In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

Power Pony

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This is the creature I plan to ride today.  (Wish me luck.)

Okay, so Acey doesn’t behave like that on the trail.  She does, however, bring an enormous amount of enthusiasm to her work.  She has the let’s-go-see-the-world! attitude that I’ve missed ever since Aaruba retired.  Her walk is a march, her trot is speedy and smooth, and her canter…oh, she has the most adorable canter.  Remember those little quarter-fed, mechanical horses outside grocery stores?  It’s like that, only 1,000 times cuter.

I took her out yesterday for a brief hack.  She’d already put in her 30 conditioning miles for the week and didn’t really need more (ha!), but there was a break in the weather and I wanted to test a hoofboot change.  We’d just walk a few miles.  Right?

Riiiiight.  Instead, Acey strapped on her jet packs and took me for a flying trot across the countryside.  Maybe I should have taken her to do the LD today at Tough Sucker, after all.

Actually, I gave that idea some serious thought yesterday morning.  It would have been a last-minute thing, but how hard is it to pack for an LD with the hold in camp?  As it turned out, I couldn’t get a farmsitter.  Which is okay, because it’s hard to stomach forking over $150 or so in ride fees and diesel to do what is basically a conditioning ride.

Which remindes me, y’all did see the blowup over on Ridecamp about Endurance vs LD and the need for new AERC members and the possiblity of shorter, introductory distances to draw more people to the sport?  Wow.  All I can say is that I totally agree with those who say that LD (let alone trail rides) isn’t endurance.  Of course it isn’t.  The thing is, I think most LD riders know that.  For various reasons ranging from physical limitations to personal interests to training requirements, some people want to do LDs.  Some want to take advantage of the opportunity on rare occasions, others want to have fun on the trail without the worries and strains of endurance-length rides.  And their fees inarguably subsidize the longer distances.  What’s not to like?  (Well, there’s the LD racing thing.  But that’s a post for another day.)  And I don’t know about you, but I still remember when 25 miles seemed amazingly, impossibly far to ride.  Sure, it doesn’t seem like much now, but it did then.

Anyway, the way Acey behaved yesterday, I rather wish we were saddling up for that 25 today!  We’ll probably do 14 or so miles right from the farm instead, then go climb some hills tomorrow.  No point in rushing.  (You hear that, Acey?)


6 responses

  1. She’s just the cutest thing! She reminds me so much of Mimi…little, but with an amazing “go get ’em” attitude that makes them feel a lot larger.

    April 28, 2012 at 7:38 am

  2. Dom

    Great action shots!

    April 28, 2012 at 7:44 am

    • Thanks 🙂 I was playing with my new camera, which will hopefully survive longer than the last one did.

      April 28, 2012 at 7:46 am

  3. K.C.

    We did the LD at Tough Sucker 2 today and for someone who is breaking into the sport I sure do appreciate the limited 25 mile distance. Some day we might move up to 50 milers but for this season we are shooting for Rookie Rider and Horse. Speaking for myself personally, 50 miles is very intimidating and it takes a lot more conditioning to get ready for than I have time for. Riding once a week just won’t get the job done. Would have been fun to see you at Tough Sucker, hopefully we’ll see you at the next one!

    April 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    • Indeed. I remember when 25 miles was intimidating, let alone 50! I was a little different because I was always shooting for longer distances, but I still appreciated the LD option when starting out. In fact, I was laboring under the impression that everyone started their horses with LDs before moving up to endurance. I’ve learned since that such is not the case, but there’s nothing wrong with doing it that way.

      We need to meet up for some conditioning rides! 🙂 Sure hope to see you at Fandango.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:22 am

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