Yes, it’s actually warm enough (relatively speaking) to ride a bit! Monday was definitely on the relative end of warm, with freezing wind so that I was trying to ride in thick gloves with a hat under my helmet (thank goodness for adjustable helmet dials). The others were all in the lanes, while Lucky had been working on his hay pile in the open pasture, so instead of trying to sort the other four out of the arena, I just saddle him inside, then took him back into the pasture and shut the gate. It’s bigger than the ring and nearly as flat. Given the hardest work Lucky’s done since before Christmas is some intermittent lunging, Monday was almost entirely walking, while today we were hampered by my being a bigger flake than usual. Monday, I brought home the girth from the hunt saddle to clean. Today, I completely forgot about it and there are no spare English girths at the barn. So, I threw on the western saddle instead, though with the regular bridle and rubber mullen dee. This time we did have the ring to ourselves, and again, there was mostly walking. Despite it not being the most comfortable thing, I managed to post the trot rather than sit–I’m still not quite convinced his back isn’t a bit sore, and in any case it’s good exercise.
I was mildly excited by one development–there are still two sets of standards up in the ring that I’d used last fall. One set’s empty, while the second in the line had a crossrail in it. Someone’s knocked the rails down, so they’re basically a double ground pole. As Lucky always needs work picking up his feet I turned him through the first set of standards at the walk and pointed him at the rails. I didn’t ask for anything in particular (especially considering the saddle horn right in front of me), but his head came up, ears forward, and he picked up a trot of his own accord. He didn’t really jump or put in more effort than he had to, but I take it as a good sign he at least remembers what the standards are for and will voluntarily pick up the pace. Even if he isn’t overly enthusiastic about it.