Wednesday, April 15, 2015

In which we are crunched and feel better and there is a life hack as well

First stop for me this morning:

the chiropractor's office

Doctor Welly has been treating endurance riders at our end of the county for decades.

He knows exactly what we need and how we break...and how to fix us.

Yes, a carpet sample can help fix you.
Keep reading and I'll tell more at the bottom of the post.

The second stop:


Errr, the real reason for the stop:

Equine chiro

Craig starts out by checking mobility and flexibility, and looking for "stuck or twitchy bits."

"The horse mirrors the rider."
Fee was "out" on the left side, directly under the spots where my previously-broken pieces connect with her.

Moving rib heads

Before adjustment, she twitched when he touched her here.
After, no twitching at all.

This is not a job for a short person.

Notice the floppy lip.  This is the first time she's ever flopped her lip
while somebody other than me was touching her head.

There was a lot of activity in the barn aisle during her adjustment, but Fiddle was quiet and cooperative for the entire thing.

My horse is very bendy.

Homework:  massage this area (both sides) to
loosen up the "banjo strings" before riding.

Back home after the appointment:
I didn't forget to share Doctor Welly's life hack.


Carpet remnant to help prevent truck disease
One of the hardest parts of our sport is "truck disease," which occurs when you take a normally very-active person, and strap that person into a truck for 2 or 3 or 4 or 8 or 10 hours...each direction.

Doctor Welly says that every hour or so, move the carpet remnant around under your bum, or out from under, or further back or further forward to change the way the truck seats you.  The carpet won't make the truck seat better or worse, but it will make it different, and that can be enough to slow or stop the stiff muscles we get from driving to (and from) endurance rides.

Simple, cheap, effective.  My favorite things.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

In which we do the 20-mile loop again, and "Mama" is ready

The weather was much nicer than the forecast predicted.

Hana helped pack the picnic basket

This whole weekend was supposed to be cold, wet, and windy.

Whatever that stuff on the road is, it isn't rain.
It hasn't been very warm (I think we hit the low 50's, maybe) but the monsoon rains apparently got distracted and fell elsewhere--possibly in the mountains?  I heard the passes got more than a foot of white stuff.  Better them than us, sez me.

It seems like a late start to the endurance calendar, but with Home on the Range off the schedule in 2015, the first Washington State Ride is scheduled for April 25th.  

We're pretty much ready.  

Choosing the right rider clothing is challenging this time of year.
I wore a long sleeved wool shirt, a short sleeved tech shirt, midweight breeches,
and a raincoat, and adjusted the layers at least 10 times in 20 miles. Sigh.
Barring the usual hell and high water (and excessive sn*w in the passes), Fiddle and I are set to do our first 75-miler together.  

Patty was hoping to ride Flower but a lingering abscess has sidelined the spotted pony for a while, so Ariana has been called up to pinch hit.  She's been ridden lightly all winter, given some time off last month to gain a bit more weight, and is back on the trail again.

Ariana, aka "Mama" is not just ready to go to the ride:
she's ready for a 50-miler!
photo by S. Lange

We did the same 20-mile loop we did last week, including a quick food stop at the Monument.

The meadow was FULL of endurance riders
 When we arrived at the Monument meadow, we got greeted (a little too enthusiastically for my taste) by three large, loud, Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

Fortunately, we know these dogs: they belong to our friends David and Jennifer.  I kept a tight line on the Dragon.  She is not fond of being charged by dogs.

Patty was raised by a pack of Ridgebacks, and does not appreciate misbehavior.
photo by D. Kolouskova

When the meadow cleared out a bit, it was time for a quick snack.

Trading stuff around the various lunch boxes.

Hana wanted to taste a little bit of everything.  She did not like hummus.

And then, back down the road to the trailhead again.

Strong and ready

We have just one or two more training rides left.  Then: it's off to Spokane for the ride!

And that is very, very good.