Had a really good ride yesterday. It was 38 degrees, and still - perfect weather (for winter....!) but the forecast for the rest of the week is COLD, cold, cold! Like, lows in the single digits. So, I was committed to getting to ride last night.
Arabee was relaxed, we were doing great at riding on the loose rein. She's getting more comfortable in her increased territory, and over this week if it's really cold like they're saying I am hoping to take her on walks (in hand) to other new areas. I seem to stay warmer if I am walking vs. riding, probably because I feel like I can layer more clothes on, I hate trying to get on (and stay on) with a thousand layers of clothes, plus the carhartt insulated overalls I wear just are a bit too slick in the saddle! I love my suede chaps for that! Nice and "sticky" :-)
We did quite a bit of trotting, I am estimating we did a little less than 1/2 mile of trotting. From west fenceline to the road the barn lot's driveway is 1/10th of a mile, and we did that several times. Once we get a pretty large "comfort zone" we will have to work on figuring exact mileage. (thanks for the idea of using the 4-wheeler for that, Jacke!) Matt will really enjoy helping with that part! She finally got a little bit winded, but I was very pleased with her trot.
One area of concern I have: She was doing this weird hind end "tripping" thing....almost like one of her hind legs was giving out. Since I was on I couldn't see what she was doing, but it was like she maybe wasn't picking her hind legs up high enough and was scuffing them on the gravel? Is this what it feels like when a horse interferes? It was dark by the time we were finished, so I will check her legs very closely for scratches or nicks in the hair, but I could tell she wasn't bleeding at least last night. Maybe she was tired from the increased trotting....but I will keep a close watch and hope it goes away! Maybe a good thing for the cold weather to give her a couple of days off. She did have Sunday off though, so it's not been constant training for her, and really most all of our training is at a walk, we're just starting to add the trot.