Freedom needs to be ridden several times a week. Not to keep him fit (he’s always fit) but to quiet his mind. After a few days off he sees lions, tigers and bears in the woods when we hack out. He is startled by the most common objects (a wet rock, a tree branch that fell, a particularly green clump of grass) and shows his surprise with the most athletic spooks.
When he’s in regular work, he’s not so easily distracted and he listens at least most of the time. It doesn’t have to be challenging or intense — even a walk on a loose rein gets his brain in gear. It’s almost as if he can’t think unless his feet are moving.
Riding this week has been challenging because of the rain. Until today, there wasn’t a glimmer of sunshine all week and at times we thought of building an ark. We have no access to an indoor so all riding has to been done out in the elements. Mostly, I don’t miss riding inside but this week I could have used the help.
I managed to squeeze in three rides by accepting the fact that I was going to get wet. On the plus side, everything is very green. The downside is that everything is also very wet and soggy which really limited what we could do in the fields. We are lucky enough to have a town ring that has excellent footing and after tiptoeing on the edge of the fields to keep from tearing them up, I was able to let him open up a bit in the ring and blow off some steam.
Tomorrow we’re hunting again and I’d like that brain to be thinking about work!