Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sometimes you just have to ride

This morning dawned cold, and I thought I wasn't going to go to the barn. I'll wait 'til tomorrow, I thought. I don't want to drive over there...

Inertia nearly took over, and I thought about leaving my boyfriend's place and just going home. But something stopped me. Peeking out the door, I realized it wasn't that cold. Cold enough that no one else would be out riding, but not too cold for me.

I got out the Friesian mare's stuff, and brought her in from the field. She was agreeable, with good ground manners, and soon I was on her back, settling into her swingy walk and riding out the occasional spook. She was looky, stopping and staring at the snow under the door, or the harrow behind a metal gate, or a light patch in the footing. I was annoyed, and a little tense myself. But I kept riding, praising her when she crept past the scary objects. I took her up to a trot, fumbling through the motions of posting and keeping up with a typical Friesian-cross trot when I'm used to my comfortable, smooth operator. But we worked it out. By the end of the ride I was keeping up with her a little better, and she was walking on the rail and listening to me.

And somewhere in there, I just felt better.

I gave the Friesian mare a quick brushing and rubbed her face. She was sweet and cuddly. I returned her to her field and went to get Sofie. She was walking fine, no better, but no worse after our last ride. I set out her magnetic blanket to put on her later, looped her lead through the D rings on her halter, and climbed on her bareback.

I didn't pick up the contact, or do transitions, or do much of anything. I just let her walk freely, and I just rode. My mind calm, I was able to enjoy the moment. The warmth and comfort of her broad back, the soothing rhythm of her walk, the gentle expression in her eye as I watched her in the mirrors. The promise of what's to come.

We've had many setbacks, and much progress has been made. We're not about to be taken out by a mere pulled muscle. It may take until the warm weather comes, but we'll be back. We'll come back.

And until then, I will relax, and ride, and trust. These little things can be the hardest to master.

We'll be alright. We'll be alright. We'll be alright.

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