Dan and I have been bitten by the endurance bug. I mean, the bug to do more endurance riding. To me it is the ultimate in horsemanship: you are a team with your horse, you take care of each other, while having fun. It also puts goals to our riding, such as increase distance, or speed. I have been doing some reading on the subject (there is a lot of new stuff to learn (yeah!)), and it was great to find out that we have the perfect environment for endurance riding. We have challenging hills and washes, as well as flat dirt roads, and miles and miles of wilderness to ride and condition ourselves (human and horse).
This week we did our well-known ride to the windmill, out back here in the Coronado National Forest, but rather than doing a mainly walking ride, we trotted where the footing would allow and did the 5.38 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes. It was fun!
Today, rather than going into the Forest, we headed into the valley (the flats, we call them), where there are dirt roads with excellent footing. My plan was to ride there, head onto Ironwood Road, go through the gate into the cow pasture and end up at Cindy's house.
We started off great, perfect temperature, no wind, and tons of California poppies to enjoy. It is beyond me why the poppies selfseed so well in the wild, but refuse to grow in my yard, or even when I seed them in little pots. Anyway, we were going along great, alternating walking with short periods of trotting when Buggs stumbled. It took me a little while to find out he hurt himself, but when he started to limp we immediately turned for home and walked home (on foot) the last 2 miles. Buggs is in his stall now, and favoring his left front knee, so it will be rest for him for a couple of days.
We did manage to ride 7.78 miles in 1 hour and 52 minutes, for an average speed of 4.1 miles an hour. Isn't a GPS a wonderful tool?