After a week of amazing spring weather I’ve almost (not quite) forgotten what a lousy winter we’ve had. It’s been absolutely wonderful to go and ride Freedom and Zelda, to feel the warmth of the sun, to not sink up to our collective knees in snow.
In theory, hunt season started last Tuesday. Sadly, the ground was too wet for horses, and the hunts last week and this coming Tuesday were/are cancelled. In some respects, that might be good news, too, because for the first time I can remember, we (Freedom, Zelda and I are simply not ready). We (mostly me) are out of shape and they are way too excited to take out and gallop in company.
For example, this was Zelda yesterday. I can’t imagine sitting those bucks even when I’m feeling fit. She’s quite athletic!
Honestly, we’re still at the “let’s go for a long walk” stage — where I hope they don’t buck, spook or jig excessively (aka cantering in place).
Zelda’s worth ethic suffered over the winter. After about 15 minutes she wants to turn around and head back to the barn. She’s very, shall we say, expressive about it. First her upper lip starts to twitch, then she shakes her head and neck, and then she has a hissy fit that would put a toddler in a toy store to shame. We’re working out of it, but I think we’re still two weeks away from compliance. I’ve only just achieved a nice canter without bucks, and that’s without any additional excitement.
Freedom offers a different type of challenge. He won’t buck (thank goodness) but he is on a hair trigger. During this morning’s ride he managed some very dramatic jump/spooks when scary things like rocks, birds and squirrels jumped out at him.
And then there’s me. An hour or so in the saddle leaves my legs stiff and creaky. The thought of riding in half seat for any extended period of time is still in the distant future. Of course, it’ll be fun getting back into shape.