I didn't ride Saturday, which was okay given how tight Ashke's right hamstring was on Friday. It was still tight when we started the ride on Sunday in the arena and he couldn't move at a trot at all. So we opted for walking the Mesa. Diane said the best thing was to walk hills because it would help stretch the hamstring, so that's what we did.
After a brief warm up in the arena, I headed out. I really wanted to ride to the lakes, but decided that would be a better trip with someone, then alone. If something happens on the mesa, Ashke should be able to get himself home without having to tear down a busy street. I didn't see anyone to ride with, so the two of us headed out.
Ashke is always willing when he go, even when we are alone. We went around all of the bridges, primarily because the bikers never slow down and the last thing I need is for Ashke to think he is going to have a bike enema at the end of a bridge. I swear, people on bikes believe any road or trail they are on is theirs alone and we are all interlopers.
We worked the trail that runs around North Table Mountain, heading first west and then south. We rode all the way to the parking lot before turning around. At the parking lot you have to head up, and I didn't want to use his hamstring that much.
He spent the ride with his ears up and his tail raised. I rode almost exclusively on a loose rein. We did the same speed out that we did on the way home.
We did quite a bit of elevation, although none of it was steep grade, just a lot of little ups and downs. Ashke did have issues with the wet parts of the trail. Colorado is known for its clay, which is very slick when wet. He did slip twice in places I thought he should have been more sure footed. Overall, it didn't seem to effect his hamstring. Although, I am sure the hamstring is the reason he slipped in the first place. His strength in his haunches is weak when the hammie is sore.
This was the second bridge we went around. It was narrow and longer than the first and the trail was full of riders, so I opted to be safe.
As you can see, there were groups of riders, lots of walkers out with their dogs, and we even passed one guy on a very sweaty horse. One of these days Ashke will be healthy enough that I can ride him enough to make him sweat.
Heading home with the same "will do" attitude we started out with.
When we came down to the second bridge close to the barn, there was a group of people wandering up the trail. It looked like two sets of grandparents, mom and dad and a little girl about threeish. As soon as the little girl saw Ashke she started saying, "I can ride?" As we got close, I dismounted and let him pet Ashke, then told her dad to let her sit in the saddle. Her eyes were almost as huge as Ashke's. (He's not particularly fond of really small children. He stood stock still when I asked, however. Even if he did give me a "what the hell are you doing mom?" look.) When the dad took the little girl off and everyone was thanking me, I murmured, "this is how it starts, you know. Now she'll never stop wanting a horse." The dad, who was probably the only one who heard me, looked startled.
Not a bad ride, especially alone and with a tender hamstring. As you can tell, we mostly walked. He did jig down one hillside. I held him in and just let him move at his own pace.
As you can see, lots of ups and downs.
Honestly, though, I can't wait for Nicole to get back from Hawaii. I'm very happy she and her guy got hitched, but enough already. There are trails to ride!