I didn't get a chance to ride this weekend, which was an absolutely beautiful perfect-for-riding weekend. Yes, I'm pouting about it.
I did get to ride last weekend, though, and had a great time. What started out as a quick ride in cold, overcast weather turned out to be a beautiful, two hour ride.
The ground that wasn't snow covered was brown and dead looking, I'm hoping that once the snow melts off we'll start seeing greenery; I'm done with brown and white. In our previous ride, I had dressed poorly and turned back because the snow was soaking throught my jeans and I was being a wuss. For this ride, I decided to make the looooooooong trip up the ten stairs to where my duster was stored instead of taking the lazy way out and freezing my butt off. The decision to dig out the duster was a smart one. Wearing a duster while riding bareback is a lot like having a heater in a tent, especially since my duster covers all but my toes when I'm mounted.
Bill and I went off roading, enjoying it while we can, and busted through the crusty, wind-swept snow. In the past, we had limited ourselves to the one-hour loop simply because our forays into the forest had been in inclement weather. By the time we broke through the tree cover, the sun was out and we could actually see shadows - what a novel experience.
Based on the weather, we decided to continue on to the meadow. Estes had a serious opinion about going one step farther than the one-hour loop. This time her opinion did not include a rear. No, this time she tried something new - speeding up in hopes that I wouldn't turn her away from the trail home. But, you see, I know something she doesn't know. She has to go where her nose is pointed and I had control of her nose. I even told her, "go ahead Little Missy, speed up, we're still going where I want to go."
She tried the speed up into the turn thing at two different intersections before she gave up. I won. Twice. Can't blame her for trying though, we have only done the one-hour loop since she's been home.
Bill and I rode around the brown meadow and headed toward Cody's trail (formerly known as the Trench Trail). Knowing that the snow drifts often cover Cody's trail until mid-May, we turned away from it and cut up through the Aspen grove. It was beautiful and by that time Estes had realized that we were out for a ride, not just a quick little jaunt around the top of the hill.
We did eventually have to turn back to home, at which time both Estes and Ranger found some energy. Since Estes wanted to go back at a trot, I allowed her to move up into it, but didn't allow her to slow down when she wanted to. There were a couple of times when I really had to work to keep her in the trot, but she wasn't going to get to choose when and where she wanted to trot - something she didn't really agree with, but was working too hard trotting up the hills to argue too much. You know, a tired horse is a good horse.
While I had so much time at the trot, I decided to see if I could post bareback. After all, if I could post in a dressage saddle without stirrups, I certainly should have been able to post bareback. Holy Moley! That is tough! I managed to post for a couple hundred yards before my legs were on fire. I did it a couple of times, kind of like doing intervals while running, before my legs absolutely gave out. It was a good thing we were already headed home because I was one wiped-out little girl.
I wish one of us had thought to take a camera with us, but we thought we'd be out a half hour or so in crappy weather, not two hours in beautiful weather.
Next time I'll remember a camera.