Figured i'd put this here as well as my journal because i'm super proud of my little pony and want everyone to see!
The endurance ride!
Phew, just got home, and it was a big day, even though we only did the 20km.
We left the horses at PC last night, and because Laura didn't come we all fitted into one float, Rummy, Izzy and Latte. They loaded ok, much as usual.
We got there and I kind of turned in the first bit I could see - There was only one float spot so I nabbed it. There were two free yards so we yarded Izzy and Latte as they probably wouldn't stay tied and tied Rummy to the float. Latte paced her yard trying to get back to Rummy and was sweaty before we even started! Lucky it was a good enough yard she couldn't escape, not for lack of trying.
The first hurdle was vetting in. We put Rummy in the yard with Latte to calm her down a bit. We headed over to the vetting area - She was pretty twitchy and was grabbing bites of grass. She didn't want to stand still for have her heart rate taken but wasn't too bad. I was super nervous about getting her temperature taken - I haven't been able to practice. She blew me away though, she didn't even twitch, I didn't even know he had done it! Good girl. We then went into the arena for the other tests and the trot through. She spooked at something in the trot through and the vet grinned at me and said 'That's why they call them training rides!'. A few ladies were admiring her as we trotted out :] She is at the perfect weight and looks so spunky.
Next hurdle was saddling up and surviving the ride out. We saddled up with Rummy and Latte both in the yard and then I just walked her around and did some circles. We missed the pre-ride talk, lol. We waited for everyone else to leave before I got on. Her back was a bit humpy so I did some small circles - And then we headed out.
We walked for a couple of K's to start - Her and Izzy were very looky and she really didn't like other horses overtaking. There were a few muddy bits that I got off for. We reached the first obstacle - A steep muddy gully with about a metre wide stretch of water at the bottom. I asked Sam to pony her as I could see a repeat of the last time I led her across happening with me ending up in the mud! She leapt over like a wild thing and managed to get the rope under Rummy's tail, who then went a bit nuts - Sam just dropped her and settled Rum while Lynda grabbed Latte for me. I led her up the gully and got back on the other side.
We started having a bit of trot work now. Oh boy, was she goey! Izzy was as well. It was actually good - Until now she hasn't had to deal with much contact, but she really had to deal with some good contact and really listen and change her pace at the trot. She loved being out in front and trotted along on a loose rein, and wasn't too bad in the back, but did need some holding back. There were lots of hills so they got pretty sweaty and it knocked them up a bit, which was good!
Closer to the turn around point was the next obstacle - A flowing creek about 3 metres wide and the crossing was a rocky causeway with drop offs each side. We had to wait for others to cross and she was getting very impatient so I definitely jumped off, preparing for wet feet! She went through much easier than I though, followed me through straight away, and again I jumped back on when we got to the road.
We weren't far from the turn around point now and we were trotting most of the time. As they got a bit tired they behaved a bit better, and we have a few strides of canter.
So, we turned around and headed back. Guess what?
We walked through a REAL LIVE FLOWING CREEK!
Something I never thought would happen anytime soon. I was so proud of her. It wasn't entirely calm, we leapt out the last bit, but I was so, so happy.
From then on we trotted a fair bit - They were super goey again after the short break at the turn around point. Rummy was out in front and Izzy and Latte were both fighting to go faster and she let out a huge buck! It was actually very comical, it came out of nowhere and after she just kept trotting like it didn't happen, lol, so I just left her alone and she didn't do it again. I think she just wanted to show her disgust at being held back :] After that we had a nice little canter as well.
I decided to ride through the gully as well, which was also nerve wracking as it was quite steep and muddy, but the water was small enough she could leap it, which she did! I just gave her the rein, grabbed a hunk of mane, and we leapt the water and cantered up the other side. So absolutely tickled pink with her.
It wasn't far then to home, and the last five or so K's they were fantastic, just walking/trotting along on a loose rein. We did it in 3 hours 4 minutes, which was good for our green unfit ponies on a fairly difficult track. Of course, the good 40k riders did it in the same time, lol!
We cooled them off for vetting in. Latte and Rummy wouldn't drink but all three vetted through ok. Our heart rate was high at the beggining because she was so tense - 49. At the end it was 50, which I was pretty happy with. She certainly could have done more!
I gave her a lucerne soup to get some water into her and gave her a good groom to get all the sweat out of her, and then we headed home.
I am so proud of her. The water crossings were huge milestones for us, I had no idea she would do so well. She enjoyed trotting out in the lead and didn't spook once, passing things like barking dogs and ride-on lawn mowers. She is really suprising me how much she is coming along with limited work. The only thing we need to work on is how ridiculously herd bound she is! But ah. I am on such a high after today. It was absolutely perfect weather. This is why I love riding :]