Wednesday, July 24, 2013

LSD: Shenandoah River State Park

On Sunday, I had the privilege of riding with a real endurance rider, who offered to ride with me and help mentor me as I learn the ropes, so to speak.  (And thanks to Funder for helping to connect us!)  We rode a whopping 10 miles at Shenandoah River State Park, our longest ride yet this year.  The trails were really well-maintained and marked.  Plus, there were posts with directions for the different trails, and even a great map that I didn't need, but would actually be useful for finding one's way.  The $7 I paid to ride was definitely well-spent.  And I even saw what looked like other endurance riders out on the trail.

It was a great opportunity for me to meet an endurance rider and learn more about the sport as well as just get together with a fellow horsewoman and chat about everything from dressage (we think the concept is great, but we remain unconvinced about the value of riding in white breeches) to child-rearing (I have a 10 month-old and can't help but bring her up...repeatedly...even if the other person is positive that they don't need to know anything about the consistency of my daughter's poop...)

According to Nimo, 9 3/4 of those miles were great, but he did fizzle at the very end and pretty convincingly portrayed a horse who was tired.  So, I got off and gave him a short break before walking him back to the trailer.  He recovered quite well, and it was good to discover that he will let me know when he's had enough, unlike some horses, who keep going when they shouldn't and you find out too late that they are past done in.

I'm really encouraged by the ride, though, because we significantly increased our distance and I feel a lot better about our ability to get fit for the 15 mile intro ride in October that I want to do.  I also feel like I committed to a strategy.  I've been waffling a bit on whether I should be concentrating on getting the distance or increasing speed first, but especially given the heat and humidity this time of year, I think it makes the most sense to get the distance now, and then when the weather gets more reasonable, start increasing speed.

4 comments:

  1. Hey, just stumbled on your blog through Mel's and wanted to say hey. I'm a fellow sport-horse person who's now dabbling in distance riding...and starting to admit to myself that maaaaaybe Old Dominion may have found its way onto my bucket list. So, hello! I look forward to following your adventures. :)

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    1. Hi, Hannah! It's so cool that you're thinking about doing Old Dominion too. Maybe I'll see you out at Fort Valley soon:)

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  2. Awesome news! Glad you had a good long ride. You'll get there; I still remember the glorious day when I managed to do five miles in ONE HOUR, lol.

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    1. LOL! I'll definitely be celebrating the day Nimo and I can do 5 miles in an hour. Of course, I may have to pick him up and carry him back to the barn...

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