My favorite rites-of-spring passages:
1. Enjoying the first cocktail outside on the deck
2. The first 10 mile bike ride watching the children outside, people in their waiting-to-bloom gardens, dads washing their cars
3. My favorite–the first horseback ride outside
It’s been a long winter of riding in the dusty, sometimes dreary indoor arena with closed windows and open doors only letting frigid air in the aisles. The outdoor arena has gone from a snow covered abyss to filled with giant muddy puddles, a lone sad jump knocked on its side. Yesterday, however, as I drove up the long drive, the outdoor arena was set up for use. Woo-hoo!
I was excited to ride outside, this year more than I had been in a long time. Last summer I had a horrific fall that resulted in several fractures and sprains in my hand, as well as a very bruised hip. I didn’t get to ride during the fall, so this was my first time riding outside since the day I smashed into a jump instead of going over it.
I tacked up Dexter, a horse I had not ridden before but always looked very friendly, and we both enjoyed our inaugural spring ride together. There were several jumps in the arena set up with flower boxes, cavalleti poles along two sides of the arena, a mounting block, and a number of horses in the paddocks along side the arena.
We started slowly, getting to know each other–and letting Dexter absorb his new surroundings. We walked for 5 minues, then began trotting. We worked circles, ground poles, serpentines, and just had fun. We finished with a long, slow canter, picking up speed but not losing control as we finished our workout.
During our cool down, I was so fulfilled to have successfully completed my first outdoor ride–especially on a new horse. Hopefully tomorrow we can try jumping.
It’s only April, so I know there will be more indoor days to come in the next two months, but I certainly look forward to more rides outside than in. And now I think I will open a crisp bottle of wine to enjoy on my deck…before the next raindrops come. C