Riding Alone

Yes, I know it’s probably not the smartest thing. I realize that even if I have my cell phone in my pocket (never in a saddle bag) I could wind up on the ground unable to call. I still love it when I show up and I’m the only one there. My dance instructor is in Ohio, but a work conference meant I just couldn’t justify going, so I had Friday afternoon free for the barn. Today everyone was already in the stalls, and even Cream Cat (he looks a bit like a fat seal-point Siamese and wants NOTHING to do with human contact) was in the tack room out of the wind. The horses have straw again for winter and are all cozy, so of course I had to haul his comfy butt out and get some of the dust out of the fuzz. (No, I don’t body-clip. I do clear a little bit under the girth but I don’t really want the BO to have to be pulling a blanket on and off constantly when he grows a perfectly decent coat.) I’d been debating whether or not to ride or just lunge or hand-walk him, as it’s been windy and cold all day (though not snowing like yesterday) but everything just seemed so wide-open and rideable I couldn’t resist. Lucky I’m sure could have totally resisted right back to his stall but he ambled out to the ring without too much objecting. We did a little trotting, and I popped him over the crossrail again. He’s getting so much better at the whole concept of going forward to the jump (while weirdly needing to hesitate, drop his head, and stare at ground poles) and moving on afterwards. I still don’t think he’s ever going to be master of the show ring or a field hunter (for a start at the gallop, even a slow one, he poops out after a quarter mile) but he’s slowly grasping the concept.

Then, since no one was in it, I took him out for a canter in the big pasture. Normally Vandy, Sky, and Peanut are turned out there, but as they were all wrapped up in the barn I had the whole thing to myself. Lucky felt a little stiff (fair enough, it’s cold) so we didn’t canter too long, but big trots are more easily achieved when you have lots of open space. As it was after three it was already starting to get dark, but since it was clear today we had plenty of light. The only observer was Dom, watching out the back of the barn.

Sometimes a long hack in the cold is all you really need.

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