On Friday Brena bucked going into canter, a sign of high spirits I thought. The grass has gown in the pastures after a rainy day. Her surfeit of energy indicated longer rides over the weekend.
So far I've given her two longer rides, each between three and four hours. That's enough to leave my back and hips aching. I think that mare may have more miles in her than I do. I've twenty years and twenty thousand miles of riding wear and tear on my body. She's ten and has a quarter of my mileage.
This afternoon I was riding to a deadline, which was being home in time to go out for dinner. I dislike time constraints when I'm trail riding. Perhaps something of interest will grab my attention and I'll head off to explore. Maybe I should get off and walk a mile to loosen up hips and back. Or simply stop for a while to doze in the long grass whilst Brena grazes. But, no, I have to ride on. That's antithetical to the freedom that I seek on the trail. Call me fussy, but weekend riding should be a refuge from the deadlines and pressures of the weekday work world. Indeed weekend trail rides can become a whole other terrain into which I vanish for long hours, emerging tired but refreshed.
To my way of thinking, deadlines are bad for Brena too. Why should I rush her along merely because of some artificial constraint of mine? She's a curious mare and loves to stop and look at things. It's nice to stop and graze part-way around, indeed it's a reward to allow her a pause. After all she does carry me many miles both safely and willingly. So telling Brena to get a move on because I'm trying to fit too much into the day just doesn't seem right. No, I'd like us to get back simply when we do, in our own time, unrushed, content.