Sunday, June 2, 2013

Trail Ride - Blandy Experimental Farm

Today Nimo and I rode on the Benefit Ride for the Blue Ridge Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship at the Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Virginia.  It was a short ride (only 3.6 miles and an hour and 15 minutes) over easy terrain, but I can definitely see coming back for some more serious conditioning work in the future.  The trails were a nice mix of gravel roads, mowed grass paths, and dirt paths through woods.

There were a few obstacles set up, too, so we could get some practice for the Judged Pleasure Ride we're entered in next Sunday.  I'm pretty sure that we will not do well on the obstacles because Nimo is highly suspicious of anything out of place.  So poles shaped like an L that require backing through, hanging cloth to simulate vines, and a tarp to simulate water are all very large monsters in his book.  But, at least we'll get to ride for a couple of hours.

Anyway, the weather today was much better than I expected.  Cloudy skies, a cool breeze, temps in the 80s made for a very pleasant ride.  My worries about heat stress were unfounded, and I didn't need all the extra water I brought, but better too much water than not enough!

Plus, Nimo got to practice leading.  We rode with just one other rider and she obligingly let us stay in front.  I was really pleased with Nimo's confidence because he tends to worry when he's in front or by himself, and I can see that he's already made quite a bit of improvement.  I'm hoping to get to a point soon where he is reasonably comfortable being hauled someplace and going for a ride on his own.  There isn't really anyone that we can ride with on a routine basis for our conditioning work and it is important that Nimo learn to be by himself because it's likely that we won't always have company on our endurance rides.

And, it was nice to know that my registration fee was going to a worthy cause.  I can't imagine anything more therapeutic than horseback riding!

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