With unseasonably warm weather and no snow, I have hopped on Maggie a few times this winter. I am thrilled that we have had such mild weather. No ice, no snow and temps that are, well, unheard of for December and January in Montana. Last Monday was our first official ride of 2012. Quickly growing bored with riding around the pasture and arena, which was a little slippery due to the skiff of frozen rain from the night before, to do any trotting work, we ventured on up the road..the sun was shining and the mercury was pushing 46 degrees...I was feeling good and it wasn't too long that I realized Maggie was also feelling just as good. We made it about a half a mile from home and she suddenly realized "uh oh, I am out here all alone". We zigged, bobbed, and crow hopped our way up to the hill and I decided it might be a good idea to go home. Now I know what your thinking, but I didn't go home and put her up... no, no, no. We turned around and just as she thought she was off the hook, we trotted right on by our driveway and kept on truckin', right to the end of the gravel road that we live on. At the end of the road is a cul-de-sac, perfect for working a horse in a generous circle. We spent the better part of 20 minutes working at a trot in a circle, changes of directions, half circles, serpentines , spiral ins and spiral outs. Maggie has the coat of mammoth right now so when she gave me a few nice bends and leg yeilds without kicking at my stirrups, we quit. We will try to venture out alone away from home again, weather permitting. My suspicion is that I will have a few repeats of this episode but if that is what it takes, fine.
Maggie didn't see much of the trail last year. I am hoping that 2012 will be a better year and we can get back to a conditioning schedule. Our biggest challenge once again, is the distance from where I live to where any rides are held. I hope to find a way to attend atleast a couple of limited distance rides.