So, we pulled into camp around 3:30 or so, found our spot that was saved for us (thank you Aarene and the Pirates!) and vetted in without incident. We went for a short ride that evening and tucked ourselves into bed. Thunder and lightning woke us up, but the little bit of rain just kept the dust down the next day.
Monica was going to ride the LD on Danny with the very early start time of 6:15. My departure was at 8:30 for the Trail Ride. Galen wasn't terribly happy that everyone left, but he dealt with it.
Monica and Danny before heading out. He wasn't quite as relaxed when he started!
Galen telling me that he should be tacked up and heading out!
Galen and I headed out around 8:30, after meandering around the camp, looking for the out timer. Looks like the Trail ride is MUCH more relaxed than even an LD, as I didn't see anyone else heading out at the same time. In fact, I saw several people heading out as I came in a few hours later. We were on the Red and White loop, which was fine, as I've done most of those trails before. I knew that neither Galen nor I was really all that conditioned, so I had a game plan. Slow, steady, enjoy the scenery and have fun. We headed out of camp at a walk on a loose rein (big improvement!) and started some cows along the way. We did do some trotting and my deal with him has been that if I can sit it, he can do it. Amazing how even the atmosphere of an endurance ride can bounce up a horse! Usually, Galen's trot is so smooth I can sit all speeds. Saturday, we had to slow it down a bit, as there was much more bounce to the ounce than usual. That was ok, as it was already getting warm, and we really hadn't trained in heat very much.
We came into the vet check and took a minute or two to pulse down, which made me realize I needed to slow down even more. We took some extra time at the vet check, although I knew he wouldn't drink anything (he never does before around 20 miles). We didn't need to pass the vet, just be pulsed down, so after 15 or 20 minutes, we headed back out. We did some leapfrogging with the Ride and Tiers. I did help a few of them find the trail. Mostly, we were by ourselves, which was fine. The trails were lovely, the weather was gorgeous, my horse and I were happy. I did some singing, admired the gorgeous lupines and finished in about 3 hours. Not our fastest by any means, but that was ok. I went into this as a conditioning ride and to see how my ankle felt.
By the end of my ride, I was very glad I hadn't done the LD - my ankle was swollen and I could feel the fluid squishing around in it (lovely image, isn't it?). Galen was willing, but definitely not ready for much more. We did get lots of nice trot on a loose rein, which was the goal.
We got back to camp and Monica trotted him out. Dr. Jen noted that he was travelling a little bit crooked, no doubt because of my bad leg. Not enough to be lame, but certainly enough to be noted. Sigh... But, it's wonderful to have an experienced eye to tell you that you need to work on stuff. We probably won't do any more rides for awhile (maybe Bare Bones later on), but will work on arena work, trail riding and I will see if I can get my ankle to behave better. Summer is coming which means foaling, breeding, hay season, fix it up season, kids, etc.
All in all, it was a very satisfying weekend!