Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A day of play

I went out to the barn today not sure whether I wanted to ride or not. I had a lot of work waiting for me at home, but on the other hand, I hadn't been out since Friday, and I was really missing my horse. Plus, it was a lovely day — only 30 degrees at the most, though the bright sun made it feel warmer — and after two days of constant snow, I really needed to get out.

I ended up not riding, but I think it was actually good for both of us. I turned Panama out in the outdoor arena — which was untouched since the snow had stopped last night — and let him mosey around for a bit. He has a brand-new interest in eating snow, which I haven't seen him do before. He ate half the snow on the cement mounting block in the middle of the arena!

He also made sure to roll in the snow. He found a good spot and dug it up nicely before rolling. By the time he was done, he was soaked and there was a large patch of upturned arena sand!

He's rolling in front of me more than he used to, so I'm learning his habits. I've learned that I was right that he doesn't like to roll in cold, wet sand or snow — UNLESS he is feeling nice and warm. Today I'd just taken his blanket off, and the sun was deliciously warm for a 30-degree day, which meant rolling in the snow was okay.

I hadn't had breakfast and started feeling a bit lightheaded after ten minutes or so of standing, so I went and found a chair without too much snow on the seat. I sat next to the rail right outside the arena for a while and enjoyed the sun, and Panama stood right next to the rail inside the arena and enjoyed it too.

I was thinking about leaving when Lady's mom arrived to turn her out, so I stayed to let him have some time with his girlfriend. They necked for a little while, ate some snow together, and then I went in with my rope and chased them around a little. There were a few hair-raising moments when I thought Lady was going to run over me at top speed — she isn't as considerate about giving me plenty of space as Panama is — but she didn't! I love watching Panama run — he moves so effortlessly, even when he's really digging in to get up to speed.

After putting Panama back in his corral, I chatted with another boarder and one of my trainer's adult students. It turns out both of us like to go for trail rides, so I have another potential trail buddy to ride with once the weather improves and the trails dry out.

Anyway, I was still worrying at this point that I probably should have ridden, as both Panama and I need the practice, but then I remembered the change in him while he was on two weeks of rest. Panama seems to do better when I occasionally visit without riding; he seems to really appreciate "play time." So I decided that's what today was — a time for us to relax and spend some time together without any pressure. We'll be riding again soon enough (probably tomorrow)!



At February 10, 2010 at 7:22 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Sometimes I think we think too much about riding. I know I have a better relationship with my horse by just visiting. All I have to do is call and they come wandering over (Sometimes at breakneck speed) no treats involved.

At February 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM, Blogger Sally said...

Sounds like the two of you spent some good quality time relaxing together.


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