Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sprung

Today I arrived at the barn and did something I hadn't done for a while. Instead of going to Steen's stall, I went out to the mud-lot. There I found Steen, rather dirty but seeming quite at home. As soon as he saw me, he left the hay he was eating and came straight to the gate, even though the mud between the bale and the gate was deep and he clearly wasn't too excited about stepping in it. That was very nice, not only because I didn't have to get my boots dirty but also because it was more than a little gratifying on an emotional level. I thought that my relationship with Steen had improved significantly over the last few months, but it was nice to see it so obviously and immediately manifested.

I took him inside and we easily fell back into our pre-stall routine. Other than some general snortiness at the wind and some initial nervousness about the changes, he calmed down quickly and behaved well. I gave him some grain, which he appreciated, and then had a brief bareback ride followed by a bit of ground-work. I must say, as much as the stall has its conveniences, somehow it was a bit of a relief to be back on the pasture-boarder's side of the barn. Part of it is obviously the weather. It is nice to be at the barn and not be surrounded by bitterly, bitterly cold air the whole time. Also, I know Steen never really liked his stall, so it was nice not to have to put him back in it at the end of the ride. Granted, the mud-lot is a debatable improvement, but it shouldn't be long before the horses are turned out in the acres of green pasture surrounding the barn, and then Steen maybe might not meet me at the gate anymore....

Regardless, I am excited for the longer summer days, and hopefully Steen and I will make progress more rapidly now that he's not stiff from being locked in a stall all day and I'm not worrying about frost-bite the whole ride.

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