Sunday I did a riding brick.
For those of you not on intimate terms with triathlon training lingo, a brick is a back to back workout. Usually a swim followed by a bike ride. Or a bike ride followed by a run.
The purpose is to get your body used to the transition of moving from one activity to another without completely collapsing.
I did special kind of brick this weekend. A horse ride followed by a bike ride!
Now Voyager was spectacular. I’d skipped the barn on Saturday since temps were near triple digits and Mr. NV would NOT have been happy to have a saddle on his back.
But on Sunday the coastal fog and cool temps had returned and NV was feeling spunky in the early morning quiet.
We started with our usual walk-trot-walk transitions and serpentines around the arena. His rhythm was choppy and his head kept popping up. “No, I do not choose to be on the bit today,” he was grumbling under his breath.
Always happy to move onto the canter work – he is, after all, bred to run – I let him move forward in big loping strides before bringing him back on a 20 meter spiral for some collected work. Which he did beautifully.
Is there any better feeling than a horse really stepping under and carrying himself in a balanced frame? You horsey people know what I’m talking about. The rest of you will just have to trust me on this.
As a reward I let him chew the bit down into a long frame as we trotted on a giant figure eight to warm down.
Stretching down and maintaining an even and rhythmic pace Now Voyager took big trot strides. I was officially stunned. The things this amazingly athletic animal can do.
I was sort of afraid to breathe thinking I might break the spell, but my boy was in the zone. It was sheer heaven.
He was such a star that I let him roll in the arena after taking off all his tack. He does so love to roll.
After preparing his grain and mucking out the stall (don’t mix those two up!) I brushed off all the dirt and put my super horse away.
Then into my cycling clothes and onto the bike I went. I’m only cycling once a week at the moment and I miss it so much.
Since I was limited on time I vowed to push hard all 17 miles and make the most of the ride. I chugged up the hills and flew down the hills and had a ball. I even reveled in the headwind that is ever-present heading north along the coast.