I watched the movie Secretariat last night. So I was inspired to ride and ride fast today. Gunner and I started on our usual 9 mile loop, hoping to add some bursts of speed today. My dream would be to let him run on a real race track just to see how fast he can really go. I've never let him go wide open for fear I wouldn't be able to stop and I was working on control and building him up. His breeders told me never to worry about speed, that would come naturally. I had seen him kicking it up in the pasture so there was no doubt that he is one fast horse.
Unfortunately the NCDOT had scraped and added more rock to my perfectly groomed packed gravel roads. I was so disappointed and now had to settle on riding along side the road again until I reached the NC Wildlife Gamelands that are a few miles down the road.
However, they missed one gravel road that is about 3 miles long and only 1 house, but lots of dogs. I cantered up the hill, then I felt him faster and faster, so I stood up and quit pulling on his face. He was ignoring me anyways so what good was I doing except annoying him. We were flying! And all I can manage to think is how hard that packed road is going to be. It sounded like running on concrete. Then I had a slight panic attack, I forgot to put on his breast collar. Now I am invisioning the saddle slipping and rolling under his belly at 30 mph. I tried to slow down, but there was no luck. Finally after about 1/2 a mile of asking to stop and with a one-rein rip your damn face off, he finally bounced to a stop. He was literally pogo/ pepe le pew stopping. So we finally turned back and pranced back down the road til we came back to the stop sign. He stopped, and I dismounted and tightened girth and rearranged my breeches that were twisted around my knees and had somehow worked their way up my torso.
I got back on and walked quietly the last few miles. Still trying to recover from the adrenaline and shaking in my knees, Gunner was quit proud of himself! I did take note the wildlife I saw this ride. One flock of turkeys, mostly long-beards that took flight about 50 ft in front of us. I thought Gunner would spin and run but he froze like a statue and I felt his heart pounding like a drum. I also saw a momma deer and her two yearling babies flagging their fluffy white tails as the leaped through the barren cotton fields. It was such a pleasure to see the wildlife from horseback and I don't ever want to take for granted how lucky I am to enjoy nature the way I am allowed to.
Just one day I would love to let him open up on a track, better yet, watch someone else do it.