Since I have only a few limited, precious hours in any given week to ride (well, really...doesn't everyone?) I wasn't about to let the rain stop me last night!
I guess in full disclosure, I almost DID let it stop me, until I tried on my floppy hat underneath my helmet. If it hadn't fit under there, it wasn't going to happen - my glasses don't have windshield wipers! I really am quite excited about getting in for my LASIK early 2012 - hope I'm still a candidate!!
But it was an actual rain. Not a mist, not a sprinkle - but a real rain. Thankfully it was a warm 48 degrees, and not windy.
Arabee was looking at me strange when I started brushing her muddy wet back, and seemed slightly displeased about the saddle going on. But she was perfect on the longe line, and a good girl for the ride. I mounted by the garage, rode the 1/10th of a mile to the road at an easy trot, and kept it up until we met the first truck. Arabee agreeably stepped off into the ditch and waited patiently for it to pass, when we calmly walked back onto the road and regained our easy trot. We met 4 more trucks in pretty much the same way. It was actually probably a little bit too dark and too rainy to be REALLY safe enough - but all the drivers were very polite and slowed down to pass.
We mostly trotted the entire 2 mile ride in 20 minutes, which kept me plenty warm, even though I'd begun to get pretty soggy in the rain. Arabee was a good girl, rating well. I worked at keeping her trot the same nice, easy trot the whole time, and even though she kept wanting to go faster, she was easy to bring back to the slower trot. I'll also mention here that I have lengthened the sliding sidereins quite a bit - they're long enough that Arabee can reach down to grab some grass (not that she's talented enough to actually EAT the grass with the bit in her mouth.)
It was a fun ride!
Anybody out there suffering from the "winter blahs" - I highly suggest forcing yourself to ride your horse for 20 minutes, no matter the weather. If you're like me, it will put a smile on your face and joy in your heart.