I never grow tired of the splendor of horses.
This morning when I went to get Dawn from the turnout, it was very cold - the temperature was maybe 20F and the wind chill was in the single digits. As I came into the pasture, I got to see Dawn galloping across the side of the big hill. As she galloped, every couple of strides, she would give a huge buck - she looked exuberant and full of life. And once she got to the top of the hill, she saw me and turned and galloped down the hill towards me. As she got close, I held up a hand, and she halted and waited for me to walk up and halter her. Her eyes were bright and she was brimming with energy. We went inside after our usual stop at the water tank - she had a big drink.
After all that cavorting, and considering how cold it was and how the arena was humming and buzzing and the doors banging loudly in the wind, I wasn't sure how she'd be, but I just saddled up and got right on. And she was just about perfect. We walked and trotted for about 20 minutes and she was perfectly responsive and pretty relaxed. When we were passing close to one of the doors and it banged particularly loudly, she might slightly flinch, but that was all. We stopped our ride after about 20 minutes as she seemed a bit stiff when tracking right - not off but not moving as freely as normal either. I told her what a wonderful brave mare she was.
Red and Pie have been working well. Red, poor fellow, is quite stiff when he first starts trotting, but the good news is that it improves quite a bit as we work. I try to work him up to the point where he starts to warm up and move better, and a little past that but not too much to preserve his fitness. He's also better if I work him almost every day - he's stiffer if he's had a day or two off. Pie's corners and bending continue to do very well, and he's feeling much more "connected" to me lately - more on that in another post - both when we're together grooming and on the ground, and under saddle.
The splendor of horses . . .