I told Brett that I wanted to ride this morning so at 5:25 he announced it was time to get up. While he got up and got dressed, I battled sleep which was trying hard to be the better option. I heard the back door open and Brett's steps on the porch, with Kerseys tap-tap-tapping toes following him. Guilt won over and I staggered out of bed. Unlike Brett, who pops out of sleep fully alert, I am groggy and my brain is like cotton in the morning.
The early morning air was cool when I opened the back door so I grabbed my grey hooded sweatshirt from its hook and slipped it on. I knew once I started grooming Lucy, I would warm up but until then I needed its warmth.
Lucy met me at the pasture gate and, at the tie rail, she twitched her lips in pleasure when I rubbed her neck with the soft rubber curry. When it was time to put on her bridle, she dropped her head and took the bit. A first. None of the usual lifting her head and locking her teeth; just a soft acceptance.
I am so pleased that I tried this bit with Lucy. She was soft and accepting of the contact. She did everything I requested with the lightest of aids. In leg yield, we started moving sideways as soon as we turned down center line and she reached waaaaay under, crossing her legs. We were back to the rail before E. We tried haunches-in at trot and nailed it with minimum effort. Her trot was nicely forward with an element of floatiness that is hard to describe.
And then we cantered. Three canters, clearly defined: working, collected and extended. The extended canter wasn't just a tad bigger than working; no, she reached with her long legs and we flew down the rail. Then back to working before the corner and onto a circle halfway down the short side. I sat tall, kept my leg on and gave small half halts with my ring finger. She sat back, slowed and lifted. We went half-way around the circle, and then went forward, back into working canter. Both directions.
I praised her -- well, I had been saying "Good, Lucy" and "Wow, Lucy" and "That's it. That's what I want." all during the ride. But I put her on the buckle and told her she was awesome while we walked back to the barn.
We walked around the back of the barn to see how Brett was doing with Mufasa. Brett is pretty much over the soreness from his fall and said he was going to ride this morning, but keep it at a walk. The first ride after a fall is always a bit stressful. I could see them trotting in a circle and then they picked up a lovely canter. I guess Brett worked through his nerves with no problem.
I'm very glad that sleep didn't win the battle this morning. I would have missed a wonderful ride on my sweet Lucy.