I bought my first horse in the summer of 2014, for the trip I just finished last September. I bought Roxy a little over 4 years ago to accompany Jingles.
In the beginning, I made so many mistakes with the 2 of them, I’m so glad Jingles was dead broke and Roxy forgiving. I affectionately named them Cocaine (R) and Heroin (J). They were my partners in crime.
I ended up selling Jingles a couple months before the long ride as I knew she wouldn’t make it. And, even though I had owned Roxy for 2 years, I had my hands full in those last months, as I still had yet to get her tired.
Over the years, I fell off Roxy so many times (treeless saddle) with many injuries and had the worst time managing her runaway madness (bitless bridle). Once I changed my tack to something appropriate for The Beast, I managed to stay on. It took numerous rides for her to not want to go full on full speed for as long as she could. She DESPISED walking. She reminded me of myself when I was a teenager/ young adult racing bicycles. There was no whoa until the ride was over.
I found a 5000 mile ride calmed her down. If you have a monster like mine, maybe you should give it a try.
We finished our long ride almost 6 months ago. Roxy fell hard about 125 kms from our destination and I couldn’t get her cut to heal properly where we were so we trailered to the end to heal her up. Within 2 weeks we were back riding and participated in 2 big horse parades in October.
These days I ride her short and hard to remind her of the old days. She loves it. She doesn’t go quite as hard as pre trip, but it seems to me that every short ride she is going harder for longer, so maybe it’s just a slow return to that kind of muscle useage.
Yesterday we went riding with my new hay supplier. We had to go back to his house partway thru the ride for him to get his second horse. Hahaha. Roxy laid down the law with his first horse and he felt the pain, trying to keep up. Oops – I warned him!
With all this intense interval training it makes sense to enter my friends 25 mile endurance race the end of March. Roxy is going to go nuts to be in front of the other horses- she HAS to be in front otherwise she does not stop the head shaking. It’s quite annoying for her to not be able to run free.