Last week threatened to become a disaster for me. The sore foot persisted and I could barely walk on Monday. By Wednesday it was doing better but my part-leaser was scheduled to ride, so I went to a minor league baseball game with the husband and a friend to test out how it’d do after some walking like a normal human. It felt fine by the end of the night, then just before we went up to bed, I threw my back out. For the second time in a week I had to be helped up the stairs to sleep and I kind of had a meltdown about it. For being almost 38 years old, I sometimes feel MUCH older than that and it can be so frustrating. The back issue loosened up as the day went on Thursday so I went to ride and it felt fine other than when I had to bend all the way over.
Saturday the local hunt held this year’s first hunter pace. I only made it to one last year – the one hosted by my own barn and Juice was a giant asshole that day so does it even count? – and I would really like to go to all four this year, we usually enjoy them so much. If you’re not familiar with what a hunter pace is, here’s some info! Basically a somewhat competitive trail ride that simulates what you see and do when hunting. An open spot on a friend’s trailer presented itself, and at the last minute the forecast full of thunderstorms shifted to late afternoon. After the week I had, I welcomed things falling into place so well.
We packed up the ponies and arrived just as the fast group of horses were going out. My friend that I went with works nights and was coming straight from a twelve hour shift, so we wanted to go as soon as they would let the slower groups start. We registered, coated ourselves and the horses in bug/fly spray, and wandered through the start line at a blazing walk just before 10:00.
We both just wanted an easy ride of mostly walking with jumps mixed in, and that’s exactly what we got. Juice can be a jerk with other horses but he got along with Sam’s horse Joey immediately, and we took turns leading the ~5 mile course. The majority was through the woods, too, which limited the exposure to the quickly increasing heat and humidity. There was some mud from the rain last week, but it was very manageable at a walk.
I do love going out with groups of friends at hunter paces, but it can cause a lot of anxiety and Juice has small horse syndrome, it’s really just stressful sometimes when we do the faster speed. Thinking I might stick with the slowest pace for now. And we sure did live up to that – we were the second slowest team, hahahaha. So no ribbon for us, but who cares?
Sunday I was not sore thanks to the lack of fighting over how fast we were going at the pace, so I watched my part-leaser’s lesson on Juice and then rode Dutch (Joanne’s big black horse) and Sebastian (Tyline’s baby OTTB). Both of them require a lot more work and managing than Juice which is a fun change but man I am feeling it today. Hopefully I’ll be good for my first dressage lesson this week in.. um.. way too long.