Monday, October 12, 2015

More Solo-ing

Despite the very ominous start of the weekend weather-wise, Quest and I got two fantastic trail rides under blue skies and bright sun. J and B were gone at the AERC Nationals in VA so we were all by our lonesome both days, fortunately mareface handled our first solo trek impressively well so I didn't worry about it too much.

I got to the barn in time to see Quest get her breakfast. I met N who has been checking on the horses and doing the feedings when J is usually out of town. N admitted she accidently added water to Quest's feed though mareface could not have cared less about it being more soupy than usual because she ate every bite and licked the tub clean while I was there!

Yay pretty browband! And a lucky find since it really fits our tack colors well
Breakfast done, groomed and tacked up (sporting the new browband), we warmed up w/t/c in the pasture-arena first for a few minutes before heading out to the trails. Quest definitely isn't as motivated leaving the barn when she's alone but always perks up immediately once we get to the trailhead. I budgeted about 2 hours to hopefully do a longer ride, though again I had no hard expectations but just to do as much as possible and enjoy the ride. I pointed Quest towards what I will call the north trail. This is the trail we did with J and B on the second day we moved- a long straightaway through the woods, a trail turn off to cut across two open fields, loops around the edge of a third and largest field before turning back onto a trail running along the river with the choice to cross the river and walk the wooden bridge or take the go-around through the field.

All the colorssss

It was our first time doing this trail alone (and second solo outing ever) so I didn't feel like chancing the bridge crossing on our own though Quest had zero issues when escorted by J and B's horses. Quest was doing fantastic already and I was happy enough with that. No need to prove anything.

So we looped our way back and headed back to the main trail head. We had only been out for about an hour and Quest was feeling good so we continued on the south trail. This is the trail we did solo last week, though this time I did take some pictures!

Views like this remind me that it was the right choice to move us out here

We did about 8 miles in 1hour and 41 minutes, not too shabby since we walked pretty much everything but the forest straightaways. This was also our first time doing this distance and solo as well. Might not seem like a big deal, but in my mind a step forward no matter how big is something to be proud of.

The next day, I only had a little over an hour of ride time since I had church in the morning and then a big dinner that night (celebrating my grandmother's 90th birthday! with like 30 guests invited). While warming up in the pasture-arena, I realized I never got my weekly 2pointober time........FYI: I do NOT suggest trying to get a two-point time the day after a workout ride, unless you enjoy torturing yourself. I whimpered, cringed, and moped but I got it done AND improved my base time.

Torture complete, Quest and I headed out for the trails. The goal was to try and fit in whatever trails we could during the time left; I knew I would get seriously chewed out if I was late for dinner so I kept a close eye on the time. We easily did the entire north trail (~5 miles) in 45 minutes. Not bad at all.

Towards the end of the ride , I noticed two hikers had stopped ahead by the trail head entrance. When we walked out of the trail, they wanted to inform me there had been a bear sighting on the south trail earlier! So even if we did have the time, we could not have repeated the ride we did yesterday. I was very grateful that the hikers had intentionally paused to warn me know though.

Overall I'm very happy with how our first few solo rides have been going. Quest, while still looky, has been nothing short of fantastic going out by herself and moving out great on the trail. It's a serious relief not to have to think about crossing busy streets all the time or worry about sudden encounters with rude ATVs or motorcross bike drivers that barely slow down and even rev engines while going PAST horses. Ask me how I know that they really do this...

The nicer weather this weekend has been giving me a better idea what other trailusers are like here and  no problems yet. Every biker, hiker, dog walker that we have crossed paths with so far were courteous in yielding the trail to us. There are lots of other people on the trail with their horses as well so that has been good for Quest to deal with getting passed from behind and approached from the front. Though hearing that bears in the vicinity on the trail definitely makes me wary about being out on the trail completely alone....maybe time to invest in some bear bells!


  1. Love seeing you guys out and about. Your solo posts are my favorite.

    1. Just trying to get her exposed to as much as possible- if anything "scary" happens, I'd much rather have it happen at home first than at a ride!

  2. Quest sounds like she's really settling into the routine! 8 miles solo definitely is nothing to sniff at either, so awesome that you finally have the trails to get out on!!!

    1. The new location makes it SO much easier (and safe!) to get more mileage, I'm already mapping out more haha

  3. Your progress is definitely somethings to be proud of! Glad that you had good rides.

  4. Hell yeah girls! Great work. You're progressing along VERY nicely! Competition is in your near future methinks. ;-)

    1. I still feel like we're bumbling our way through most of the time but thank you haha Depending on how things continue to progress...maybe a competition soon (: