I type this as I get ready to load up to go to Windurra today (Sunday) to ride with Sally. And my arms hurt. My back hurts. My fingers even hurt!
Fellow barn mates decided they were going to go ride at Fair Hill on Saturday. And they invited me along (they have invited me other times, this was the first time I could tag along). I wanted to go to Fair Hill to watch the event for a while first but one of the girls does night shift work so she wasn’t going to be ready until midday or a bit after so I waffled on and off knowing Remus lack of fitness (and mine!)
Even though it was a cooler day (I actually dug out my down vest again after putting it away for the Spring the other day), it was muggy so I was kind of concerned since Remus still has a LOT of coat still (it is GOING though finally!).
I went to the Bizarre Bazaar at Fair Hill first. Some neat vendors and lots to look at. I had hoped there would be more saddle vendors but lo and behold after finally deciding to go and RIDE after all and leaving the fairgrounds, I saw the tack stands up by the barns as I drove away. I was like well Hell…and considered turning back then thought NO I should ride. (I did catch some show jumping and boy are those jumps big!)
So off to the barn I went. It was about 55 degrees when I drove out there and I was FREEZING (I am a wimp, shocker). Kate and Jess pulled up right as I did and we got to work getting ready to load up. Kate has this awesome horse trailer that can hold 3 (goose-neck of course) so she offered to haul Remus instead of me hooking up and I was like well Remus has never rode in anything like that but sure. You walk up the side ramp and turn him in a circle and back him into the slot. The first time loading Remus was all confused but after riding, he was a champ and figured it out. I think he liked being able to talk to the other horses in there. Sterling (this gorgeous gray Shire/TB cross) is his pasture buddy (that may be pushing it a bit, Remus is his slave, Sterling not as fond of Remus as vice versa) was beside Remus in the back and then Starbar (This ADORABLE paint eventing pony) was in the open box stall area..
Kate has this cool monitor to watch them back there so it was fascinating watching the video as we went along to Fair Hill (literally 10 minutes ride). I wanted to keep on watching. The interactions between horses and Remus’ general derpiness (ohhh wow, look out the window, look over Starbar’s butt, touch Sterling’s neck, repeat) was cracking me up. He was like a kid at Disneyland first time! He didn’t know which way to look.
There were a LOT of bikes, walkers, and some horses at the lot when we arrived. I was actually surprised there were not more trailers but it was Easter weekend so I guess Family stuff got priority on some horse people. NOT US.
We unloaded (we all are the variety of tacking up before we go, so all we had to do was throw our helmets on and bridles on and jump on). I was like I need to find a way to carry my iPhone 6Plus because…down my sports bra for the day was NOT fun but it worked.
Emma, Amanda, and all how do you do it? Inquiring minds wanna know. I have an armband one for running but all I could think was I would never get it out of the pouch in time for photos. I got a few head shots but that was most of it. It is HARD to ride and get media so kudos to you who do it (Emma is surely the champ!)
It was muggy as I said but cooler. Remus was sweating almost immediately on his neck but I think it was the combo of his hair and the general mugginess. We rode over the bridge (He is fine with the bridge but does NOT like the cars going under) and then across the big field and then thru some wood trails. We had a canter up and down a couple hills and Remus at first tried to bust out when the two went ahead of him but he came back to me (Ha this time) nicely. He is pretty good about being behind, thank goodness. (Remus is not a bike fan and the one bike person who came by us in the first field was very, very courteous and made sure we were okay before going past. THANK YOU, kind sir!!) We got to pop over a log here or there but the days of having logs to jump are long gone. The trail maintenance there is for bikes and hikers mostly (there were little piles of sawdust where all the fallen logs had been cleared on the path). We could only bemoan the logs as we walked past and saw on each side the log part left. OH what might have been!
After riding for about an hour we came to this uphill grassy hill and they wanted to canter up it. I was like sure. So we went up it. Guys, this hill was bigger than it looked. I started up it and then I was like Remus you gotta trot this bugger. I was honestly afraid he was going to drop on me by then. He seemed tired (spoiler: he was not tired). So we walked back thru the trails again and Kate took Sterling off on a romp on his own and met up with us at the other end of the trail. Remus was fine but worried when Sterling went off even though he had his other buddy with him. Once Kate got to the top of the trail, Sterling was whinnying a bit and Remus was like so sure Kate was KILLING Sterling he got so nervous and starting whinnying back. Meanwhile we are going across this ditch with rocks (big ditch!) and Remus is screaming for Sterling and I am pointing out to him that he better watch where his feet are going and not worry about Sterling. He got through it but he was NOT paying attention.
Once we got out of the woods, we saw two horses coming toward us so waited for them. It was hilarious though cause Sterling was sure those two were Remus and Starbar. They were paint and dark gray and if you squinted they looked like our two guys. (Okay our guys (QH and Paint)are short and squat, these were obviously tbred/warmblood crosses but whatevers I will take it!) It was like a reverse negative looking at them and then our guys.
So Starbar and Sterling started cantering across this flat field so I was like okay Remus you can go behind. So we are going and he is really getting into gear (My horse does NOT run, he lopes, or fast canter, tops). I realized about halfway across..that my brakes were NOT there (Silly me had left my loose ring snaffle in said Remus mouth, um…in case you are not paying attention, this means no brakes).
My baucher bit (I have two) was home on my PS Sweden bridle and I thought longingly about it for about five seconds as we cantered and cantered faster and faster. At one point I actually felt Remus slip into a higher gear and got a teensy bit worried. He is not fit enough to run that fast and I don’t trust him to not face plant if he gets too tired. So I started half halting my ass off and sitting down and pulling one rein and then the other then both and NOTHING happened. I knew the two ahead would stop soon so I wasn’t worried (much). I was like WHO are you horse?? He wasn’t worried at all about being away from the horses. He was enjoying his run. We flew past the two stopped horses ( I think they realized that I was a bit out of control by this time) and I was pulling for all I was worth. I actually pulled a muscle in my back and I swear I pulled two or three boob muscles pulling him up. LOL he finally pulled up but it took a while. Like I was WAY past them by then.
Whew. EXHAUSTED. Remus wasn’t too worried but now he was completely gross. Hair (wet) everywhere. ICK. We walked on back and crossed the tunnel (Remus is fine with tunnels, didn’t like the car going by right after we got out (SCOOT but i was ready for it).
We got back to the trailers a bit later and hopped off. My legs were trembling. My arms hurt. I was tired. (Kickboxing on Thurs and Saturday morning and personal training on Friday morning. and now riding made my 50 year old body TIRED). We are so close we decided to just throw them on the trailer and go to the barn to hose/wash etc.
I enjoyed the ride back again watching the antics on the monitor though Remus was TIRED by then you could tell. He actually napped a bit. Once we were back at the barn I hosed him off and washed him he was so gross. I had to hose my Lund breastplate off it had SO much hair on it. Disgusting yak-like beast I have.
It was great fun and I look forward to doing it again soon. But as I was cleaning my tack, smart me (yes she comes out to play once in a while) kicked in and I actually got the PS Sweden out and cleaned that. THAT BRIDLE will be on Mr Remus today for Windurra. Baucher and all. I am sure he will be exhausted today but just in case. I want to be able to STOP my horse. HA. That was not fun at all (lack of control is not my jam) with him not paying attention to me at all.
I am pretty sure Remus went out in the field and crashed for 2 hours after I turned him out. I know I sure felt like it!