It's that perfect temperature that horses love. A March day, about +13 degrees celcius (60 F). Energy soaring, it's spring time in the Okanagan Valley. Our boys, Link and Rollie are full of "piss and vinegar". That means something, especially for our usually laid-back Link. Today, while in the paddock, there were birds in the bushes, and people out walking that he found very interesting indeed!
We started out by brushing, a vigorous brushing, as their coats are now shedding like crazy. El Ninio, the warm winter had spring arrive early this year. Then the farrier Tim came and trimmed their feet. Both our horses are barefoot, never wear shoes. Link's feet are the best feet around. Tough, strong, big and never sore. Rollie's feet are a little more tender on the front, so we're hoping they will get tougher. In the meantime, when we ride on rocky terrain, Rollie wears his Mac boots on the front.
We decided to ride around the paddock for a bit - well, first I got the indication from Rollie he wasn't ready for a ride before he could blow off a bit of steam. So I let him run around the long rope, in a circle, where he stood on his hindlegs for a bit, a few little jumps and bounces, and then he slowly settled into a nice working trot, head getting lower, and finally, more relaxed. This always seems to help. Working on a few word commands; he knows 'walk', 'trot', 'canter', 'whoa'. When he gets tired, he naturally changes the trot into gait, the running walk. Very beautiful.
A little ride out on the road, we felt safe to do that. Well, Lisa was a little apprehensive not having been on Link for a while, but I talked her through it, I know Link, and I know Lisa, and I sensed him and Lisa would be okay. It turned out to be quite a nice ride. Both Link and Rollie walked by the school, had cars and trucks pass us, and no problem. We walked back home, calmly, slowly and happy. I felt reassured that we once again connected with our equine partners and cooperated together for a nice ride.