Monday, November 24, 2008

Meadowbrook Hounds Pony Club Hunter Pace 2008

Here's the photo of Monty and I at the last jump. Kind of an awkward moment in the takeoff for that jump. A split second later and it would have been a brag-worthy shot. But I bought a 5x7 anyway because every picture is precious. The pace was held on November 9th. (I'm kind of behind in my riding blogging)As you can see from the photo it was a bright, brisk perfect day!

My pace partner's horse got injured in turn-out, and about a week before the pace she called to say she didn't thnk he'd be sound in time. It always seems something happens before I ride one of these paces, lately. I figured I was out of luck unless someone could add me and make a team of 3 when my partner called again to say she was renting a horse from the local hack stable for the day and she'd be able to go after all.

When I arrived with Monty, there she was with this big, dorky, grade, paint gelding. We both had a laugh and were curious to see what this guy could do. With Monty leading we set out and found out "Phil" as he was named, was not bad, even if as she said, he felt as if all 4 legs were borrowed from different horses. He would pop over the smaller jumps when Monty led and could keep pace nicely.

I spent most of the ride in "whoa". Monty has been so sluggish at home I figured I'd be nice and let him do the pace with his new "B" ring baucher bit. Usually I ride him with an elevator type jumping bit on these paces. Yep, big mistake, he found his giddy-up and was eager to gallop the ride. I also have the feeling he knows what his job is on the paces, he gets out in the woods and wants to canter as much as possible. But I was not in the best shape this time out. My arms were hurting from holding him back after the first 15 minutes out. And as much as he wanted to go and my partner wanted to go, I begged to slow it down because I had nothing left to hold him with. We were not competitve and it was my fault.

I'm wondering if I can do this anymore. I have no time to properly prepare for these paces and I don't like feeling like I haven't ridden enough. Monty is in better physical shape than I am, what little riding we do seems to be about adequate for him but zero for me.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm not sure but I think my daughter used to ride in that hunter pace. I know the feeling you have about not being in good enough shape to do the whole pace anymore, but I'm sure you'll be fine the more you do.

SolitaireMare said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement Grey Horse.

One of the most memorable things about this pace is the huge, home cooked buffet they serve for lunch after the ride. The food is neverending and very delicious. If you and your daughter remember a hunter pace with an amazing luncheon afterwards, that would most likely be the one!

OnTheBit said...

I am with you in that even not great pictures need to be purchased...especially when you and Monty look so dapper! And really it is not a bad pictures, it is just still in take off mode.
As for not feeling 100% fit and ready for pacing, I think that is why most people like to pace in the spring, becuase then it is expected you wont be at 100%. I say just keep at it as much as you can. I mean what is the alternative? Staying at home when your friends are out in the woods having fun. I know you said before that you come from the big h/j show background so your standards are just super high. I show on 4 days a week of riding and I am fine with that. In my objective opnion this issue might be more of a standards issue then a fitness issue.

SolitaireMare said...

Thanks OTB! Yep, you got me, I tend to base everything on the way I schooled and prepared for the shows. Granted, it's also from my experience that the fitter the horse, the less chance you may have to deal with colic, illness or stress injury afterward.

You get to ride 4 times a week to prepare? I wish! I ride Saturdays and Sundays and when the weather is not too cold/raining/snowing I ride 1 evening during the week. That's all I get. Mind you, the Saturday or Sunday might also be a day that includes an event like a pace. I get nervous that it's just not enough, sometimes I can schedule in an extra night during the week of a half hour on the lunge line to canter him around and keep him wind fit.

I've often considered finding a half boarder to ride him a bit during the week but I'm picky about that. Unless they took lessons from my trainer on him so his training could be properly maintained, I'm wary about doing it.