Lauren and I went for a great ride today!
Over 2 hours, and at least 4km of good hard trotting. Must have been 15 or more kilometres, which would make it TK’s longest ride yet! He did so good, he was forward and a few times I had to actually pull him up! He was keen as the proverbial mustard!
Today he was sweatier than I have ever seen him!
I let him out for a roll, but he was far more interested in eating! He cooled down nicely and actually had a play and a run with Nero shortly after getting put away for bed, so he must have been feeling just fine!
Today he surprised me a few times. I’ve never really had to fight with him before, and today he showed me that he can be obstinate, and will put up a fight. I’ll still win, but it reinforced in me the need to ensure that those ‘buttons’ (stop, go, left, right, reverse) are well installed. I got to thinking that if we were on a more technical part of a ride, and we had to slow down for safety, I’d like to know that I had him ready and responsive on-call. He always came back to me and did what I said, but it was slow, and could have been dangerous in different situations. We ran up the backside of Sparky more than once, just because he wasn’t quick to halt.
But that said, he travelled well and forward in a place where he’s never been before and was very happy and on a loose rein for the majority of it. And despite him showing signs of getting sore – that stretch of the neck and tilt of the head – he didn’t end up too bad at the end, and didn’t show signs of soreness when I rubbed his back. So those indications are probably more a sign of his lack of fitness and strength than saddle fit or anything else.
Still interested in trying a treeless saddle on him to see how it fits and if there is any difference in behaviour or performance.
Anyway, if he is stiff or sore he’ll have some recovery time, as he gets the next few days off. Next ride is Wednesday morning!