Was dressed and ready to ride and out the door at 4:30pm, caught Arabee, saddled up, and started walking towards the arena at 4:43. Met more traffic than usual, since it's a Friday night. Once we were within view of the several horses in the pasture, Arabee started wearing her tail up over her back, and once they all galloped towards the fence and were trotting back and forth as we progressed towards the driveway of the barn, she made me glad I was already wearing my helmet more than once.
Got there, and realized I had to go inside to open the overhead door to get Arabee inside. So I tied her, and as I was almost to the door the girl who was feeding the other horses came out and told me she'd turned the lights on since she knew I was coming, which was nice since it takes a little bit for them to come on. Very nice of her!
Brought Arabee in, and when I pushed the button to shut the door again, she nearly came out of her skin! Looks like I'll have to practice garage doors at home! She calmed down once it was low enough for her to see it, and I walked her both ways around the arena. I took off my vest and hat, walked to the middle of the arena, and had grabbed mane and put my foot in the stirrup when she suddenly pricked her ears and whinnied. Not ready to go, yet, I guess! So I unclipped the reins and sent her trotting and cantering a couple of times both ways at "liberty." She got winded pretty quickly (she's nearly as out-of-shape as I am!) and was asking to come in pretty quickly.
So I got on and rode for a few minutes. Just walking. It was so hard for me to not give her any turning direction with the reins!! The more leg I used, the more she wanted to speed up, so I automatically would go to give her a direct rein to get her to turn so she wouldn't speed up to my leg. I finaly had to push my hands down against the saddle to keep myself from using them! Really, the riding only lasted for 7 minutes and was really not the highlight of the evening, since it took so long to walk past the pasture, and finally get her brain back to where it was safe to get on. I really shouldn't have ridden that long even, because it was plenty dark by the time we got home.
I think we both will be sore tomorrow!