Monday, October 31, 2011

House Cat Tip of the Month

House Cat Tip of the Month

I thought of this one when I brought my plants in for the winter. Thunder is fascinated and loves poking around in them. He doesn’t try to eat the plants, too much, but to discourage him from that idea, I put long stalks of grass from outside in them.

Now, he noses around in them, finds his grass and nibbles on that. It keeps him entertained, protects the plants, and best of all, gives him something safer to eat than houseplants.

Of course, I use grass that doesn’t have anything sprayed on it that might hurt him.

(pictures are Stormy, my sister's cat.)

Fun with Horses

We had a nice, horse weekend. The river wasn’t crossable, but our younger niece came out, and she made it fun for us. I started out riding Cole in the arena. He had a lackluster day. I then let my niece take him down the hill to the river. He was pretty good for her, and she is getting used to his bouncy walk down hills. When we got to the bottom, we let her trot on the flat part a bunch of times. Cole has a normal trail trot, and she was posting is beautifully. (She can’t manage his arena trot, but most people can’t.) I think she had fun with him. He was fine going back up the hill.

Then, we saddled up Cruiser and Ranger. My sister came with us on foot. We did the hill 3 times. At the bottom, we did do some trotting, and Cruiser showed his true colors as he burst past Ranger at a canter. Once he got in the lead, he was happy to trot. Ranger handled it well—but then he is used to it from Cruiser. May Cruiser never grow old…

Sunday, the river was low enough, so my sister and I took Ranger and Cole up to the show ring trails and had a really nice ride. It was a frosty morning—glad we had our thermal underwear on! I then took Cruiser on a quick 5-mile ride. He was in a great mood. We rode across the ford, and the only 2 motorcycles to brave the chilliness had to pass us when we were in the middle of it. He got scared and tried to run off towards home, but I was able to contain him. That certainly got our adrenaline going. It took a while to settle him down.

On the way home, we met my boyfriend on Starry and my sister on foot. We all ambled home, chatting.

Anyone looking to rent a house?

These are pictures of the house my brother and I bought.  We are going to make some revisions to it and then rent it out.  Isn't it cute?  It isn't as big as it looks in the pictures, though.

I think this is all a great idea, but it is still a scary thing to do.  I hope we can find a nice tenant who wants to stay in it for a long time...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Farrier Night

Last night was farrier night. my sister and I come out to the barn after work. Sometimes, the farrier gets there before us because he does another horse at our stables. When he finishes, he starts Cruise and Ranger. He waits for me to do Cole so I could help with holding him.

When I got there, my sister was talking to him and there were no horses in the crossties. I was surprised and wondered what was going on. My sister said that they started Cole, and he was so bad that they put him in the stall to wait for me to get there. I was disappointed. I have been working hard the last 2 weeks reviewing his training. She said he was kicking and rearing and biting—now, I started to get skeptical. That didn’t sound like my Cole Train.

She was kidding. He was perfect. The only thing he did wrong was nibble the farrier and chew the crossties. When she got there, he was nearly done and only wanted to know if I wanted the shoes back on or not.

Alas, with the impending doom of winter, snow, ice, cold and a frozen river that we won’t cross, we decided to pull Ranger’s and Cole’s shoes. I leave them on Cruiser because he seems to need the support with his healed bowed tendon and carpal tunnel syndrome. Last year when I pulled them, he quickly became lame. He did fine when I put them back on. (The vet said to keep them on, but I thought I would see what happened…)

The ponies get the day off, today. I am going to a local play with my boyfriend. We will be back on Saturday with my youngest niece…

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Evening Rides

There was only a little daylight after work and the river was too high to cross, again. I rode Cruiser up and down the hill three times. He was quite energetic, and even did some gaiting up the hill. (Cruiser has standard gaits, but he also does a stepping pace when he is excited. He can get quite fast. He must have gotten it from his Morgan side, as there are gaited Morgans.) When we got back to the barn, it started to rain, lightly. Perfect timing. It rained the rest of the night.

I worked Cole in the arena. Since I took him on the 2.5 hour trail ride with a lot of trotting just the day before, I planned a quiet ride. I’m glad to say he had just as much energy as a typical day. Still, I didn’t push him too hard. We did some trotting, got our 10 clickable walk/trot transitions, worked on our corners and straight sides at a walk, threw in some trotting and then started something new—walk/whoa transitions using the reins. I might have taught him that last year, but he stops quite well with a verbal command—I have gotten lazy. I realized we needed to get a solid stop with the reins. It didn’t take long—maybe 5 tries and he understood it. I only clicked him for perfect halts. I will review this lesson a lot, since it is a good one for warm ups and walk breaks.

We then had to show off to everyone how he picks up my whip if I drop it. he loves picking things up, so it is a good way to reward him for being such a good boy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Steady Trotting Home

Steady Trotting Home

The trails by our barn do not form any sort of loop. Basically, we ride out to our desired distance, turn around and come back. There are a few tiny loops, but they join the main trail, so the horses get that definite feeling that they are headed home.

Most horses will travel faster on the way home than on the way out—that is a given. Horses like to be home where their friends are. This doesn’t happen if we are riding Cruiser and Ranger together. They seem to feel that they are the herd and there is nothing to rush home to. By themselves, though, they step up the pace, too.

A faster gait on the way home if fine, but it must be a steady and controllable gait. It was time to teach Cole this lesson.

We have practiced trotting towards home with Ranger, and Cole seems happy to follow along at the speed of Range. It taught him a lot. Now, it was time to work on doing it alone.

As of writing this, we have gone on 3 long rides as described above. We did do some trotting towards home for short stretches with mixed results. On the third ride, we went further than ever. I didn’t want to do a lot of walking back because it would have taken forever. It was time to work on long stretches of trotting back to the herd.

Shortly after turning around to go towards home, I asked him to trot. He went very, very fast. After about ten seconds with no slowing, regardless of what I did, I decided it was time to start all over. Cole reluctantly stopped when I asked him to. We walked a bit, and then I asked him to trot. This time, he went even faster, and before I knew it, we were cantering—and he didn’t want to stop. I had to do the old “swerve to the left—swerve to the right” a few times to slow him down. Once he got to the trot, I turned him around a tree until he was going away from home, and we walked a little bit. It was clear that I had to come up with a plan.

We were heading back towards home, and I asked him for a trot. A few strides later, before he could gain speed, I said “whoa” and clicked for the stop. We did that a few more times. Each time, he was more cooperative about stopping. I got his attention.

My next step was to allow him to trot, and this time click him for slowing down when I asked him. We did this 4-5 times—I don’t remember how many times—and each time, he improved, but I noticed that he didn’t stop right away to get his treat. He kind of just coasted down to a walk.

The flash bulb went off. I didn’t need clicker, now. What Cole really wanted was to keep trotting. I would use that as my reward. I asked him to trot, and of course, he rushed off, again. I asked him to slow down, and when he did, I eased up on the reins, told him how good he was and let him just continue to trot at that nice speed. If he didn’t slow down, I would stop him and try it, again. (This actually didn’t happen, but it was part of the plan.) He made the connection. I didn’t have any more troubles with him the rest of the way home. When he sped up more than I wanted him, I asked him to slow, he did and then we just went on our merry way.

We did a fair amount of transitions, threw in some walk breaks and smiled all the while. We walked the last half hour except for one section of trail that was fairly close to home. I wanted to test him. We were close enough that Cruiser and Ranger will sometimes give us trouble if we trot there. We trotted 3 separate trots on that trail. The first two were perfect, but the last one, he didn’t respond to my slow down requests. He still stopped, though, when I asked him.

Overall, I think it was an excellent training session. The active training part didn’t take much more than 5 minutes. The rest was easy. Clicker helped, but figuring out that sometimes there are things that are more important than carrots helped, too. Clicker merely explained to him what I wanted.

It was a two and a half hour ride, with nearly an hour and a half of trotting. The weather was perfect and my horse just keeps getting better and better. I sure wish winter wasn’t right around the corner…

Monday, October 24, 2011

4-day weekend of rain...again

Yes, another rained out long weekend for my sister and me…

Thursday, the river was too high. We rode Cruiser and Ranger up and down the hill 3 times. I worked with Cole in the arena, and we had fun. My sister rode him for a little bit, and it was nice because then I could watch him. He is quite a sight. I then led him down to the river as a reward.

Friday, the river was still way to high to cross. This time, we rode Cruiser and Ranger in the arena, too, so we could get some good exercise. Cruiser is doing so much better this year than last. I am optimistic that we may be able to get back some of what we used to have…Ranger did very well, too. We then rode them down the hill, once. I rode Cole in the arena. A woman who had seen him last week came over to video him to show her daughter. When she left, Cole started to do some amazing things.

His one fault in trotting is that he has been carrying his head too low. I didn’t push the issue, but just gave him time to find himself. Well, he trotted a few steps with his head in the correct position, so I clicked him. Being a good clicker horse, he then repeated it right away. I clicked him about 10 times for it, and then just let him keep trotting. My sister videoed him for me so I could affirm that his gait was still proper. I’m glad to say it was. We practiced it for about 5 minutes, and at the end, he started some new movement that felt like floating. I don’t know what he did, but my sister said it was beautiful. She had already put her camera away. We quit, then, and went down the hill to the river.

Then we waited for the vet to come out to give fall shots. She also did Cole and Ranger’s teeth. Cruiser was fine.

Saturday, the river was still too high. We rode Cruiser and Ranger on the hill. Cole’s arena ride was a little shorter because the arena got too crowded to work. He was trotting with his head up, again, but he also discovered he could go faster that way! We were trotting like we were on the trail—channeling his Dan Patch heritage (famous Standardbred he is related to.) When he slowed up, I clicked him. Since we quit early, I don’t know how it would have developed. We then went down the hill.

Sunday, we were finally able to cross the river and took Cole and Ranger out together for an hour and a half. It was a gorgeous day. Ranger was feeling his oats, and he did lots of silly things. Cole was consistently well-behaved. I took Cruiser out for a 5-mile blast, and we had a terrific time. Finally, a trail-riding day!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Evening Rides

It was a lovely night for riding, yesterday. My boyfriend got in the saddle before I got there—I got caught in traffic. I saddled up Cruiser, and away we went to meet his buddy Starry. Cruiser knew the game, and as usual, I had to keep slowing him down. We met them about 20 minutes later, and I talked my boyfriend into turning around and continuing with us until the next river crossing. it was such a pretty night, that it didn’t take much coaxing. Even his horse didn’t mind turning away from home—but of course, he had his best friend, Cruiser with him.

I rode Cole in the indoor arena. You may recall that I have had some confidence issues with him in there. My confidence, not his. Well, I rode with 4 other horses, and I trotted all around with them. I think I have finally slain the dragon. He was as well-behaved as always. I think we will be able to manage winter with riding in the indoor arena with all the other horses just fine, this year. He was doing his “big trot.” We were riding with big TBs and a QH, and they were quietly plodding about. Then here comes tiny (14.2) Cole Train—boom-boom-boom-boom…trotting like a dressage king. He doesn’t go that fast. When he trots like that, he slows the beat down and steps with great power. He was quite a contrast to the horses we were with.

He was doing so well, that a couple times, when we took a stretch break, I dropped the whip intentionally so he could pick it up for me. He loves that game.

The boys get the day off, today, so I can catch up with things at home. I have a Thursday and Friday off—they are predicting a lot of rain…

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Long Rainy Weekend

A long weekend for us, at least this year, means rain.

The weather was great on Thursday. My sister and I planned to go on our favorite ride with Cole and Ranger up to the show ring.10 minutes down the trail, we had to turn around. The electric company was trimming the trees under the wires by the trail. To make matters worse, the trail that we would take to get away from them goes out to the street by a bridge—and there were construction workers repairing it. They were blocking the trail. we turned around and went the other direction on the trail. (Later on, they were using a jackhammer on the bridge—I’m so glad we didn’t try to get through the construction.)

We went on a nice ride, just the same, for about an hour and a half total. We did a lot of trotting and managed a little bit of cantering. The foliage was gorgeous and the temperature was moderate.

When I got back with Cole, I took Cruiser out for an easy ride for about an hour.

Thursday night, it rained pretty hard, and the river that is close by the start of the trail was too high to cross. We rode Cruiser up and down the hill leading to the river 3 times. I then worked Cole in the indoor arena. He did pretty good, and he earned a lot of clicks. I woman that I know was visiting our barn, and she had never seen Cole in action. I told her to watch him trot, and she was stunned. I love seeing people’s reactions to his trot. She is going to have some of her dressage friends come out to see him. It is amazing that the horse I bought for a trail horse has so much natural talent. I tried to canter him with no success. I then took him down to the river to cool off.

Saturday was extremely windy. My sister was hesitant to go out, but I talked her into a short ride with Cruiser. They were fine, and no trees fell. (We have experienced so many tree falls while riding, I have lost count.)

I then took Cole on the same distance ride with the plan of working on our canter transitions. I planned on clicking him for the transition. Well, that didn’t work. He slammed on the breaks so fast to get his treat that we went sliding! We had to stick with “good boys” after that. We had some good ones, and we had some bad ones. The bad ones consisted of big bucks from excitement. We were going on the same trail over and over. I moved down to a different section of trail, and I got a good transition but more speed than I wanted. I rode it out, tried it again and he was more reasonable. My last transition was excellent and the speed was right. I hope he remembers our lessons that we had this day.

Sunday, my sister and I decided to go on our show ring ride that we wanted to do on Thursday. After about a half hour, it started to rain lightly. We figured it wouldn’t last. We rode on to our destination and all the way home in the rain. It rained all day…Cole was in a funny mood, so it wasn’t the best of rides. Every now and then, he gets that way. He bolted/spooked a couple times and tried passing Ranger without permission. He wasn’t as relaxed, either. Still, he went down the big hill the best, ever.

Since it was still raining, Cruiser got the day off. we just led him in the indoor arena for a half hour to help with his insulin. He seemed happy just to follow us around. He likes to walk with me on one side and my sister on the other side, so he can take turns nuzzling us.

I’m riding this evening after work, so I am hoping the river isn’t too high so I can get Cruiser out for a bit. There isn’t enough daylight to ride both on the trail, so I will work Cole in the indoor.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Second big ride

On Monday afternoon, I saw what the weather forecast looked like, I wasn’t too busy at work, so I decided to take yesterday off. What a great decision. The weather was perfect for trail riding.

My sister works second shift and usually rides in the mornings. I took Cruiser with her and Ranger for a short ride. She was really happy to have the company.

When we got back, she went to work and I saddled up Cole. We were going to go on our second long solo ride. Unlike last week, the river was low, so we crossed at all 4 crossings. I didn’t like the third crossing. There was no good path through the big rocks. Cole was a dream going through them, though. From now on, I will be going on the river ford as I have the last few years with Cruiser.

The big river crossing was great. This is the first time he crossed it by himself. He marched right in and crossed like a champ.

We had a few issues. We went through the busy intersection, and once we reached the trail, he bolted forward. I was able to stop him right away, but then he did it about 30 seconds later. Once again, I stopped him. Shortly after, on the other side of thanks, big river, he bolted up the bank. I didn’t know what to make of it, but I started trotting, and he went really, really fast for the first minute. I then decided he was just responding to excitement. He didn’t do it any after that.

We trotted a lot on the way out, and once he settled, he did pretty well. A few times, he stopped on his own, but that was the only problem. We also trotted on the way home when we were far away. At first, he was steady and responsive when I asked him to return to a walk, but the closer we got to home, the faster he went and the less cooperative he was about stopping. Of course, that is what I would expect. I was clicking all of his good downward transitions on the way home. I didn’t click the bad ones.

He wasn’t too concerned about the Brookpark Bridge, this time. I clicked him for that. He was a little worried when he saw the 480 bridge, but he did better than he did with the Brookpark Bridge last week. I clicked for good behavior. We turned around just past the second bridge to go home.

A few times, on the way home, he tried to trot without permission, and I brought him to a halt and started again. To help explain what I wanted, I then clicked a few times for a quiet walk. He then saw the light, and stayed at a walk.

We planned to walk the last half hour home, but 15 minutes into it, we found my boyfriend on his horse, Starry. He wanted to go on a longer ride, so I turned back with Cole and rode away from home for a while. Cole didn’t like that, and he tried to spin to go home, once. We put Starry ahead of him, and then he quietly followed him. I clicked him a few times for that, too.

We made it home. With my backtracking with Starry, the ride turned out to be 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was a little longer than expected. I am giving him this evening off, and I will just ride Cruiser in the rain. Yes, after 10 days of sun, the rain is back. At least we got a break after a rainy, rainy year.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunny weekend with lots of trail riding

Finally! A sunny weekend! I rode on trail, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was awesome.

Friday was just a quick trail ride on Cruiser before sunset. I then rode Cole in the arena. I am so glad I am going to start feeding on Friday evenings next month. We are supposed to feed at 8:00, and the feeder fed at 6:45. It is just hay, so I let Cole eat while I cleaned our stalls. When I was done, I took him in the arena. Wow, was he crabby. He kept trying to go to the gate, didn’t pay as good attention as he usually does and just didn’t want to cooperate. This is the first time I have taken him away from his hay for an arena ride. Sure, a horse should learn to behave under such adverse conditions, but I would just prefer not to go through it all. I have been feeding on Mondays and Wednesdays, and it is great that I can control the feeding time. The little bit of money helps, too.

Saturday, my sister and I took Cruise and Ranger on a 5 mile ride with a lot of walking so we could talk. I then took Cole on the same ride alone with a lot of trotting and some cantering. He had trouble getting going into the canter, but when he did, he flew. I’m glad to say I didn’t have any trouble stopping, but he was very excited, after that. it took a bit to calm him down. I need to do more cantering with him.

Sunday, we took Cole and Ranger up to the show ring area, and there we did lots of trotting—more than ever. He was nearly perfect, too. We did the front loop trail, which we haven’t been doing with them, and they were both great. These trails are right by a stable that we used to keep Cruise, Ranger and Mingo. They have been silly up there, ever since. They get excited about going towards that barn, and pout when we leave it. Cole, of course, isn’t doing this—he is the opposite. This works to our advantage. I am trying to teach him to trot quietly towards home. Since Ranger is pouting and trotting slow, and since we have worked hard to teach Cole not to pass other horses without permission, he will trot slowly behind Ranger. I then took Cruise on a 4.5 mile ride. He did great, of course. He always does.

My goal with Cole is to get him as good as Cruiser—and it seems like we are going to make it! Plus, since I am older and wiser, I am teaching Cole things to make him better than Cruiser. (Such as not passing up other horses, not trying to race and better downward transitions.)

Long weekend coming up…

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Big Ride

The Big Ride

Last month, I was so frustrated with the weather. Only once, near the beginning of the month, I was able to ride Cole with Ellen on Ranger past the big river. From then on, even though we took vacation time, we never had another chance to repeat the ride. I wanted to do it a couple more times with Ranger before I tried it on my own. It just didn’t work out the way I planned.

The first weekend of October came and went without us stepping one hoof on the other side of the river. where is all this rain coming from? That weekend, there was an article in the newspaper stating that we are nearing the record for the rainiest recorded year in Cleveland.

I was getting antsy about going on a long ride with Cole. I decided I would do it with or without Ellen—whichever came first. As soon as I got a chance, I would take a day off of work and go.

The weather took a turn for the better, and on the first Tuesday of the month, I decided the first Wednesday of the month would be perfect. I got the day off from my job. Everything was set. That is, until I found out the river was still very, very high on Tuesday afternoon. Ugh.

I woke up Wednesday morning with a smile on my face. This was going to be the big day, if I could only cross the river. I decided to take Cruiser for a short ride, first. As we neared the river, I couldn’t believe it was still on the high side. In fact, it was higher than any day I have ever crossed with Cole. I carefully crossed with Cruiser with no problems, got some good trotting in and brought him back to the barn.

Next horse, Cole Train. It was cool and sunny; a perfect day to ride. My pockets were loaded with carrots. I was all set for our big adventure.

The first challenge was crossing the river. He didn’t like the looks of it and was very hesitant as we neared it. I asked him to step forward into the water. As soon as he did, I clicked and treated him. That got his attention. He knew the game.

It was well over his knees, which isn’t so bad, butt the current was very strong. I clicked every few steps. About halfway across, he plunged his face into the water and started drinking. This was a first. He has never drunk from the river before, regardless how hot the weather was. We walked to the other side and turned left. This is also a first. We have only gone solo to the right, reserving the other direction for rides with Ranger to the show ring. He seemed a little surprised and hesitant to start with, but soon he was walking along happily.

I decided to cross the next river crossing instead of going on the concrete ford like we usually do with Ellen. (She prefers it to the river.) I have had a little trouble with him, here, in the past, but he stepped right in. I clicked him. It was deeper over here, but the current was very slow, so I wasn’t concerned about it. Neither was he. We made it across without any difficulty.

The next section of trail is a great place to trot, so we moved on out. He was excited and went a bit faster than he typically does with Ranger. Once, he burst into a canter. Yes, Cole was in a good mood.

The next big obstacle with another river crossing. I opted to go on the concrete ford with the cars on this one. I am just not very familiar with that river crossing to try it on a day when the water was deep and muddy. Only single car passed us. I clicked him a lot for walking quietly.

So far, so good. It was only about 5 minutes later that we reached the “big” river crossing. It was very deep and ominous looking. Though we crossed it last time with Ranger, I decided to go on the bridge with the cars. This is a pretty long bridge, and we go alongside the rail that overlooks the river below. I didn’t know how he would do his first time, but he proved, once again, that he is a wonderful horse. It helped that the “horse gods” were looking out for us, and not single car passed us, again! He got lots of clicks.

Once we got to the other side, I breathed a sigh of relief. There were no more roads or rivers to cross until we turned back for home. Now it was just time to ride and have fun. So we did.

We did a lot of trotting, and after about 5 minutes, he settled down to a moderate speed and a nice even rhythm. Finally, I was riding the way I like to. We approached the Brookpark Bridge. It spans the whole valley and is huge. I forgot that it looked scary, but Cole told me right away. One of the legs of the bridge is very close to the trail, and from that spot, we can see the whole underbelly of the bridge. Throw in the noise of the cars going overhead, and it all looked and sounded like a horse eating monster! This was the first time ever that Cole was truly afraid of something while I was riding him. He refused to go under the bridge. Instead, he showed me how good he has gotten at backing up.

I asked him to stop, and when he did, I sighed and had him stand quietly while I talked to him. About 30 seconds later, I asked him to take a step, and he did. I clicked him for it, and I noticed him relax a little as he took the treat from my hand. I asked for a few more steps, which he took readily, and I clicked again. We kept this up until we got to the other side. Since I knew the next bridge is only a half mile away, I decided to turn back and go home instead of overload him emotionally.

I turned, and he said, “No way! That’s a horse-eating monster!” We repeated the whole process until we got to the other side. On the way back, we did short stretches of trotting, and we would stop when he got too excited. Trotting home always gets horses a bit wound up the first few times. I want him to form good habits. So I don’t like him to practice the bad ones. Besides, I want the walk to be his default gait. I spent too many rides convincing him that he should walk quietly when he preferred to trot, to mess it up now. At one point, I gave him a long walk break, and then when I asked him to trot, he was perfect. I think I just gave him a chance to realize he was tired!

Back at the bridge over the big river crossing—we now had to ride on the other side. In one sense, it is easier because we can take the paved bike path that is by the side of the road—keeping us out of traffic. On the other hand, it is a little more complicated because we have to go between the bridge rail on one side and the rail of the pathway on the other. Some horses are bothered by them. Not Cole. The other difficulty is sharing the path with bikes passing right next to us. There, we lucked out, since not a single bike came by. I think he would have been fine, but it is nice to introduce him to something new without anything else to mess things up.

The rest was easy. The river ford was uneventful. A few minutes later, I found Kevin on Starry coming out to meet us, and we went home with them. Cole seemed tired, and didn’t even care that Starry was there. He just walked quietly home. The ride was 2 and a quarter hours of heavenly bliss for me. I am hoping it is the first of many more.

I smiled all day long.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More Rain

We have had more than 20 inches rain above normal this year, and we are closing in to break a record.  What does this mean?  We had another rained out weekend.  Friday, I rode Cruiser on the hill to the river and Cole in the arena.  Saturday, we rode all the horses in the arena, as it was raining.  Sunday, we took Cruiser and Ranger on the hill.  I rode Cole in the arena, and then we headed to the hill, too.  Monday, I rode Cruiser on the hill.  I think I may be able to cross the river, tomorrow.

This is simply ridiculous.  We are supposed to have a good run of dry weather, for a while.  I hope so.  I have more vacation scheduled, and I want to get some good rides in.