So, Saturday morning was a bust as well. I still really wanted to ride, but that evening we had a Christmas function for the SO's work. Time was running short, but by 3pm, the wind had stopped and the sun was shining so I was taking my chances and heading out to ride at the barn. It was -17, so not too cold, and not bad for Koda's lungs if we take a gentle ride. As I was driving out I realized I didn't have a lot of time to tack up, ride, cool out, untack, etc. so... I decided to try something new with Koda: bareback riding!
When I had Dillon, I used to ride him bareback weekly/monthly, as a fun or schooling ride. I didn't know if Koda had ever been ridden bareback before, so we took it slow. Did plenty of patting, laid across him, just let him figure out what I was doing. He was actually really good, only taking a couple steps then stopping, really trying to understand what I was asking. Finally had him stand still with me draped across his back, so I swung a leg over and away we went.
It was awesome.
Koda was an absolute gentleman. We went around the front paddock, through the trees, just playing around. I don't think I've felt that close with him before. It helped me realize how sensitive he is to my seat and legs. The smallest touch (intentional or not!) got a response from him. I think I'm going to try to do more rides like this during the winter. The BO had the yard lights fixed so the yard is flooded with light when I get off from work.
Best part of the ride was after we had picked our way through the woods, we just stopped and watched the other horses in the back field. Absolutely peaceful, the light was at that nice golden glow before sunset. Wonderful.