I have discovered that Gabe is a morning horse.
We went from winter to summer over night and I knew the day would quickly become hot, humid and absolutely unbearable well before noon so I decided to haul myself out of bed at the crack of dawn to get my ride in.
I was on the big gray beast before 6 a.m. It was gorgeous out: Cool, quiet and a perfectly beautiful morning. I stepped outside and Gabe nickered in his low, growly feeding time voice, ears pricked at me and probably wondering why I had no feed buckets in my hands
I almost felt bad for pulling him out of his paddock before the sun even began peeking above the horizon. But only for a few minutes. He dropped his head into his halter and seemed quite eager to get the show on the road, which surprised me.
I just never imagined him as much of a morning pony.
He was fabulous. Workmanlike, giving, eager and responsive. It was probably the best ride we've had yet. And I loved the peace and quiet, knowing everyone else in the house was still sleeping and I was getting uninterrupted, wonderful time with my big guy.
He was so good I took him out for a trail ride. We were only out for about half an hour but he was so, so good. No spooks, no prancing and dancing and being silly.
Just a steady horse marching along, looking around and really paying attention. The only thing he gave a few glances to were the cows gathered up around the fence along the road. But a few taps with the dressage whip and we were on our way. I talked to him the entire time, and his ears kept flicking back at me as if he were really listening.
By the time we headed back to the house his head was low, his body swinging and relaxed and he was walking with purpose without rushing. It was an absolutely delightful ride.
I need longer reins if we're going to keep doing this! I need about 5 more inches of rein so I'm not throwing my arms as far forward as they will go and then leaning forward just to give him the room he needs to really stretch down.
What a good boy. What a good, good boy.
I think I'm going to have to start getting up at the butt-crack of dawn more often just to ride.
By 8 a.m. it was disgusting out. I was dripping sweat just by being outside and the air had already become heavy and thick.
Welcome to Southern Illinois summers!