Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kendalls first endurance ride!

Awesome! Just a 15-miler, not an official endurance ride (25 is the minimum for AERC recognition). But nonetheless, it's a dedicated trail ride with a start, a finish, vet checks, a route to follow, fellow racers, and competition in the air. My daughter was an amazing trooper and I'm so very proud of her!

We had some interesting adventures and some challenging moments for sure. The weather started out beautiful, but by 10am the wind machine was on and we were riding in 25mph winds. It was tough because we could barely hear each other talk right next to each other. It's also a very urban ride, so we had soccer games with flags blowing everywhere, a golf course with golfers whacking balls next to us, and a shooting range with non-stop gunfire. Whoo! Rain is fairly unflappable with that stuff, but Z had some trouble spots and I had to get her brain working again a few times.

We crossed very deep water repeatedly (16 crossings) with several so high I had to lift my legs to keep my boots dry! Kendall loves water crossings, so that was fun for her. At one point, we were trotting along and in the high grass didn't see a big ditch in the ground that had colorful pipes in it. Z spooked hard and I went off to the side. I believe Rain spooked a bit when Z did and Kendall jumped off of her! We were fine, Kendall laughed about jumping off her big horse and we got back on and kept going.

Kendall also had a moment where when bolted for about 50 ft - that scared her but she was a champ, dodging branches and staying in the saddle anyway. She had another moment where Rain decided she really wanted to roll in the soft sand. Ha! We had a good laugh over that and Kendall jumped off in time.

The big thing for me was realizing that I'm not as good for Z when I ride with Kendall. I'm so watchful of Kendall that sometimes Z is getting more and more afraid and I'm not dealing with it well. I learned that it is so much better to deal with her anxiety as soon as it appears rather than riding her afraid even for 10 strides. I also want to teach Kendall to ask Rain to sidle up to her on a mounting block or obstacle so she can mount herself. I always help her up, but she needs to know how to get on the big horse herself. It was an emotionally challenging day for me, but I'd do it again in a minute. I loved it!

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