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RE: RideCamp: First outing surprise

Hi Kirsten 

Yes I have had exactly this experience with my now 7 year old mare. About 2
years ago we went away for about 4 days to stay on a farm just off the
Ridgeway an ancient road that stretches half way across England. My partner
brought his mountain bike and I brought my horse. The idea was that I did some
long slow training rides with Rick on his bike.

Well everything you describe happened to us. Kitty would get most upset if the
bike went out of sight and would fight to catch up mind you once the bike was
back in sight then she would happily tuck in behind it like an old friend. 

She was about 5 years old at the time and now she is not particularly
frightened of people whizzing past on mountain bikes. My other horse goes into
a complete fit at the sight of a mountain bike and he's now almost 14 years
old. Perhaps I need to take him on a similar trip with my other half and his

The only snag with Rick on the bike was that he loaded himself down with his
bike tool kit but as the miles past he got tired and wanted us to carry his
spanners etc. We refused of course which caused a bit of a fracas. 

Anyway I think in the right circumstances the moutainbike is the honorary



Fred (my 19 year-old gelding) and I went on our very first official
conditioning ride yesterday (remember me?  the newbie). I got a real
surprise!  My husband came along riding his mountain bike and we went to
use his trail circuit as he had a good feel for the mileage and time.
The surprise was that Fred got *really* competitive with Jon on the
mountain bike.  Normally, Fred moves along willingly at his own pace.
This time, when Jon would get ahead Fred would really fight me to catch
up and pass! Given this was his first time out on the new regimen, I
wanted to keep him slower.  At one point, Jon reached the crest of the
hill a bit ahead of us and headed down the other side.  Fred started
squealing!  I kid you not! I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd been on
my four year-old stallion (Splash) but this is a 19 year-old gelding.

Has anyone else had this experience?  I am tickled as it appears hubby
will be able to train with us over short distances and it should work
out well.  Hubby agreed to ride a horse at least twice per week while
he's in town, but he'll be on the bike at least three. This is already
fun and I haven't even been to my first ride yet!

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