I went out to see the horses last night, give Jordan a lesson on Q, and show another horse-curious friend what we do. In order to mesh schedules to do this, we didn't arrive at the barn until after dark. This isn't a big deal because we have lights in the barn (yay!), but catching horses that have 40 acres to roam in the dark? Not the easiest of things.
I whistled and called and saw nothing so I hucked off through the field looking for dark shapes in the distance. Whistle, call, whistle, call. Nothing. I headed in the direction of the gate to the upper pasture that had been closed off for months. Open. Eff.
I sighed and trudged through, hopefully optimistic that they would just be across the creek and not up the hill. I paused and whistled again and as luck would have it they were all gathered just on the other side. Kenai knew it too and was frustrated that I wouldn't walk to them because the creek was high (he wouldn't go without me).
When it became apparent that they weren't going to walk over to me, I hucked it back up to the barn to get my car. By this point D's son's girlfriend Nicole had come down to visit and agreed to drive over to the other side to get the horses with us. Off we went.
The creek was higher than anticipated, but the joys of having a 4WD vehicle with loads of ground clearance guaranteed passage. I had no trouble catching Q and let Griffin follow freely behind us as we slipped out of the field.
I brought her bridle and tossed it on her, apologizing for the cold bit, but guaranteeing her it could be worse (we had rain, sleet, hail, and snow intermittently yesterday). Fortunately she was dry and not a COMPLETE muddy mess so I dusted her back off with my gloved hand and hopped on up. My friends drove my car back across while Q, Griffin and I jaunted off into the darkness to take the route through the field back to the barn instead of the road.
Q did remarkably well in the night, she balked a tiny bit at Kenai sprinting around in front of us, but realized it was him and chilled out in a hurry. I really think having Griffin around helped, he marked pace with Q the whole way, only chasing Kenai for a brief 50 feet into the creek.
Riding at night is something I've wanted to do for awhile, and getting to do so last night was quite impromptu, but so much fun all the same. We trotted most of the way, cantered a little. All the while snow was lightly falling. So much fun. The best part was that Q gave me far more of her attention than I expected. I'm happy we've built that level of trust between us. Good pony!
Riding her over guaranteed that she was warmed up and ready for Jordan (though we still did a little lunging around the "scary" tarp). Jordan did remarkably well in her second lesson. Its pretty safe to say she understands what posting is now and can definitely feel for it and fall into a steady, proper rising rhythm. Now to work on leg strength so that she can do this steadily for a longer length of time!