Lily was somewhat of a fire-breathing dragon on the cross ties, swinging from side to side constantly, screaming at every horse that walked by, and pooping every 5 minutes. Yep: the Mareface was in heat. One thing I hate about winter is that the second temps hit above 40, she gets her panties all up in a bunch. At least I can sort of predict it, I guess...
Kathy had to hold her for me to get on, because she did NOT want to stand still by the mounting block. Too much going on: horses galloping in from the fields for dinner time, the wind blowing, the sun getting lower, the round bales hanging out in the fields, the unmoving fencelines. Everything was a source of distraction, whether it was moving or not!
We rode up the bridle path to the longer hill, where I warmed up with Lily by going up and down a couple of times, first at the walk and then a trot. The footing in the bottom of the bridle path was a mucky mess, but it wasn't bad at all on the hill. Lily was more than willing to trot up and down when asked. When it comes to footing, I trust her 100%. If the footing is too bad do do a certain gait, she will not pick up that gait. She's smart like that.
After that, we did canter sets up the hill, then trotting down the hill, for about another 10 minutes.
I will post the photos from the photo shoot later in a separate post, but here's a teaser:
Video also taken by Kathy. Here's Lily owning that downhill trot. My feet are bouncing to absorb the shock; I'm not kicking her forward. She trots great downhill if I sit in a sort of three-point position. Sometimes she'll ask me to post.
Lily alternately offered to trot and walk depending on the footing, and I let her choose what she wanted to do. She picked up this small, super smooth trot that made her feel almost like a gaited horse. It was adorable, faster than a walk, but very controlled and deliberate. I have an all-terrain pony.
|Wet mowed corn field|
The dirt road that runs between the soybean fields was washed out, so the tiny gravel had disappeared and the footing had packed down, making it perfect for picking up a bigger trot.
|I tried getting a trot video but Lily was all like, "Pay attention! Both hands on the reins! Stop trying to film things!"|
So I got a photo instead.
We trotted back up the dirt road, then walked the rest of the way back.
Riding past the mowed corn field on the way home.
We did the loop in the back woods, and right at that moment I realized that Runmeter had recorded nothing beyond our first mile! So I have no idea what our pace was nor how long we were out, as I had not taken a watch. Based on past rides, we did about 6-7 miles.
This is the path that leads back to the bridle path from the back woods.
I continue to be surprised by, and love, the changes in Lily since being turned out 24/7. This is the same mare that used to be afraid of mud!! She now negotiates it like no big deal. It was a great ride.