Monday, August 24, 2009

The Long Ride

Saturday clouds rolled in but the temperature stayed warm and the humidity was oppressive. We played tennis in the morning and had a birthday party to go to in the afternoon and just couldn't squeeze in a ride. We did manage to give the horses a bath and get a week's worth of sweat and dirt off of them.

Sunday morning the clouds had cleared and it was drier. After a nice breakfast, we tacked up and grabbed some extra water and headed for the city farm. Our trip on this day was actually going to take us all the way through the city farm and out the other side. It was about 5 miles to a major road and a little store where we knew we could get a snack and some fluids (for us anyway.)

Heading East

There is one big road to cross before we can get to the city farm property. It's busy on a Sunday morning. We had left around 9am and headed to a fallow alfalfa field to work on some circles and do a little loping. Both horses did pretty well with the warm up.


The roads in the city farm are pretty wide and it's a lot of fun to ride. We worked on some speed control and when Jessie got too fast we just did a circle and took off again. It seems like she can go on forever.

The developments in that direction had limited us to certain roads and at one point we had to walk along the shoulder of a busy street. They both stayed calm and collected and it was nice riding by the homes at a pace you could actually look at them. Many of these houses were built when there were nothing but fields out here, but as things change, this area was getting an influx of new homes. There is a new high school that was just built and they had a grassy area that was very inviting. Ranae rode on it first. The grass was established and the dirt underneath was firm. When she loped on it it didn't leave any marks, so I decided to give it a try. Boy, was that nice to lope on. The grass cushioned the footfalls and it was an extremely smooth ride.

Some BIG Bales of Oats

We got to our little store and bought some snacks and drinks and found a shade tree to sit under for about 15 minutes. It was a nice little break. We had been riding for about 2 hours at this point.

Relaxing Under the Tree

After the break we worked our way back. One of my goals was to lope Jessie for a mile. As we got back on city farm property we found a good long road (or so I thought) and took off. She broke down a couple of times as we crossed intersections and we kept going until we hit an edge of the farm that was a dead end so I turned her around and we road back to Ranae and Dusty. It actually was about a mile and a half and she still had some go in her as I was getting ready to stop.

Ranae took off for a lope and Jessie was pretty concerned about her buddy leaving. I tried to have a collected trot but she would have nothing of it. We had to do a bit of work and it turned out to be a much bigger ordeal then the long lope.

We did a little more trotting but, quite frankly, our butts were getting sore. We had been out for about four hours and still had another hour to go. Riding through the fields was peaceful and quiet. Some had been irrigated and when the breeze came up, it felt nice and cool. We just walked and enjoyed the time together.

We got home, gave the horses a well-deserved bath and a snack. We had some watermelon, then cleaned the saddles because it had been a dusty ride. I checked everyone over pretty good this morning and both Dusty and Jessie looked good. The distance meter on my GPS said we had gone almost 15 miles.

The Long Arm Tripod Shot
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