After a light week thanks to his mild (but still scary) bout with colic, Aaruba was full of bounce for today's conditioning ride. We took on 10 miles of hills in the midday heat. I really like this route for its rolling quarter-mile and half-mile hills. Aaruba trotted the whole way, with me riding up the hills and jogging down. He finished strong and pulsed down to 60 bpm in 7 minutes, three of which were spent walking the last quarter mile toward home.
When I took off my helmet, my hair was as wet as if I'd just stepped out of the shower. Tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter -- up to 103! But I'm not complaining. Nope, not one bit. I'd rather condition in heat (it's good for an endurance horse to be able to manage his temperature in summer weather) than deal with the rainy, windy weather we endured throughout most of June.
And now, for all who have sent such kind compliments on Aaruba's loveliness, I offer this photo for your amusement:
That was Aaruba in mid-February, 2008. Below is a similar photo I took just before saddling up this afternoon. (Excuse the Target bag -- I didn't have Travis handy to help get his ears pricked...not that it worked...)
No really, I swear it's the same horse! Was that four months of conditioning, or a miracle??