Yesterday, the sun was shining and there was very little wind. I was feeling mostly better so decided it was time to get back in the saddle. I decided to do Spaulings and just mosey around on the Sugarloaf, as that would keep us close if something wasn't right (with me or George).
The boys were somewhat unenthused leaving home, but perked right up when we got into Spaulding's fields. George felt good and wanted to move out on the grass. He also was much less spooky. I paid very close attention to the footing as we went around the fields towards the Sugarloaf.
We walked up the climbs and George made a point to pick his way around the rocks as best he could. We went down along the driveway and back around through the fields. Then we climbed the backside of the Sugarloaf again.
The ground was still frozen enough that we could pick our way across the bottom of Ziesloft's. The boys knew we were heading home and would have gone faster if I let them.
8.64 miles, 1480 feet of climb, 4.7 mph average pace, 38F real feel
It was so nice to be out in the sun! I was sorry to get home and have the ride be over. I had been debating if Phin's back was healed up enough to start riding him, so I decided to throw the bareback pad on and take a lap around Alimar as a test. I decided to take Kestrel along, too.
[Kestrel has been doing well overall with her limited exercise, so we have been slooooowly increasing her play and walk time over the last couple weeks. She had been walking around the perimeter of our property daily with me, so I hoped the top loop to Alimar and back would be an easy transition to a slightly longer distance.]
We started out on the upper woods path. Phin was very well behaved, walking along on a loose rein with his head down.
We stopped to chat with Gina as we came across Alimar. Kestrel did really well with staying close and listening.
We moseyed home down the airport strip.
1.15 miles, 105 feet of climb, 3.0 mph average pace, 40F real feel
I can't get over how much Phin is shedding already! Maybe it will be an early spring..
Happy to report the mark didn't seem any worse for wear after a mile of the bareback pad. There is one small spot that still feels a bit crunchy and I think may peel, but overall it looks good.
I am cautiously optimistic and plan to ride him next outing..