We tacked up, and I also put the Renegades on Arya for the first time to ride in them. So far she's only worn them when turned out in the arena, but she didn't bat an eye. But of course I was still a bit nervous about how that would go. I also turned on the heart rate monitor to try that out again, and I lunged her around a bit before getting on, to try out the boots and get her focused.
We started off at a walk. Arya looked askance at some trash, but otherwise was very eager to head out down the trail, ears forward. We looped around on lots of roads out there. Since it was double-track, we were able to ride abreast quite a bit, but we also practiced leading and following (with a bit of distance).
After a good warmup, we did a tentative, slow trot. Her boots stayed on and Arya didn't seem to mind them at all, so we did another longer trot. We took a couple photos of the gorgeous sunset at some point:
|Not bad, for a cell phone photo!|
|The photo is a bit blurry (digital zoom plus after-camera cropping), but it was cool to see the hawk up in the tree|
Then, after letting her eat a bit, Arya got a snarky attitude the next time we tried to trot, so we ended up having most of the rest of the ride be walking. Aargh. I mean, it's my fault for being a nervous nelly, so that aargh is mostly at myself and a little bit at Arya for being obnoxious. I really need to get over this whole nervousness thing. Ugh. We'll be doing a nice long ride this weekend. Hopefully everything will be fine and it'll instill a bit more confidence. One day at a time.
So the boots were absolutely fine, didn't twist, didn't come off, didn't bother Arya a bit (well, she tripped when I lunged her a bit at first, but she did fine on the trail). The heart rate monitor didn't work again, but I realized the user error a little ways into the ride--I hadn't plugged one of the leads back into the unit (you have to unplug at least one lead between rides so it doesn't wear down the battery trying to transmit to the watch unit). Oops.