We had beautiful weather in Virginia this past weekend. It is basically spring, which means all the plants are preparing for spring, and they will probably die when it goes back to freezing weathering. Only the strong shall survive.
D’Arcy and I took advantage of the nice weather by going for a long trail ride at Manassas Battlefield. I think we rode about 8 miles, mixing up walking, trotting, and cantering with an occasional cross country jump we found. The horses got a little sweaty, but weren’t overwhelmed. I’m feeling good about getting them in shape.
However, at one point we were cantering through a field and Berry got a bit strong. I gave her some strong half halts, and then whoopsie, my reins broke (The metal part need the bit fell out). I was galloping through a field with only one rein. I starting to make a large circle, afraid of knocking her off balance, but shockingly, I managed not to panic and thought about stopping her with my body. And she stopped. Truly a marvel to behold: extremely slow and lazy thoroughbred stops when asked.
General question to everyone – how many reins have you broken in your lifetime of riding? This is the second set of reins I’ve broken. Dave thinks this is two too many, and no one should be breaking so many reins.
I will start using those saddle pads that have pockets to carry stuff, and I’ll bring rope with me next time, just in case. Of course, I’m sure once I start carrying it, I’ll never need it. That is probably for the best though.
The end result was I had very, very short reins. My leather has thick stiffness by the bit, so the best way to do it was to switch it so the thick part was by the pommel. I was basically neck reining with one abnormally short rein.
Obviously this didn’t stop us from continuing to trot, but D’Arcy kept Vintage next to me in case I needed a stopper. This highly technical technique can be summed up by ramming one horse into the other horse. Luckily the horses are basically best friends, so what actually happened was, once Berry realized I wanted to keep pace with Vintage, she literally just did that.
I found no ticks after this ride, and therefore, it has redeemed itself since my last visit when I got at least 100 deer ticks on me, and that is not an exaggeration. I was treated for Lyme just in case. But, now that I don’t have ticks or Lyme, I would definitely recommend Manassas Battlefield to anyone in the area. I had so much fun, and there’s still like 12 more miles to explore.
There’s still warm weather in the forecast, so hopefully the good riding will keep coming!