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    [RC] First Day Of Fall - AprJhn

    Well, Ridecampers,
    What a GREAT day for riding yesterday in Nashville, TN. Absolutely gorgeous. Blue skies, good wind, not TOO HOT. I could hardly keep myself at work, but come quitting time, I was out the door, down the elevator and almost jogging to my car.
    I was going to take my 13 year old free lease gelding on his first "official" training ride. I got home and ate some leftover homemade pizza (yummmy!). Then pulled on my stretch dockers (not going to use my good riding pants for a bareback ride), grabbed my helmet and GPS and headed out to catch Serts. He looked at me as I came striding down the hill.  I usually don't catch them with helmet in hand, but he seemed interested and not at all perturbed by my being all ready to ride. Tanna, on the other hand, lunged himself around us while I slid the bridle over Serts' ears.
    As I left the gate, the dog cried and hollered. I had left her tied to the porch. I usually let her come with me when I ride Serts (Tanna and I go too fast for her), but we were going to go on roads where I didn't want her to get hit by a car.
    I clambered on the gate and slid onto Serts' back. Ah, what a wonderful day. I felt 17 again and decided to let that feeling prevade. I was riding my best friend's horse, whom she rode way back when. We used to go everywhere on horseback. Her riding this very horse. But I digress.
    We walked for a little bit and then I moved Serts into a trot. Not a working trot, just an easy sitting trot. He is SO smooth! What a great horse. No spooking at the mailboxes or the dogs disturbed by our passing by. How relaxing. I love Tanna, but sometimes he's exhausting to ride! He's getting better, but still, Serts is much better about not spooking. And that trot! Floating. Easy to sit. Easy to post. Just easy. Rhythmic. Hypnotic.
    We alternate walking with trotting. He's been getting some exercise, so I push his limits a little. We trot for 20 minutes straight and then walk for about 5. After 5 miles, he decided to eat. So I let him graze for a bit.
    I finally got him moving again and we kept going. What a wonderful day to do my favorite 11 mile loop. Serts got the taste of grass, so he decided he wanted more and more. Perfect opportunity to teach eating while moving. I encouraged him to eat while prodding him to keep moving. He can't do it at a trot yet, but he was getting fairly good at the walk.  The trot will come. ;)
    I checked his speed at his slow, smooth trot. 6.5 miles per hour. What? Tanna's slow, smooth trot is only about 5 mph. Guess the height does make some difference! :) His nice smooth slow canter is 13.5 mph. What a great horse. Course, it feels slow to me, so I was amazed at the numbers. I'm totally used to Tanna's gaits.
    We got back to the house in an hour and 45 minutes. Serts did great! He's a good boy. As soon as we got in the gate, I pull off his bridle and let him go eat hay. Tanna was very happy to see his buddy.
    I think he will be more than ready for an LD at Gator Run.
    Boy, I love fall in TN!
    Nashville, TN
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