Have you ever had a ride with your horse that was just awesome? Not necessarily perfect, but just awesome. I had one last night, and I feel so inspired and filled with joy that I am bubbling over. Poor co-workers will get an ear full whether they like or not.
When I first arrived at the barn after work, Pippi was eating, and so was not thrilled to see me. I let her finish her grain, and then we did some free lunging. She was definitely in a mood, so I figured that our ride would be less than fun. We are still working on bending, and Pippis' stiff side is getting better with lots of stretching and work. Even so I figured a little ground driving might be in order to reinforce the bends.
Pippi wanted none of that, and it took a while to get going. This proved to me that it was just going to be one of those days.......
I tacked her up, and mounted. Not sure what changed, but I mounted a different horse than the one I had just worked on the ground. She was forward, smooth and willing. Ears perked, body soft and she was very prompt. We warmed up at the walk, and I attempted standing in the stirrups to work on my balance. I rode for a circle and a half standing, before quitting and I was very happy with that.
We then worked on bend at the Trot, and she was soft and willing both directions. Lots of circles, and direction changes and then the dreaded stand at the Trot. I allowed myself to hold a little mane. Not for support as much as for a feeling of support. I was able to ride half the arena in both directions, and I was thrilled. Pippi kept her momentum as I stood and I was just thrilled.
I halted in middle of the arena and bent down hugging her neck, babbling about what a fantastic horse she is. Slowly her head turned around, and I got the muzzle to boot Equine High Five! I don't mind telling you, my eyes were misty and I just couldn't stop petting her.
After our ride was over, I hopped down and hugged her some more. We breathed together and just enjoyed a quiet moment. She bumped me softly, and licked my cheek. My head was filled with "thank you," and I felt her "your welcome" all the way to my soul.
The balance work had been very helpful, and I can just tell how much easier it is to lug me around.