It had been three long weeks since I found myself in the saddle, so a sunny and warmish day had me jumping at the chance to tack up my horse and ride around.
Things are wet here. Like RIDICULOUSLY so. We are about 20 inches over our average for precipitation this year and our conditions are downright depressing. The mud at our place is worse than I have ever seen. It is deep enough that it comes to their pasterns and even deeper in some spots. They have a bit of a crush and run oasis they could use to get out of it, but rarely do I see them standing there.
For the first time in the 10 years we have had the horses at our place, I am bringing them in at night to stand in the stalls and at least have some hours of dry warm footing.
But I digress…back to the ride. We didn’t do much since even the riding arena is slick. It was a great opportunity to slow things down and check out our communication and grade where the responsiveness is. Anyone can walk, trot canter but how effectively can you move an isolated part of your horse’s body? Do the shoulders glide over when you ask? How willing will he move his hind end? Can the ribs flex out while still going forward? Can you place his foot on a target? Does he stop when you sit a little deeper in the saddle? It was a good chance to really be mindful and focus on how in tune we are with one another.
I had allowed the mares into the arena with us while I rode. A good chance to get them out of the mud as well. The pony spent much of our ride following us around. Freckles on the other hand spend the majority of her arena time napping in the sun. I decided it would do her some good to get moving too, so I popped a halter on her and walked her around the arena behind us for about 30 minutes. It was not the most exciting time for any of us but it felt good to be with my horses soaking up the sun. It was particularly cute that Pony continued to follow the three of us around at liberty.