Weekend Update 9/18/16

Annabel’s Renegades for her front hooves came in on Friday. They are so pretty to look at. I’m using them as a spare in case her glue ons or shoes come off and I would eventually like to transition her to barefoot.

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On Saturday, my training partner and I rode the competitive track at Estrella Regional Park. We did close to 9 miles in about 2 hours. The first 1/3 was a lot of trotting and Annabel had no problem wanting to trot over the rocks. I encouraged her to slow down or walk but she urged forward. The 2/3 was up and down hills at a walk, and the last part we did a lot of walking as I think the heat was getting to her or she just got tired.

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I also made a trip out to Scottsdale after my ride to look for a full seat breech. Since I gave Andrea her fleece seat cover back I tend to slide around in my saddle (which is leather) a lot with tights. The best fitting pair was a pair of pink full seat breeches by Horseware Ireland as they were the only ones with a modified rise.

I also did a full moon hike at Lake Pleasant in the evening for a few hours where we did a 3 mile guided hike. It was really neat to hike up a hill and watch the harvest full moon rise up and over the lake.

Today, I thought it would be best to see how my breeches would hold up. Andrea and I went to Skyline this morning to do the Granite Falls loop which is a 1.7 mile extension we like to do because it’s flat with some fun little hills that the mares love to do.

Tonight, I’ll probably go hiking for about an hour at Estrella.

So that’s three regional parks I’ve been to in one weekend. I love Arizona.

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Grand Canyon Ride

It’s been a very busy few weeks for me as I have been off on adventures the past three weekends in a row. This is the first Saturday in God knows how long that I’ve gotten to sit and enjoy my morning cup of coffee. It’s also been a very busy short week for me.

I left for the Grand Canyon ride last Saturday at 4:30am. The drive was fairly easy and straight forward. I also did something a bit different. I wrote down the directions to the ride without using any sort of GPS. Most of these rides have no address for the base camp and I attempted GPS to the Mt. Carmel ride in May and ended up having to drive my truck camper and trailer through Zion National Park. I arrived to the base camp after 7 hours start to finish with my directions that I had written down. I was a little proud of myself as a millennial to not have to use a GPS and will attempt this now for every ride!

The drive there was beautiful as I passed through the Glen Canyon area on the way to the North Rim.

On Sunday, I ended up riding with another “Zonie” friend named Shannon. Shannon was going to do the 50 but I pleaded how I had no one to ride with in the LD, which ended up being 35 miles. My training partner Andrea did the 50 on Saturday in a saddle she hasn’t used before in a 50 and was too sore to ride with me. The morning of the ride was chilly and it was a strange feeling to have a rain jacket on considering it’s still 100+ in the valley. I bought Annabel a “Rump Warmer” from Riding Warehouse as I was told to be prepared for rain and it helped fend off that morning chill.

The first 10 miles of the ride were down a forest road on a slowly declining flat gravel road. The cold air felt good and Annabel was surprisingly calm while leaving the camp and settled right into a brisk trot with her new Arabian gelding friend “Temptest”. However, my ankles started to give out early on in the ride. I don’t know why, usually they start to get weak the last 5-10 miles. My ankles became numb and started curling under me which was extremely painful. I became miserable and did not get to enjoy the ride. After several more miles I started riding with one hand and gripped the pommel of my saddle with the other to keep me balanced and help me rise in the post. I had a refreshing view of the Grand Canyon which took my breath away and made me forget about the pain I was in.

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I ended up doing 24 miles before the 1 hour hold. That was the longest I’ve ever been in the saddle without a hold. I was hopeful that during the 1 hour hold my Ibuprofen would have kicked in more and my ankles would have felt better but unfortunately that was not the case. After the hold, I trotted off into the woods for about five minutes and my ankles started to give again. I gave up and told Shannon that I’d have to walk the last 9-10 miles. Shannon had prepared for this but we found out during the hold that we had a couple hours to make it back and it could be done at a walk. I decided to just enjoy the scenery and was back. The walk back felt like it would never end, but I was so happy it did unfortunately. I really wish this would have been an enjoyable ride for me.

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However, I did tie Annabel up to another trailer later that evening and got to take a peak at the Grand Canyon for the first time. It was so amazing, I could have looked at it for hours. It’s been somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go but have never gone to see.

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My next ride is in Utah on Saturday September 24th, just two weekends away. I’m a little stressed I have so much to get done in such a short amount of time now that the fall rides are starting to take place. I need to take my Camper in to fix a leak, need to get my sway control welded back on my trailer, I need to take my truck in and get it serviced for an oil change, have my checked, and tires rotated. Annabel is having her wellness exam on Monday. I need to order some new stirrups to help with my ankle pain and a new saddle pad. I need to figure out what I’m going to do with her shoes as she is due September 27th on her back hooves.

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On Sunday, when I eagerly went out for my last conditioning before the Grand Canyon hoping to do about 14 miles I had to abruptly stop about a 1/4 mile into my ride. Annabel was off. She was bobbing her head pretty bad and was off in her trot. I hopped off and was disappointed realizing the only reason that could be happening is her Ground Control shoes that my farrier put on two weeks ago. While checking her feet out I noticed that her shoes had gotten flexible enough that I could peel them back from the heel. I assumed that it was quite possible a small stone may have gotten wedged in there and stressed over my options.

Fortunately, my training partner’s farrier had come out today to do her horse’s glue-on Easy Shoe Performance shoes and he was able to fit me in after my farrier was booked for the week. It ended up working out because I had been wanting those shoes this whole time and had been fighting my farrier over it for about a year now. The farrier said that there was some swelling in her right front near the inner wall but it could have been related to anything. I just hope I can trot her out tomorrow soundly and be able to start and finish this weekend. The other good thing was this farrier was a dealer for Renegades so he was able to try out different sizes and was able to tell me her correct size. I got two things accomplished today that I’ve been longing to accomplish!

I feel like the Easy Shoe Performance shoes are more rugged for the type of terrain I ride in and am hoping it is the solution to all of her problems. I’m hoping Annabel is able to trot out soundly tomorrow but if she’s not I will be taking my training partner’s mustang, Wyatt that I’ve ridden a few times. At least I have a plan B.