And her answer makes a good point - several, in fact. These are expensive critters, and since they're all able and so am I, they should justify their presence by more than looking pretty. Not to mention, despite what the uninitiated may say, riding is good exercise, stress relief (mostly) and just plain makes me happy, darn it.
With all of that in mind, and cooler temps still hanging around, after supper we collected Sunny and Thunder, brushed and tacked, and hopped on.
When I really stopped to think about it, Thunder's had maybe 20-25 rides. Eric said it took the first two weeks for him to get Thunder to the point where he'd built up some trust (strange man issues), and then I know the horses got at least two days off every week, so... And I'm not counting my few in the pasture last year. Last night was my second on him since we got down here, and when you consider all the riding he hasn't had in his life, he did great.
To give us something to do other than just shuffle around in the dust in circles, I set up the ground poles in a square with one extra leg, and put out two orange cones.
Mostly I wanted to work on forward, since the last time he had those balky moments. He still had a few, but this time I was more prepared and less worried about giving him a solid bump with my heels. And since I had to bit the bullet and leave the safety of slow sometime, we trotted, too.
In both directions.
After Sunny, who love him to death, but that doesn't fix short-coupled does not have the smoothest trot ever, Thunder's like floating.
And the ground poles phased him not at all.
Did he want to go stand by the gate to the barn lot? And was he far more content to stand still than go? Yes. But he was also pretty darn calm and he listened.
It probably also helped that we had company.
And yes, there was a LOT of dust.
So - what motivates you to get out and get on?