I got to go outside today! Outsideoutsideoutside! Boy was that a surprise! A whole month early, and I was barely ready. It was a gorgeous day. Thirty six degrees and blue skies. Of course, last night was cold. It was only seven degrees this morning, and our carrots had frozen solid in the tack room overnight. Brita had to drop them in the hot wash water to thaw them out.
I spent the morning out back. Yes, I was brave enough to go out there by myself. I explored and had so much fun. I rolled in the snow and my coat was all swishy and crinkly from getting damp and then drying in the sun. Brita came after lunch and immediately put my saddle on. It may have been thirty six degrees out in the sunshine, but it wasn't that warm inside the barn, and my saddle felt like a block of ice. All my tack was cold. Not the bit of course, but the bridle behind my fuzzy ears, and the girth in my warm armpits. Brrrrr... I made some bad faces, but you would have too.
First Brita turned my loose in the arena with my tack on. I took some great big leaps for joy. I was excited at the prospect of being ridden. Pretty soon I pulled up and stood still to let Brita know I had my saddle where I wanted it and I was ready to see what we were going to do. She mounted up and we made a few rounds, but we weren't really interested in going in little circles. We wanted some fresh air and sunshine!
Now the shoulder of the road may be thawed and nice soft sand, but the barn driveway is still hard and frozen thick in ice like an ice rink. So we picked our way around the picnic table and through the yard. Mom was so proud of me for being such a Steady Eddy. I was cautious of things but was very solid and reliable. Brita hadn't even bitted up or put a martingale on me or anything. This was me leaving the driveway last March on my first spring ride. I was well behaved, but a bundle of nerves.
This is me today, sauntering casually up the road on a loose rein. Mom says it's official...I'm a grown up, trained horse. I admit I did feel quite mature and responsible.
We trit-trotted a bit. I was a little more tender footed with my bare feet than I expected. When Brita said I could canter, I was so excited I wasn't sure which leg to use first. I invented a whole new gait which was a mix between a rack and a canter. Brita called in a "ranter". But I got it sorted out. Boy it was great to be able to move out in a straight line on nice smooth footing.
Face-Off and Hairy were out in the paddock. I think Face-Off would have liked to go with me!
We didn't stay out long. Pretty soon we were picking our way back through the snowbanks in the yard back down to the barn.
Even that little bit of exercise warmed me right up and I got to use my new Christmas sweater. It worked great! In no time at all I was dry and comfy and ready to go back to my stall. The carrots were thawed, and I ate one of those. I enjoyed napping in the warm afternoon sun coming through my window, and I felt so good having stretched my legs and seen some sites. The thought of being able to ride outside will give me motivation in my fitness training for the next couple of weeks....or months.