Circumstances are such that it looks as though I will be going to the upcoming McDowell Mountain Turkey Trot by myself. Beamer has been marginally off in the right shoulder for the past three weeks, and it’s only this week that he’s no longer showing signs of discomfort when the area is being massaged, and Dad isn’t entirely comfortable with taking him to a ride that involves a lot of hardpack trail and gradual downhill trotting so soon after having the last three weeks off.
I totally respect and admire his decision. It’s not easy saying ‘no’ to a ride, especially one in our own backyard. And I’ll definitely miss my trail partner out there, and I’m pretty sure Mimi will miss her “brother.” Maybe.
But seeing as Beamer was on hiatus, and Mimi needed exercise, our last two rides have been hitting the trails by ourselves…something we haven’t done for quite some time. Dad came along and hiked while I rode, and we met up at one point along the trail, where he was able to snap a few shots of us.
She did fabulous by herself, zooming through 13 miles in two hours on Sunday. It was definitely a good cardio workout, which she will need for McDowell.
I was so proud of how brave she was. She starts out slow, offering up her little 5-6mph trot, and then gradually warms up into her 7-8mph trot that is her mainstay. I’m actually pleased to see this, as it gives her a chance to properly warm up before blasting off at full tilt.
She’s also showing quite a bit of maturity and responsibility out there by herself. She’s much more aware of her surroundings, but actually less spooky. On several occasions, she would slow down from a trot to a walk, and moments later, there would be hikers or a biker coming in the opposite direction.
She also showed some amazingly good judgement when it came to negotiating around some blind turns. We’d trot nearly to the turn, then she would slow to a walk, wait for me to look around the corner, and once I told her it was okay, she would start trotting again. She also would stop and walk down steeper inclines on her own, and while she was very forward and eager to go, anytime I would ask she her to come back down, she willingly would.
I’m looking forward to seeing how she does on her own for 50 miles. Chances are we’ll have a riding buddy, but it won’t be a horse she’s familiar with, so essentially, it’ll be her and me out there.