Lots more pictures, keep clicking next!Mac was a star, I think he is starting to understand is NOT a race. He walked, trotted, cantered, galloped politely. Met loads of scary things, farmyards, people, bikes, kids, dogs, flapping plastic, bits of wood etc etc. We were overtaken by lots of people, and he was calm about it, even someone cantered past us (with permission) on grass and he coped. We went fairly slowly, as it is good being overtaken training for Mac.
Was fantastic. Beautiful day, lovely ride, downs are amazing, lots of long grass gallops. Opened and closed 20 gates from horseback (only got off for one heavy closing one). Didn’t close all if someone nearby behind.
Wondering if Mac ill / lame / sickening for something. ;-) He was foot perfect. Good to do gates, cantering and galloping on an loose rein – no pulling no bouncing taking me forward = effortless to ride. Was so pleased with him.
We were about 2/3rds of the way home. Retracing oursteps intentionally for a return to a checkpoint. We went through a gate, I turned to riders behind (who were watering their horses at a water trough) and shouted would they close gate. Next minute Mac leaps, his bum goes high, I am off balance and flying. I think it was due to scary metal scrap in field. I had thought he saw it on the way out, and was wary but okay. It was clearly not same in other direction, and I wasn’t paying him attention and was caught unware. I suspect if I had been mentally and physically with him, he would have been okay. I think it made him jump to react like that when we were virtually on top of the metal scrap.
I landed flat on my back, and was a bit bruised (the going on the grass downs quite firm). Mac trots off to next group of horses. I get up (bit winded), and walk to retrieve him. Riders behind, and going other way depart. Gather my scattered wits, and get back on from gate, and Mac seems fine. Bit unexpected!! He didn’t want to race / shoot off at speed. Not sure. Not like him, he can scoot sideways, or spin from scary things, leaping and bucking not happened before. Not sure if me twisting and looking back and being off balance upset him?
Am pleased he didn’t go far and was fine afterwards. Managed the next 6km home without any spooking. It had been (barring jumping last summer) about 10 years since have fallen off!
Despite going slowly and falling off we still managed a respectable average speed of 10.5km after the gate allowance for 20 gates was taken off. Mac had a starting heart rate of 36 and finishing of 45 beats per minute which is fine.
Remi spent the day snoozing in the sunshine :-) :-)