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.