Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 – Good Ride and Shopping Day

Hey Baby,
Another night where I woke up and had a hard time getting back to sleep, but slept later to make up for it. By the time I got out to feed the horses around 8:30 there were already three trailers here, and within the next hour a bunch more came in. Some were riders, but half a dozen were buggies, really busy! Not surprising really, it was a beautiful day! I got a little delayed leaving because my phone needed some charging, and since my chore today, in addition to conditioning Flash, was to confirm an accurate reading on the length of the northern loop. Flash and I finally left right about 11:00, and he was ready to go! We started out riding to the starting gate at Helen’s, then followed the markers all the rest of the way. I had no problem following them, but there were a few low-hanging branches that I had to duck and still scratched at my helmet, so I guess they didn’t do much overhead clearing when they were cleaning the trails earlier. Anyway, Flash seems to really understand what we’re doing this year, that we’re preparing for this ride on Saturday, because he was giving it his all the entire ride. We averaged better than six miles an hour the entire ride with only a few short breaks, and we completed it just shy of two hours! Fantastic! I think he’s going to do much better this year, he’s in such good shape with all the mountain climbing we did this summer. I brought my stethoscope with me and as soon as we got back to camp, I stripped off his saddle and hosed him down, checking his heartbeat, and it really did come down faster than I expected. I also handled him like I know the vet will during the vet check, and tried to run him up and back like they do for an impulsion score, which we failed miserably last year, and he wasn’t much better this time. So a little training was in order, and I got my long carriage whip out and showed it to him, and that was enough to get him moving a lot better. I’ll have to practice that a lot in the next few days, I have such a hard time running next to him as it is, dragging him is impossible. He got better, but I’d like to get him to do it without the whip in my hand. Once we got that done and I put him on the highline, I gathered up Lola and we headed for town to get some hay, fuel and shopping. I had to meet up with Jo to get some marker supplies, and she happen to be at a Napa service center, so I decided to take my spare in and have them put in a new valve stem, but I had to have them only put half the air in it, it’s the only way it will fit in the spare tire compartment. Looks like the only place I’ll be able to sell that tire is on Marketplace or craigslist or something. I definitely will need to order another tire to match the rest, though. By the time we got back to camp the sun was down and it was getting dark, so I cranked up the generator, put the groceries away, fed the horses and settled down for the evening. Jo stopped by again with some more supplies, so I should be all set to finish marking the trails in the next day or two. They’re calling for rain tomorrow, but I think I’ll be able to get some of it done in the morning, though I think I’ll take Apollo for a change, give Flash a rest. Before I went to town I drove out to see the repairs on the green trail, and it looked much better, but we’re going to wait until after the rain tomorrow just to be sure it settled down okay. Finally settled down for the evening to a movie, now I’m headed to shower and bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

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