. He drinks brilliantly at rides and in camp, but he doesn’t see the point in standing around for a break on a little “training ride.” Well, when the weather is up around 90*, apparently he sees the point.

Today was a bit of wash, however. I think the heat caught up with all of us, as Dad reported that Beamer felt a lot more tired today. Mimi was still perky, although she was kind of miserable from some kind of bugs that were chewing on her last night…she had a good dozen lumps all over her body today, about half the size of my palm. Fortunately nothing in the saddle or girth area, but she was really itchy on them.

That, and yesterday, her ears were really itchy, too, and kind of dry and scaly inside. This isn’t the first time this has happened, but I’m not really sure what it’s all about. I’m hoping it’s not something like ear mites that will require a vet visit. However, doing some research has lead me to be more inclinded to believe that it’s just the nasty little black gnats that are biting her ears. She was a good girl and let me wipe her ears out with a dry cloth, and then put fly stuff her her.

So today’s ride was shorter, about 5 miles, although it did have a good hill climb to it. Mimi still blitzed up the hill. She’s such a crazy go-pony. Yesterday’s heat wiped me out though; I’m definitely not conditioned for it yet. Today I pretty much felt like a wet noodle, and came home and slept for a couple hours this afternoon, and am still ready to go to bed early. Wimp. Time to break out the CoolMedics vest and see how well it’s working.

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