Yesterday, I went on a long ride with Raven. My farrier had asked me to go with him and a group of his friends on a ride a couple weeks ago. So a friend of mine and I were supposed to meet them at Ely lake, about 4 miles as the crow flies, from here. However, my friend canceled. I went alone. I figured that it would take about an hour, 7 miles of riding, to get to the meeting point. So Raven and I started off at a trot, after a good warmup. I thought after an hour of steady trotting Raven might be slightly winded, we turned off the road onto the Ely lake trail and after a few minutes hooked up with my friends. A couple who were riding Tennessee walkers, A family of 5 on their horses and Eric and his wife on their horses. We doubled back on the trail I was on and headed east to Pine point/Swan Creek trail and rode a real nice trail along the bluff of the creek. As I said, I thought Raven would be somewhat winded, but these new acquaintances of hers got her energy up and she was like a cannon ready to shoot out of the gate. I took up the end of the line and had to keep turning her to keep her from riding up the butt of the horse in front of her. After about 20 minutes of this, I moved up the line and got behind the walkers. It's funny, but a horse can tell where they need to be in a line and when she got behind those walkers, she settled right down and stayed behind them. We had a real good ride and it was pleasant riding with others. When we got to the DNR office we split up. They headed back to their horse trailers at the horseman's campground and I turned south on 46th heading home. I thought I might have a time of it with her not wanting to leave the other horses, but I could sense she knew we were heading in the right direction. We continued walking a while, then she wanted to trot.So we trotted and cantered for the next 5-6 miles till we were about 3 miles from home and I let her walk. Well, let me put it this way, she didn't ask to walk, but I had her slow down. I also took the opportunity to really work on various movements, leg yields, circles, shoulders, moving the hip over etc. as we were going. I couldn't really do that on the way over because I needed to meet up with the group, but I was in no hurry to get home so that afforded me the opportunity to work on things I would normally work on in the arena. By the time we got back she was really soft, responding with vertical softness when I simply picked up the rein. All in all I figure we rode about 20 miles over the course of 5 hours and only got off 2x for a much needed potty break. I am sure she was glad to be back but I am also sure that she could have went some more with no problem. I think I might work up to going farther. I mean they do endurance rides of 25, 50 even 100 miles. I don't know why we can't. work up to at least 25.
On another note I should have 'Joey' coming this week. I just have to get the round pen back up and get the contract back and we are good to go.