Practicing What You Want to Do

Submitted by Gene Limlaw

It's funny how we can go from really nice footing here to really not so nice. The weather has been beautiful sunny days which has made things pretty dry and the roads really hard. Here in Vermont we ride mostly on private land or have to use dirt roads. When things get dry the roads get hard, like they are paved. Luckily for me I live only a few miles from a flood control area which we can ride on.

 
I haven't been riding in boots too much to condition until the footing just started to get really hard and rocky. Last time one of my trimmers was out she suggested I started riding Grace in four boots as her hooves were getting a bit to0 worn. I mainly do training rides that range from five to ten miles.

Yesterday, however, my friend Melody Blittersdorf hauled down to ride. It's a three hour drive so she likes to go as far as we can. I booted Grace and off we went.
 
It is about a two and a half mile ride to get down to the flood control area. The footing there is really nice. I did a short ride the day before there with Grace barefoot as it did decide to start raining so the roads softened up a bit. The footing down in this area is mostly grass trails that you can got whatever speed you like. There is a nice big river crossing and the boots are super in that. Grace was feeling pretty full of herself spooking every other step: that is always fun. She slipped a little only once so I was pretty pleased with that.

It is about a five mile loop around the floodplain. We did it once slowly then did it a second time and cantered most of it. What a great place to canter, and they had just mowed the trails as if it was just for us!
 
Once we had done that we had to start our climb back up to our house. It's another six miles home with a couple of good hills to canter and some steeper areas to walk. We ended up doing about 18.5 miles. Mel has a new Garmin, great fun. I was interested to see how the princess' legs looked.

 
Upon getting home and taking her boots off I was thrilled to see she didn't have any rubs. That certainly gave me the confidence to maybe do a ride in Gloves not just Glue-Ons.

 
After the horses were put up and cooling out we did some trims. Yes I am starting to help do some of it. Grace is five weeks out from her last trim and has grown so out of balance inside high. Not sure why she is doing this but I think I am going to explore it a little more in depth at another time.

Gene Limlaw, Weathersfield, Vermont


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