Wednesday, February 27, 2013

If you're gonna do something stupid...

If you're gonna do something stupid, word of advice?

Practice being stupid first.

So yesterday I stopped by the barn really briefly to feed ponies. I wasn't planning on riding, but H sent me a "but if you just hop on for a moment..." text, and I couldn't help but grab my reins as I headed out of the garage.

After stuffing nets, the sun was heading down, and I realized that I didn't grab my helmet. Crap. As a head injury sufferer, I don't believe in riding without a helmet.

But I was just going back to the garage so...

I figured I'd be fine just riding the trail back to the garage.

Here's something to keep in mind. You'll note earlier I said "Grabbed my reins".

That's all I grabbed.


I just grabbed the reins. No halter. Just reins. I wanted to loop them over Moon's neck and do like those nutters do and ride him with just a string around his neck. That is all.

But I didn't bring a helmet.

Now, remember the even earlier comment that if doing stupid things...practice first.

I put the reins around Moon's neck, hopped on him from the ground (yippee!) and kicked him forward and around. We headed up the trail just fine and made it all the way back to the barn without incident. Why would we? He's a good solid boy, and while the steering was questionable, the path was clear and I was pretty specific. Easy peasy.

Okay, here's where the stupid kicks in.

I thought "There's still some daylight..."

So I turned him and asked him to step off the trail into the deep snow.

He said "Uh, I don't think this is a good idea".

I said "Get your butt moving".

He took about 8 steps, the snow, melting with warm temps has become this quick-sand type stuff, and as he sunk deeper he decided I was officially nuts. And I also had ZERO connection to his face.

He started to turn.

So what did I do?

I pulled my rein around his neck in the opposite direction.

Here's stupider.

When you neck rein with a halter, it's really about the reins kinda touching that side of their neck. Not much more. We've been doing fine on that and Moon's really coming along.

But when they're wrapped under his neck...and you start pulling like you would if they were attached to a halter and he wasn't listening...

You're kinda creating a little noose around your pony's neck.

Me so stupid.

Soon as I did it, I realized what my actions would feel like to Moon, and *boom* off he trotted through the deep snow in a semi-panic, calming when I released my pull, and then realizing I was a nutcase on his back, his galloped his way back to the barn.

Except the horse trail is rather narrow, the weather was warm, and he multiple times fell off the side of it and we sunk into deep snow, he threw himself back out of it onto the trail, fell of again...

It was a VERY lurching, jarring, bumpy ride back to the barn, let me tell you.

Helmet-less and bridle-less. Just me and some stupid rope around his neck.


I'm sure glad I did. Because my dear boy didn't try to kill me when I pulled up on that rope around his neck, he didn't buck, he didn't kick out, he didn't spin. He just headed for home.

I also have developed a very sticky butt, which means despite the fact I probably will never bare children in the future now thanks to my high-withered friend, I did stay perfectly balanced on his back, never once felt like I was about to fall off or become unseated. It was just a jarring ride home.

Where I thought "Stupid me. Sure glad we've been practicing first!"


Then I was twice as bad, and rode him back to the garage again the same way, JUST to prove that I hadn't ruined anything in my antics.

I hadn't. He went beautifully, I turned him a couple times with that rope around his neck, I considered pushing him back into the deep snow, and then my intelligence kicked in and I dismounted.

It was a good ride. A great ride. We've progressed a ton over winter in our bond. But boy oh boy, Mr. Moon reminds me on a regular basis why I'd be dead with any other horse, and why he is the pony for me.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Call me "Boss"

We often speak about being the "Herd leader" when discussing horses. Every herd has its leader, that kingpin horse that runs the place with an iron fist, kicking or biting or ear pinning everyone else into submission. You know them. They're always front and centre at the hay pile, they always get to lick all the feed tubs at the end of the graining, and they're always the first one at the gate.

Talk about drifts!

We love them. They're the boss.

In my paddock, the boss is The Black. Probably the most suitable name for him too. He's a good herd boss, he fights fair and really focusses on just ear pinning for the most part. It took some kicking/biting/chasing when Moon was first introduced, but now I would honestly say that Moon pulls in the 2nd spot *because* he's the Black's buddy. Little bit of a man-crush going on there.

Which leaves the Wizzard fighting for 3rd place, which being a mare I don't think sits too well with her, and there's often a little bit of a battle going on between her and Moon that makes their actual positions a little questionable.

The drifts clear over the fence line!

So yesterday I was at the barn, filled all the hay bales, enjoyed the sight of some INSANE snow drifts we had going on (yes, clear over the fence line), and I had enough time to slip a halter on Mr. Moon and go for a fun little trot/canter around the paddock.

Happiest place on earth.

Of course my sweet puppy was with me, and this is one of those things I dreamed about for years. Riding my horse and having my dog trail along beside and behind me, in perfect unison with me and my horse. It's my little family. And even when Moon was cantering across the field with me riding bareback, Halo was right there running behind in our hoof prints. Didn't bother Moon one bit. I just love it to bits to know that there's this beautiful union amongst my entire family.

Happily trotting along in the field beside us.

That being said, I caught Halo marking atop the horse pee in the paddock...apparently the horses had marked territory she thought was hers ; ) Never knew dogs marked over non-dog markings...huh.

That's some deep snow, the dog is practically swimming!

Anyway, it was pretty darn blissful and after about 6 canters across the length of the field, we headed back to the barn. Moon popped up onto the packed snow trail just as The Black and The Wizzard were walking up it. Imagine, the top horse and the 2nd top horse facing you, and you facing them. Wanting to go in opposite directions.

Now I wasn't surprised that I was able to encourage Moon forward and have the Wizzard to step aside for us. That made sense since Moon was technically ahead of her on the hierarchy.

Then we were face-to-face with The Black. The boss.

You could read in Moon's body posture that he was submissive and unwilling to push past him. And wasn't going to turn or budge the Black. This is horse hierarchy and it's strong.

So I looked over at the Black from Moon's back and said "Eh! Go!" just as I do when he's chomping away at the hay in the shelter and I need him to move so I can drag the hay nets out.

BIG DRIFTS and hungry horses!
Guess what?? With just my voice and pointing, he stepped right off that path and made room for me and Moon to path. Ears went forward, no longer pinned at Moon, as suddenly the hierarchy was changed.

What does that mean??

It means that *I* am herd boss over here. That's right. Me. I trump all those horses, and I do it with an *ear pin* not by waving a crop at them or smacking behinds. I literally just had to speak to them (the horse equivalent to pinned ears) and I could literally move a 1300 lb. animal.

When I turned around as we headed up that trail in the lead, I had to laugh. Never had I felt so powerful in my position before...

Yes, Halo the dog was bringing up the rear ; )
hehe; yeah. Now I know why horses fight so fiercely for this spot in the herd! It rocks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oh Daylight.

Ah yes.
That's some snow there Harry!

We're all talking about it...

Daylight Saving's Time. Up here in Canada, we only swapped over to the USA's date for DST a couple years back. We used to change our clocks forward in April, just as Mexico still does. But we figured we liked America better, so we took their early March date. Which works great for me.

I can already feel that spring is on the way, despite -40 weather this morning, huge drifts and crazy windchill. Right, because that makes sense for the end of February, when the day previous it was almost above freezing.

Who the heck knows around here.

Regardless, Sunday I got an awesome fun little ride in with H, we restacked the hay in the loft and just sat there on bales with hot chocolate and chatted for awhile. Sometimes that's just what you need in life, to make all the worry and the troubles fade away.

I'm even more spoiled as I'll be house sitting for my parents this week, which means three solid days with my most favourite dog ever. Yes, me and sweet Halo will be out playing at the barn and having some fun. I also got to go snowmobiling on Saturday and spent the evening cuddling with her. I miss my puppy.

Love her big brown eyes!

Which shouldn't be for too much longer. It appears my house plans are ready to hit the engineer with just a couple of last minute edits on my part. I'm EXCITED! Then I just need the bank to be equally excited ; )

So we're getting close to more daylight in the evenings, which means more time to ride!

I also head off to Ottawa, capital of my great country in two weeks which I'm excited about. Love it there and it is always a blast to spend time in my favourite city in this country.

I'm also celebrating 6 months with my man at the start of March, another milestone. And let me tell you, as soon as the weather warms, I will be asking him to join me at the barn for some riding. We'll see how he takes to it ; )

So for me, winter carries on as short canters in the fields, a trot about the pasture with my feet dragging in the snow, and hauling hay nets around from the back of Moon. For him and I, it's a good life, and we're happy. Who knows what craziness we'll be up to next year ; )

Blizzard Time!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Little Healthy Competition

It's Valentine's Day.

My desk calendar has it right...yes, that's a pic of Moonpie and Me behind it!

I'm feeling like a complete sap today. Probably, because as most of you know, I dealt with a difficult break-up last year and awoke today feeling more appreciated, special and loved then I have in a long time.

And then on my windshield, was the most romantic Valentine's gift I've ever received...

A beautiful valentine card that perfectly captured my beau and I, a CD with my favourite song (that I only mentioned once and isn't mainstream) and a chocolate rose.

: )

I've always wanted romance on Valentine's Day. It's a beautiful day to tell people you love, how special they are to. Yes, yes, it's become a commercialized holiday for sure. But for some of us, it's not. The gesture was what made this gift so special. My man drove across the city sometime in the night (since I saw my car shortly before heading to bed at 11 pm...) to leave it there. The handwritten message in the card was beyond sweet. Tonight, it's a beautiful hand cooked dinner, my very favourite thing about him.

But let's be honest. No matter how magical my man is, no matter how special dinner is, if there's roses and chocolate and beautiful love notes... heart is already stolen by this beautiful beast:
Love of My Life, Mr. Moonpie
But hey, he can try to compete, right? ; )

A Shameful Brag

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A little daylight

The warm weather seems to have spelled a few more rides this season for me, which has been awesome. Even more wonderful, is that you can tell that the sun is staying up longer. I had "daylight" (or something resembling light) until almost 6 pm yesterday, which when you work until 4 pm, have to run home to change and then it's a 1/2 hour to the barn, that's huge. In the depths of winter, it was easily dark by 5 pm.

After feeding ponies yesterday, I clambered on Mr. Moon in his halter and clip-on reins and went to pick up the hay nets, my new favourite task. At the first net, I hung off Moon's side to grab it and soon discovered that I was hanging so low I lost all leverage to get back up on his back! I was literally on the side of him! Whoops! So I dropped down to my feet and clambered back on him. Off we trotted to the second net, which thankfully was on a higher piece of snow. For fun I tossed the net over Moon's rump and we trotted back to the hay shed like that. No issue, no complaints from my boy.

We went into the field and did some canter circles, which proved to me that my horse still has no understanding of leads. Something I *need* to work on this summer. Haha; I need to work on someday when I have time again!

From there I thought maybe we'd do a little "exercise" for both of us (gawd I miss the fitness side of riding!), so we headed into the drifty deeper field in front of the house. At first I just had Moon walk through it, and it was hilarious to see that despite the fact the snow was all at an equal height, Moon knew where the ditch was! He stopped at one point and was like "Nuh-uh. I'm not going further. I'm a tiny horse and will disappear if I do!" But of course, I urged him on, and into the ditch he stepped, my feet dragging in the snow until we rose out the other side.

Yup, riding and standing on the snow. Poor pony!

We cantered and trotted about this far side of the field, and boy oh boy, is he EVER a bouncy trot when you get him in the deep stuff and he has to lift those feet. I was popping off his back, a true pingpong ball. Thankfully, he was a little less of a giraffe than he used to be.

Starting to ache, I took him through some of the huge drifts along the back of the ring, until we got to one so deep that he sunk WAY down into it, and had to pop himself out. He was totally unimpressed with me.

Back to the hayshed, where I could give him some sugar cubes and tell him how wonderful he is. Sure it's nothing fancy, but he's a solid safe little ride that I just feel secure on. That why I'm in this.

I filled their hay nets and as I went, H texted me that she was running behind. And then said I was welcome to hop on the Black if I was bored waiting. Sure enough when all the chores were done, there was still daylight! That never happens!

So I grabbed Moon's halter and slipped it onto the Black. Off we went. Kinda. He thought at first that he should go back to the hay. You know, because he was haltered and I was me. I got him straightened out and into the big field we went. Walking and then trotting and then I asked for a canter, where he gave me two little pretend bucks of joy and off we went. He is a STRONG horse in a halter. He's kinda a strong horse everywhere ; )
The Black, headed to the deep field. 

But soooo smooth to ride. After being on Moon and bouncing my way across the same field, I felt like I had a beautiful sitting trot as I floated across on the Black. H popped out of her house to yell from her deck, something that sure sounded like "You call that a sitting trot?!" Haha. Yeah. He's smooth like butter.

Through the deep drifts for him too, and then I was dripping sweat and my legs were screaming in agony. Four rides on two horses in three days?! That's a lot for someone who's slacked away the season!

When I was hanging up Moon's halter, I was somewhere between happy and sad and uncertain. I love riding. To this day, I love it. Happiest when I'm out there. But I know this summer won't be the riding escapade it was last summer. I rode *a lot* last summer. I'm not sure what this summer will be like, but I'm making sure to appreciate every moment I spend in the tack.

Sunset from Horseback.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013



Seriously. Someone smoke me with a pickaxe! Oh wait, that happened on the weekend! (Thanks Black : P ).

Got an incredible, wonderful, too great to be true that I can't believe it offer today...

A chance to take lessons on a horse that's training 2nd level!! OMG! How incredible is that?!

And with whom?! The amazing Coach W. Ah *squee!*

I'm giddy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dream Pony.

Somedays, I have to remind myself of what Moon was like when I bought him. I do. He was *always* a sweet horse with a big heart. But he sure seemed untrained, tense, nervous and stubborn. Today? He's...well, trained, jumpy and stubborn. ; )

Him and I have, in our three years together, developed an incredible bond that somedays I struggle to believe is real. I may love horses, but I'm no horse trainer. I also started riding at 17, took lessons sparingly and interspersed during the years that followed and by some luck managed to spend almost a year in weekly lessons with Coach W and Mr. Moon.

Somehow, all of that has amounted to an incredible horse.

Moon thinks I'm being a sap ; )
On Saturday, the weather here was as nice as it had been. The wind was a bit chill, but Moon and I headed out on the trails together. He slogged through some deep ditches and along the side of the road, as we headed in the opposite direction of some hydro (electrical) work that was being done on the opposite mile of the road. When we got 1/2 way down the road, the hydro trucks packed up and proceeded to drive down to the end of the road we were headed towards.

Oh joy.

These are big trucks. Noisy trucks. Clanking and clanging their way along, big diesel engines towing rattling trailers with giant rolls of wire bouncing along behind them.

And they passed us, one after another on that gravel road.

Moonpie didn't care.

He gave one look to a chained dog that barked at us, and one look to a flapping real estate sign. That was all. Two looks.

Then those hydro fellows set up their big boom truck on the end of the road, and as Moon and I walked by, a foot from their bright orange road sign and 4' from their big boom truck, they lifted two fellows up into the air, hollering and yelling and being noisy fellows.

And Moon carried on by, as though they weren't actually there. My heart was actually beating a little fast. I love my boy, I trust him dearly. But this was a *very* noisy and busy scenario, the roads were icy and I was actually concerned he'd give a half-shy and slip on the ice, taking us both down in a mess.

But of course, he didn't.

So we crossed the road, and he stood like a doll while I took a photo of what we'd just passed. So proud of him.

We rode *right* between that boom truck and the little orange sign...So proud!

Then I turned to the length of shallow snow covering the small bank we gallop down in the summer time. Hmm...just a little canter could't hurt...

So off we went, cantering the length of the bank, through big snow drifts.

Did I mention Moon wore no saddle and no bridle and no bit?? Just a halter and a pair of rainbow gaming reins, clipped to the cross-tie anchors of his halter.

So bareback and bridle-less we cantered down that path and I was in my glory. So was Moon. I can tell.

Just that halter and those clip-on reins. : ) (and yes, that was a really bad way to tie him! Pony clubbers cringe!)

I couldn't help myself. I dropped my reins to his neck and threw my arms out wide.

And we cantered a good 20 paces like that. I felt...incredible.

Giggling, I sat back and we slowed to a trot and then a walk. I offered Moon some sugar cubes but he refused. Strange boy, I think he doesn't snack when he's having fun "working".

We turned to head back to the hydro fellows and home. I could *tell* Moon still wanted to run. It wasn't out of either of our systems. Yes, we'd break a sweat and have to cool down later...but...we just needed it!

So I let him go.

And go he did. It didn't take more than three strides before he let loose that amazing gallop I haven't felt since winter came upon us. The air whipped my face, tears streamed from my eyes, freezing on my cheeks which were scrunched up in a smile. Bareback, bridle-less, galloping my horse down the side of the road. Towards a boom truck.

He is *heaven*.

Again, we slowed perfectly at the end of the run, and walked right past that boom truck again. Further up the road, they were setting up another such truck, the hydro fellows throwing down chunks of wood (so they made big "boom" noises when they hit the ground) and using their hydraulics to lower the stabilizing feet *right* when we walked by.

Gorgeous, even after a roll.

Those stabilizing feet were the only thing Moon gave attention to, turning his head and snorting his dislike. The hydro guy lifted a hand in apology and we carried on, Moon walking as though the scene was already behind us.

Back at the barn, he was sweaty and happy. I was much the same.

My boy. I love him to bits, and I honestly wasn't sure there was *anything* that could prove how much I've come to trust him, and how much he has come to trust me.

Until the next day.

Moon and his buddies, enjoying supper. 


Sunday came. The weather was even nicer.

Out I went, figuring we'd just ride around the field a bit. I was sore. That was a lot of riding for someone who's barely been in the saddle this winter.

I hopped on Moon over by the 'garage' as he ate his grain, and then headed to the pasture to scope out the location of the hay nets. I found the first one, empty.

Ugh. It would be so far to walk through the deep snow to grab it.

...I wonder if...

So I rode Moon right up to it, hung off his side (bareback and in just that bridle and clip-on reins) and reached down and grabbed the empty hay net (which is actually a hockey net tied closed).

One of the hay nets, refilled. Moon found a hole to sneak extra hay through ; )

He didn't batt an eye.

So I let it drag behind us as we rode back to the hay shed.

Nothing. I dragged it over his back and tossed it on the ground on the other side of him. Nothing.

Asked him for a turn on the fore, and then we went in search of the next net.

This one was a little more full. Again, hung off his side, reached down and grabbed it. Dragged it back to the hayshed, dropped it, and carried on to grab the last one.

This one was in shallow snow, so I had to practically hang from Moon's side. No issue. And I let this net trail right along his body, wondering if it would freak him at all.


Back at the hayshed, I laden him with sugar cubes and praise, dismounted and filled those hay nets. Giddy I had saved myself the trouble of having to lug them back myself. This horse, rocks.

Oh, and then we went cantering and trotting about the deep field, dropping the reins and just having fun. Because he's the perfect dope for me, and I love him to bits. Wish, wish I have enough time this summer to do a little gaming on him and grow him even further into the amazing horse his potential suggests.

<3 Mr. Moon
My most beautiful boy! : )

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Best Gifts.

The best gifts, are not gifts at all. The best gifts are not physical, tangible objects. You can't hold them in your hand, you can't wrap them up in pretty ribbons, and you can't take them back to the store and ask for an exchange. It just doesn't work that way.

The best gifts, honest to gawd, are good friendships.

I can tell you, right here, right now, that if you took EVERYTHING from me but my friendships, I'd be doing just fine.

In my roughest, darkest, hardest moments, my friendships pulled me through. My friendships with humans, with dogs, with horses. Friendships. It wasn't the money, it wasn't the fancy car, it wasn't the ability to dine in expensive restaurants.

I got an email from a friend today, and I knocked me to the floor. Hard. I sat there stunned, looking at my computer, and proceeded to YELL at it. Yes, at the screen. Why? Because that's what you do with friends. The best advice you can offer them, is always so clear, that you can't help but scream it from the hilltops. Why? Because you *know* them. And only have their best in mind.

It's been a crazy week for me. I actually sat here today and for some crazy reason, missed H. Yup. I saw her on Monday. But today, I missed talking with her. Why? Dunno. I just did. On Tuesday? I stayed up late in a rather intoxicated state, baring my soul to G. And he didn't bat an eye. Today, another close friend's pony is heading off to some amazing training, and I know she's gonna be a little nervous. Know what? I look forward to supporting and cheering her on through it. I started making plans to visit another friend during her training, because I knew she'd love the support. I almost finished up my house plans, which are the compilation of a lot of friends' input and support.

Friends don't do things because they have to. They do things because they can't fathom not.

My ex used to complain a lot to me that he didn't have any friends. I'd often suggest he join Big Brothers, as he was once a little brother himself. And it had meant a lot to him. But he'd say to me "What am I supposed to do with some kid? What's he gonna do with me?". Then I'd suggest a neighbour or a buddy and he'd say "That guy can't help me. I'd be sitting around telling him stuff and he couldn't do anything for me."

And I'd sigh deeply and try my best to explain to him that he was missing the definition of friendship. Interestingly, sitting here today, I realize that you can't explain friendship to someone. You can't tell someone how to be a good friend. It's a compulsion. It just happens to you, when certain people enter your life.

You lose control of it. You can't help it.

There's this country song that sometimes comes on the radio and makes me think of it.

You find out who your friends are 
Somebody's gonna drop everything 
Run out and crank up their car 
Hit the gas, get there fast
Never stop to think 'what's in it for me?' or 'it's way too far' 
They just show on up with their big old heart 
You find out who your friends are

Regardless, this was a week of true friendship. I'm never going to be perfect. I'm never going to be able to give my friends my everything. I won't be able to move mountains for them, or cure their sadness. But I am, I will *always* do my absolute best to make their dreams come through, in whatever small way I can. Why? Because so many of them have made mine come through, and if they haven't, I know that they wouldn't hesitate for a second if given the opportunity. And they wouldn't hesitate because friends are friends because they can't possibly be anything else.

So that email, I didn't hesitate to tell that friend, I'd do everything in my power. And I meant it. It might be a royal pain for me, but it'll be worth it in the end. It will. Because I know they'll be happy. And that'll make me happy. They've helped me, now I get to help them. This web of wonder we weave with our friends.

I'm so spoiled in my life. I know that.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Best Medicine

So on my day off yesterday, H and I got together for a ride. The wind was blowing, the temperatures while "warm" (for a Manitoban) were nippy with the windchill and it of course started snowing like the devil when we got together. Of course.

We made it a quick ride, but an awesome ride nether the less. Cleaned the run-in, stuffed some bales, dragged a few fresh ones out to the ponies and then threw halters on our boys to go for a ride.

Moonpie, wondering what the crap I'm up to now. ; )

Each got a quick grooming and then we clambered on. H took her big boy over to a snow pile, while I decided to leap onto Moon from the fence. And just about went over the other side! Yikes, snow pants are slippery.

I also made it one step closer to that "naked pony" dream. That's right folks. I headed out onto the wide open trails with H in only a halter and clip-on reins. : D So freakin' proud of my boy.

So up the road we went, and into the deep ditches and the neighbouring field. Someone had cleared a nice track (I confirmed with H that it was a 1/4 furlong ; ) ), and there was this moment when our horses stepped onto it that we just exchanged a "look". "Canter?" she asked. "CANTER!" I agreed!

The Black, looking stately. 

And off we went, The Black giving a couple of light hearted kicks to remind Moon who was boss, and Moon giving a good sprint to remind The Black who was bred to run ; ) Side by side, those two boys whipped down that snow covered path, H and I saddle-less and truly enjoying what it means to connect with your horse. At the end of the line we pulled up, bounced our way back to a halt and stood there for a moment giggling like children. It's amazing how warm you can get riding into the wind when you're laughing and beaming with pride. Yeah, we just did that.

The way back down the path towards home, Moon jig-jogged along, clearly happy to be out and about. And in just his halter, I felt surprisingly comfortable and capable of controlling him. I beamed at H about how amazing of a horse he's become. She made a comment that I may have learned a thing or two myself. ; ) ...maybe... ; )

Then we found a great big snow pile and I urged Moon to climb it. He was certain I was a nut-case (kinda am), and when he got to the top he sunk to his chest. Whoops! So he heaved himself back out, and I managed by some miracle to stay atop him through the process. Bareback really, truly, does make a huge difference in how you ride. Crazy hard, but crazy worth it.

We headed across the field in the snow, and at one point, my feet were dragging on the top of the snow. I mean, I could literally STAND on the snow on either side of Moon. The snow was up to his BELLY!

H reminds me that it's because my horse is actually a tiny pony. And I'm a small giant. ; )


Still, the whole experience and sensation of standing on the ground while riding my horse was hilarious to me. I laughed and laughed and laughed and giggled and H and I rode across that field in a giggle fit. It was the most uplifting, cheering, smile-inducing ride one could ever ask for. Even in the depths of winter.

Eventually we made our way back to the barn, untacked the ponies and gave everyone their supper. The snow was falling thickly, yet somehow I was as warm as could be. Probably because my heart was beating strongly and my cheeks were rosy with laughter.

Yes, I do believe that the shortest of rides can be the best of rides, when you can't stop smiling.

: )

And as H said, while we may not get out riding a ton together this Summer, every ride is guaranteed to be incredible. Let's be honest, every ride *has* been incredible.