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The ride. - Endurance Riders

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September 26th, 2005

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02:51 pm - The ride.
It was Zinny's first endurance ride, and for a young horse who's never been around lots of other horses, this is a big, big deal. She was very excited about all the activity, and very flustered by all the other horses on the trail, especially when they tried to pass. We spent a very exciting (read: dangerous) first 5 miles of the ride. But I think that my ability to remain calm, keep my breathing deep & my seat relaxed (even though I'm hanging on) helped her to calm down so quickly. I'm almost sorry she calmed down so much though because from then on, we had a hard time going forward. Both Zinny and Annie (who my boyfriend, and inexperienced rider, was on) are somewhat scaredy-cats, and so every little rock, branch, bunny, hiker, biker, dog, etc. out on the trail was a good reason to STOP. And not go ever again. I had to get off lots to get Zinny to go forward. That was okay. We went slow, and didn't finish within the alotted time so we didn't get our completion, but all in all what we were going for was a positive experience for a new horse. And that she got. There was no trauma or drama, she wasn't overworked and finished in high spirits (in fact the vet at the finish suggested that we go another 25 miles and maybe my horse would finally look like she'd gone somwhere and stop pulling at me -- she was very animated at the end). Anyway, Zinny doesn't have an AERC number yet (which is the organization that puts on endurance rides) and so her non-completion won't be on her record. Also, it's just a 25-miler, and I don't really consider that as "counting" as an endurance ride. It's technically "limited distance" and sort of a different sport than the one I participate in. But it was a good first ride for Zinny. Especially since it was on her home turf, sort of.
Additionally, my boyfriend had a good first ride, too. He had fun (though complained that his back was hurting) and even complemented Annie on being a good girl.

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