Monday, May 27, 2013

Trail Ride - Glenwood Park

On Sunday, Nimo and I rode on the USTR Memorial Day Benefit Ride.  The ride started at Glenwood Park in Middleburg, Virginia, and went through some private land, so it was great to ride in areas that aren't normally available.  This ride was a self-paced ride, so I rode with a partner, who had also ridden at Manassas Battlefield the day before.  We stayed at a walk for the ride, even though the terrain was fairly easy, because we thought our horses might be tired from Saturday's ride.  There was an option of doing a second loop, which we declined because we figured our horses had done well and earned a rest.

This ride also gave us the opportunity to work on some training goals.  We did a lot of creek crossings (more than I can even remember), so we had lots of opportunities to practice NOT rolling in the creek.  We had a 100% success rate on that goal.  And we also encountered some cattle up close and personal.  I'm not sure Nimo had ever seen a cow before, so riding within a few feet of one was definitely a great obstacle to practice.  Luckily, we followed behind a couple of more experienced cow horses, so Nimo actually handled the situation pretty well.  There were also a lot of opportunities to pass and be passed, and I even got the chance to ride Nimo away from the group we were with for a ribbon check (yes, we had wandered off the trail somehow - probably I shouldn't talk and ride at the same time).  He moved a little slowly, but he did it.

The scenery for the ride was beautiful.  There was a mix of fields and forest, with old stone fences providing reminders of the past.  Overall, the terrain was pretty gentle, but we did get a few steep hills in, which was nice for some added conditioning.

For this ride, I remembered to turn my GPS on and we logged 6.3 miles, for a total of over 14 miles for the weekend.  I was really pleased with Nimo because he seemed to handle the distance just fine.  He could easily have handled more, which means I can comfortably start increasing the intensity a bit on our rides.  I'm planning to start adding some trot work in on level areas while keeping the distance in the 6-8 mile range for the next few weeks.

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