Consolation has been on anti-inflammatories for 2 days now, and she is a much happier horse. Her whole aspect is brighter. She’s relaxed and no longer suspicious about being handled. Her skin is still strange (a bit crinkly under the haircoat, with those strange black flakes) in the affected areas, but the heat, swelling, and tenderness have vanished. Because the saddle area is all clear, I’m going to go ahead and try riding her this afternoon. Stay tuned.
Acey is moving right along toward her first endurance ride. On Sunday, we did 11 miles at a decent race pace of aboaut 7 mph (for beginning distance accumulation, obviously, not winning) in the sandy hills near Adrian. I like this route because it includes 3 sustained climbs for strength and an interval effect when taken at a steady pace, plus long stretches of gently rolling hills that can be trotted with only a couple breaks to walk down steep grades.
Monday afternoon, her legs were firm and cool and her eyes bright, so we saddled up for a speed ride. The maintainance road for the irrigation canal a mile from In the Night Farm makes a perfect track: packed-sand footing, no traffic, nearly flat for a good 6 miles, and a few duck fly-ups to keep things interesting. I like to use this route for the occasional evening trail ride, but it’s even better for sustained, fast trots and extended canters.
Garmin was busy charging, so I didn’t get to record our actual speed and distance. I’d guess we travelled about 7 miles at an average of 10-12 mph — not bad for a 13.1 pony. That that was our cruising speed, though. The workout was periodically interrupted by Acey’s need to ogle the cows and calves populating the BLM land on the opposite side of the canal. By the end of the ride, she was pretty much over it, so hopefully that won’t be as much of an issue next time.
Acey consistently surprises me with her recoveries. I’m going on perception here, but she never seems to get really winded, and she has plenty of spring left to offer just minutes after finishing a hour of effort. I should hook up the heart rate monitor so I can watch what’s really going on.