All the precipitation has left the footing in the little outdoor ring quite lovely, now that it’s thawed out.  We didn’t have the beautiful weather today that we had yesterday, but it was being dragged yesterday while we were riding, so we had to wait til today for perfect footing.

It’s amazing how different she feels in the outdoor, even though this ring isn’t actually any bigger than the indoor.  I guess visually it’s so much bigger, because there’s the whole world going on around us, rather than four walls.  Granted, that did lead to a few “Oh My GOD there’s a chair and a jump standard by the fence and it’s COMING TO EAT ME!” moments.  But only tracking right, because they totally weren’t scary going left.  We really didn’t do much, other than a few circles and working on not spooking at totally normal inanimate objects, and had a bit of a hand gallop to get her moving and blow off some of the cobwebs.

After about 15 minutes, we headed out for a little walk.  The ground is still much wetter than I’d expected, from our mosey down the driveway yesterday and hiking at Great Falls with the dog.  But we still went out for a little walk around the hayfield next door, just to get out and walk up and down a hill and across a bit of terrain.  She was on alert as we headed out, but by the time we reached the top of the hill, she was happy and going on a loose rein.

We made a nice little teardrop shape through the hayfield, trying to stay on high ground where it was drier.  By that point, we’d had a few big blowing snorts, and she was happily walking on the buckle, and walked that way the rest of the way back home.  I forget how good getting out is, not just for conditioning, but mentally for both of us, especially in the winter when we’re not able to do it much.

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