Quest turned 14 this past weekend! Unfortunately we haven't been able to properly celebrate yet since I had to attend and help friends at their wedding but you rest assured the mareface will indeed get her traditional horse birthday cake ;) I wouldn't be so cruel to deprive her of those moments of joy in life.
Thanks to the longer summer daylight hours, we've been getting a good number of weekday evening trail rides in. Quest has been so delightfully steady and sane that I've been doing about 50% of those rides bareback. The benefits are plenty from riding without a saddle too. It doesn't take much time at all to get her groomed and tacked up so we make the most of our time and whenever I find myself getting lazy while riding, nothing cures that instantly like a bareback trail ride. No lack of core, poor posture, or being lazy with your seat here haha
With summer in full swing, my weekends have been filled with too many things to do but on those days that are blissfully unspoken for, I have set aside for longer trail rides. The main goal for those outings has been having a safe, fun time while getting in some quick, cardio-filled miles. It satisfies our need for speed and it makes me so happy to see mareface charge up those hill climbs easily with happy ears up and forward.
Best of all, Quest has been sound sound sound.
Since we aren't actively training for any major events, I've decided to keep mareface barefoot for as long as possible and am watching her feet (especially that pesky clubfoot) like a hawk. The farrier I'm currently using has been amazing with communication. He calls/texts me schedule availability and has even sent me mid-trim pictures of Quest. It's super wonderful and I'm satisfied with his work so far. Most of our trail outings are done barefoot but for rocky rides like the climbs at Hawk Watch, I boot her fronts and that setup has been working out well.
As for events, I had fully intended to do a number of off-site trail adventures and fun hunt paces but with gas prices being such a travesty lately and my truck cost-sharing partner being in bad financial shape, it doesn't feel like a prudent adult decision at the moment. Endurance is still in the books for us, though probably not as soon as I had hoped...but know what? That's fine. The sport will still be around when Quest and I are ready.
Right now, we're just enjoying our time together and that's totally okay :)