Sunday, 25 November 2012

New Experience

This past week has been full of snow, severely cold nights (-30!), and high winds.  Of course, in this type of weather it's all about staying warm and cozy.  Since I had Koda in his fancy winter blanket, I knew he was fine during the bitter nights, so I just stayed in for the week.  P and I were going to hit up the arena on Friday, but when the snow is going sideways for most of the day, it's definitely not the time to be hauling half an hour down the road.  So, Friday was nixed.  We re-schedule for Saturday morning, see if that's any better... nope, still snowing and blowing all over the place.  I live up north where it's wide open spaces, so wind is worse than snow with major white-out possibilities.

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.  

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