We lived in Ohio for maybe 9 months and when we left, we’d only made a handful of friends. And I don’t mean lifechanging best friends, I mean people who we’d met in person, had contact info for, and would consider eating a meal with. It was pretty embarrassing, actually.
At some time in the moving process, I don’t really remember exactly when, I decided to change my fundamental approach to people. Instead of only meeting people in person and interacting with them if the stars were aligned perfectly, I was going to default to actually doing stuff and only back out if circumstances were just awful. It’s really hard for me, even after two years of practice, but I just do stuff all the time now.
So earlier this week I realized the weather was just lovely and I wished I could ride. Since this spring I’ve had a couple of people remind me that there are more endurance horses than riders, and point out that if I ever need a spare horse I can catch ride, so I posted on a brief email on Ridecamp. I almost immediately got two responses, from different people nearby. Yesterday I drove north to Janesville and had a beautiful ride in the Plumas NF.
This is Fire. Isn’t she cute?
Yes, she’s an Arab. (OMG I RODE AN ARAB!) She was so sensible and kind that I really kept forgetting how green she is.
We were up in the eastern Sierras, and the views were just breathtaking. Very different from my usual desert riding. I was utterly lost, but Fire had more than enough go to keep up with everybody so I didn’t worry.
Mountaintop, looking west:
Equipment failure: I rode with the sheepskin cover on my saddle again. That thing has got to go. I can’t do hills with it – every time the horse picks up a trot up a hill I get almost bounced out of the saddle. How embarrassing! It’s really a shame, cause it makes the saddle fit my butt a lot more comfortably. Maybe it’s just the fleece over the fenders that’s the problem and if I had a seat-only cover it’d work? I might try that some day.
I also forgot to bring ANY WATER AT ALL. Hurf durf. I have two new Camelbaks to try out, too! When we got back to the trailers, I found a half-liter of water rolling around in the backseat of the truck and gulped that down.
We did about 7.5 miles in just over 2:30, but there was 2600 feet of ascent in there. There were some crazy steep hills! Fire was quite surefooted and I never really worried that she’d trip.
She was not so good on the water crossings. Her owner A thought she’d have done better, but the horse A was riding freaked out completely about every puddle we came across, and Fire picked up on that. I can’t blame her for ignoring the strange human on her back and assuming her pasturemate is right and water is evil
It’s a LONG drive, an hour on the highway, but I’ll go back for sure. If we do a couple more training rides on Fire, she’d be ready for an LD this fall and I’d ride her in that. Hopefully next week I’ll get a ride in with the woman who lives just up the road from me. Ideally, when Dixie gets back in riding shape I’ll have lots of new friends to set up training rides with!