I rode Lily yesterday for the first time since the start of winter. When I went to call her out of the mare field, she craned her head and looked at me quizzically, instead of galloping down the hill with a sliding stop inches away from the gate. The sliding stop is impressive, but scary, since I am always afraid she will misjudge the distance. She walked down to meet me when I went out to catch her, so I decided she was just feeling exceptionally mellow.
I tacked her up with her western saddle, and then decided to ride her without longing her first. Why wake her up when she was in such a relaxed mood? Besides, watching Lily on the longe line has been intimidating me. She is no worse than Hap at that age, but I was a lot younger then, and in theory at least, bounced better.
We didn’t do much: a friend was working her young Arab/Percheron cross, and I wanted to stay our of her way. However, I was once again amazed at Lily’s sensitivity. I joke with my trainer that Lily’s philosophy is “we don’t need no stinkin’ aids.” She wants a very light, very consistent feel on the reins, and a very light, very consistent leg. Turning and transitions should all be done with minute shifts of the rider’s weight. I think she plans on teaching her riders to communicate with telepathy next.