I spent the last day of my twenties exactly as I hope the spend the last day of my next decade, and the one after that, and the one after that...and, God willing, even more. I rode twenty miles, put the sixth ride on a green mare, and took an even greener mare for her first long walk across the countryside.
Aaruba and I covered our 20 miles in two sections. After the first, 12-mile loop, we stopped by In the Night Farm for a mock hold. Our first Limited Distance race is coming up on May 25, so I'm taking every opportunity to get him accustomed to spending time tied to the trailer, eating and drinking from strange vessels and staying tacked up when he'd rather have a nice roll.
He's also learning that coming home doesn't always mean we're done for the day. Aaruba protested only a little as we started our second loop, and he finished the last 8 miles in good form. His pulse was down to 56 bpm when I dis- mounted, even though our last quarter mile took us up a rather steep hill.
The afternoon was warm -- approaching hot! -- so I hosed him off while he grazed, then turned him loose in the sandy round corral for a roll. Hopefully, he'll have cleaned himself up before our next workout on Wednesday!
After a quick lunch, I headed back outside to work with Consolation and Acey. Consolation and I took a peaceful, 2-mile walk around the nearby fields, where she is rapidly becoming a horse I'm willing to ride.
Back in the round corral, I climbed aboard for her sixth ride. She's gaining confidence now, walking out better and learning to go forward, straight and steady. We even trotted...and wow, is she smooth! I'm looking forward to my first 20-miler on that mare.
After putting Consolation away, I talked my aching feet into another 2-mile walk, this time with Acey. It was, by far, the longest trip she's ever taken from the farm. I'm proud to say that she stuck right with me, calm and confident, her bay coat lovely in the evening sun.
Travis and I are taking today off for my birthday. I'm not sure what "day off" means, exactly, but it sounds nice when he describes it. We'll go to town and poke around garden nurseries and tack shops, maybe pick up another couple Aracaunas and a new toy for Wyrsa. A plate of Mexican food seems to be in order, and I stayed up late last night making Ruby Rapid Rhubarb in lieu of a cake.
Life is good.
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