Back in the Saddle

Alice and I had not taken the horses out for a long time, but we had a great ride on Monday.Some time ago, Stewart had developed a serious infection in one foot and was sidelined for several weeks while it healed. He seems all better now, but he and Spot had not done any riding for a while.
We tacked them up, and Stewart was his most cooperative self, enjoying the grooming and being very cooperative about getting his boots on (he has those soft Thoroughbred hooves, so I always put a pair of hard rubber boots on his front feet for riding). I usually have to ask Alice to hold him while I put his saddle on (he doesn’t tolerate being tied up), but on this day he just stood still while I did that. As we were ready to leave the paddock, they both got a bit frisky. Which was not totally surprising since it had been so long and the day was chilly.
We decided not to go on the road because they seemed a bit too unfocused. And of course we could not go into the woods since it is hunting season. So we did a series of school maneuvers in my side yard; figure eights and such. We then decided we could go through the woods between my yard and my neighbors’ driveway, to the north, which we did, and we made a circuit of their field, carefully avoiding the one woodchuck hole we saw.
Alice suggested a trip down to the Tom Ball Brook, which I guess I should have accepted, but I was worried about getting too far into the woods. So we came back to my yard and did more circuits there. Quite frankly, Stewart was getting tired by then, and had worked up something of a sweat, so it seems we had done quite enough.

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