Wednesday Alex had a well deserved day off, but we were back to work on Thursday... and with company. My barn buddy, and fellow OTTB owner, E's horse James was back from training and the weather was nice so we decided to ride together outside. Alex has only been ridden outside once since the start of his abscesses last October, he's barely been ridden in the arena with another horse and he'd had Wednesday off. I decided to just get in the saddle and see what happened. If we were to have a rodeo, so be it. Things didn't start out well, while I was making an adjustment to my saddle, Alex had a girthy moment, got irritated and kicked me in my right thigh. It was a light kick, if there is such a thing, reflexive and unintentional, but it did hurt. There wasn't any time to focus on that, I finished tightening the girth and got in the saddle.
The ride actually wasn't bad. Alex was concerned with where James was, what he was doing, but behaved pretty well. Initially he did try to bully me with his usual tactics, head shakes, hops and bucks, but then settled down. Alex thought that when James was cantering or trotting he should too. After some quiet flat work, I decided to call it a day. This was a VAST improvement from the last time I was riding him in the arena with another horse and he tried to turn himself inside out.
Thursday we were on our own and although I was tempted to ride inside where the jumps are, it was just too darn nice outside. Alex was a rock star. Lovely quiet flat work. Even a little leg-yield and shoulder-in at the walk! I think he is thrilled to be back outside again and as long as the weather looks to stay consistently warmer it looks like I'm going to need to move the jumps outside.
Not gonna lie...I'm kinda in love with my horse right now :-) I don't have any recent riding pics of us, so the pictures below are actually from last fall, but I like them, I haven't posted them on here yet and this is pretty much how I felt about last night too.