Sunshine has an amazing affect on human and horse. You smile from the inside out. I think Gem was smiling, too. He did not rush me when I lead him out of the barn. As we walked to the front paddock, his ears went up.
Gem: Where are you leading me? We aren't going to the arena?
Me: No. We are going to enjoy the bright, beautiful sun.
Gem: You mean, OUTSIDE?? Where I can see grass and listen to birds?
Me: Yes. You are going to feel wet, cool sand under your feet.
Gem: I am OK with that!
Me: There may be M-U-D. Squishy mud.
Gem: Um......that's OK! Let's rock and roll!
Me: Hey hang on there a sec, Sparky...I have to put on my cool sunglasses.
He pranced into the paddock. He stood quietly while I mounted. We walked around, breathing in the smell of dirt and wet grass. We could hear other riders chatting as they tacked up in the barn, getting ready for the clinic. I could hear faint music coming from the radio at the barn door. The robins were out in force and singing. Canada geese could be heard honking in the distance. The sun was warming my face. As we walked around the paddock, I think we were both daydreaming a bit. Ah. It was terrific.
I have mentioned before that I think having a video done of yourself while riding is a great learning tool. Once I get over how unattractive and square sweatshirts make me look, I start analyzing the technical aspects of my ride. I happened to have my camera with me yesterday, and my riding buddy, CA, took some pics and video.
This would be me loping around a corner - reins are too long and dang! my heels aren't down!
Well, it's not all bad! As I reviewed the pictures and videos, I noted that at a lope, my butt was nicely dusting the saddle the whole time and despite my reins being long or my heels not being down consistently, I still managed to steer Gem around the big horse-eating squishy mud puddle with ease a number of times. I also saw how amazing our jog was. It was slow, even and easy and my butt didn't leave the saddle. And, you know what? My lack of technical skill did not put a damper on how great it was to be outside with my handsome boy. :-)
As our ride was coming to an end, so was the sunshine. By the time I had untacked Gem, it was overcast. It's been pouring rain all day today. Doesn't matter, though. I just have to remember yesterday's ride and I start smiling from the inside. :-)