Warm weather & sunshine, finally! Know what that means? You guessed it, riding outside! We trailered Koda & Nemo up to our trainers. Neither of our horses loaded like they usually do, likely sensing our mixed emotions. It would be a one way trip.
After our last ride, I couldn't help but wonder...what would today be like? We arrived to find several riders in the outdoor arena. Koda & I headed over to warm up, where my boy was wide-eyed with the many distractions he had not seen for sooo long. I'm thinking it's been close to a year since we rode outdoors at our trainers. The golf cart, pastured horses, trailers, and cranes added to the wonder. He was a bit distracted. I don't blame him. We would keep the warm up short, as long as he doesn't act like a nut. Eventually we'll progress back to skipping the in-hand warm up. When I asked Koda not to cut the corner I was pleasantly surprised, he listened. No silly theatrics.
Moving on, we walked around the arena in hand first. Something I believe helps. Past the scary stuff just outside the rail. A jump & poles, a barrel, the cart, a swing set, people watching etc. Still wide-eyed, I mounted and took my time working around the obstacles and horses, while progressing gaits. I'm happy to say, he was still listening.
The other riders untacked, and with just three of us remaining in the arena. I decided we were ready to lope. First in a circle, and then down the rail past all the distracting stuff.
I'm still working on feeling the correct lead. Koda is so smooth, even in a counter canter, that I have to look. Not sure if that will ever change, but I'll keep trying.
We were just there to ride. No agenda. I got a "that looks really good" from our trainer. I'll take it. I can't remember the last time I loped. It felt sooo good!! Who doesn't like being pleasantly surprised?! I did a little side passing, turning on the forehand & haunches - I was a little rusty. Not bad tho. Koda hasn't forgotten a thing. Over some poles, around some cones ~ so much fun! Sun shining, riding in short sleeves, in sand, on a horse that listens. I almost forgot how wonderful it feels!!
After we untacked, Koda enjoyed a well-deserved grassy snack. Instead of loading them up, they went into the barn in their newly fluffed stalls. Koda & Nemo will get to enjoy three meals a day, turnout & grass, and consistent exercise, for a little while. We left without them. It's so weird, and such an empty feeling - we have no horses at home to take care of. None. I can get used to no chores, but we miss Koda & Nemo already.
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