Sunday, July 17, 2011

In which we ride and sing, and also devise a new speed measurement

The "usual suspects" headed out on the trail again this morning, dodging raindrops. 

Yes, raindrops in July.  Yes, we are still carrying our parkas when we ride out in July...our lightweight parkas, but still,  I think Summer has forgotten that we had a date to hang out.


Duana has so much fun riding Hana, and Hana really loves being able to get out and do stuff.  Hana has the longest attention span I've ever seen on a horse:  once she gets her "working face" on, she will stay on-task for hours.

Du is also learning to relax and trust the little red mare.  They're both having fun, which is fabulous.

 Connie has a new horse to play with, too.  I think Farah is going to work out just fine, although she's still very green. 
 We rode about 12 miles today--lots of trotting, but not as far or as fast as our Thursday rides (with the smaller group of fitter horses). 

We've been working on a new way to rate the horses' speed and keep them at a consistent tempo as we move:

We sing.

I was raised in a house full of Boy Scouts, and Scouts have songs for all kinds of activities.  It turns out that different songs that I learned from the Scouts work with different horse-trotting speeds. 


Huh.  Who knew?


When the horses are trotting at about 9 mph, it's a good tempo to sing "Waltzing with Bears."

(I sing about two keys lower than Seamus Kennedy so I can hit the high "wa-wa-wa-waltzing" notes.  And yes: the song is in 3/4 waltz time, but it still works with a 2-beat trotting gait.  Someday I'll record it for you.)


If we want to slow down a bit, "The Battle of New Orleans" is the song to sing to keep us moving down the trail at 7 to 8mph:


If we want to sl-o-o-o-w-w-w way down, the only song I know for 4.5 mph is "The Road that Never Ends":



Slower than that, the only song that I know is "99 bottles of beer on the wall"...or maybe that song just makes it seem like we're going slower than The Road that Never Ends.

For quicker stepping, it turns out that "The Great Ship Titanic" is a good fit for a 12 mph trot or canter!



Faster than 12 mph, I don't sing.   I just hang on and grin.

Life is good.

8 comments:

  1. You are too funny.

    I read an article once about getting control of a runaway horse. They mention singing as one option to slow them down.

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  2. I think the only song there that I know is 99 bottles on the wall -- which is good because that's about the pace that my old man and I usually ride :)

    No light jacket weather here today -- the heat index climbed to a baking 105 degrees. I wanted to take clothes off -- not put them on! LOL

    I wish I could sing -- I usually sound pretty good in the car ( who doesn't sing to the radio in the car)....but if I tried to belt
    out a tune to Grif, I think he'd go tone deaf!

    Hana looks happy -- I think she IS enjoying herself.

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  3. Can I say that I wish I lived on the same side of the country as you! That sounds like a fantastic ride!

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  4. We were going to go on our first trail ride of the year today, but it was raining. I don't do so well in the rain!! So we canceled. I still can't believe we haven't had any good summer weather. I have been so disappointed. I had a crazy work/show schedule all of June, so any good weather we had I couldn't ride. Now that it is slowing down at work, the weather hasn't cooperated for me.
    I can't sing at all, so I just talk!

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  5. Please, please, PLEASE send some rain our way. My world is crunchy!

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  6. lol! I love that you included the videos. How fun!
    And you're right about singing helping to keep the horse in tempo, too.
    I noticed that with my own horse this past weekend, even though, towards, the end of the trail, we were both so tired and sore neither one of us could get above 99 bottles of beer on the wall...sung at a very drunk rate of speed. lol!

    Sure could use your rain here. This is supposed to be our summer monsoon season with rain every afternoon, but we're only getting a few clouds and a few thunder claps. No rain.

    ~Lisa

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  7. My favorite is "This is the Road That Never Ends".
    Cracked me up, made me want to go!
    I can't sing, not because I won't, but because Hudson has no tolerance for discord.

    I've used "dance of the sugar plum fairies" in my head to get a relaxed working trot going. Just thought I'd throw that out there for those of us who can't sing, or whose horses claim we can't sing!

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  8. Very green, but very game :-) To music! Yes! :-)

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