Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Smaller Group Ride

We woke up this morning to rain.  Quite a bit of it.  This was great as we are in a drought like much of the nation, but it was a little less than great because we had our group ride plans for 9.  Robin emailed our friends and said we'd probably be going out later, and they said they would most likely do the same. But since the weather looked iffy, we didn't bother to coordinate.

So Robin and I ended up riding with just each other.  We do this all the time, but we don't usually venture so far out.  We ended up doing most of the ride we did last weekend.  And it was fantastic.

I've been having such great rides with Bear in the hackamore that I decided to try him in it on the trails.  I figured since it was only Robin and I, if things went wrong I could stop and take a break or we could just turn around.  But really, nothing went wrong.

We got to the Herbert Hoover easement and shifted into the smoothest and laziest trail trotting I've ever felt.  I'm sure it helped that Bear was tired from all our running yesterday.  But more than that, I think all four of us were just relaxed. 

We used that stretch to warm up, and then when we did the out and back stretch on the B road we moved out a little more.  We still walked the steeper downhills, but we trotted the flats, loped up the hills, and then shifted back into more trotting when we felt like we'd run far enough.  The guys were great with it.  Very attentive and very willing to move out or come down.

I kept thinking they would get overly excited or that something would kind of happen.  But no, we just kept moving out along the trail.  We followed the easement north a little farther than where we got on.  Here Bear was a teeny bit more excited, but this was only the second time he'd seen this trail.  It is also fairly treed over, so he can't see as far.  He gave a little jump when some birds flew out, and then later both he and Steen gave a little start to a deer that was crashing through the brush.  But really, these were so minor.  They were both just having fun and not worried.

I was thrilled with my decision to use the hackamore.  Just like yesterday, I could take the slack out of one rein and Bear would ease up on his pace.  I never had to pull on him at all.  The hackamore seems to allow me to be more corrective than I am with the bit but also softer on the whole.  It's really perfect.

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