My thought was to ride and bathe both. I rode Bonnie, did not bathe o'well theres always tomorrow.
I haven't ridden a horse, any horse, not even the Kmart Penny Pony, since I rode Karaat in the Dressage show last October. I took a break to allow my body to heal, namely my lower back. Seven months later, I'm as pain free as I'm ever going to be at my age. Time to mount up and get this season going!
Plan was to use my bran-spank'n-new western saddle and the new.to.me bitless bridle on Bonnie. Well... Saddle fits really good, except my western girth is too big.. like WAY too big to be safely used. So it came off and I quickly tossed on my All Purpose saddle.
Now for the bridle dilemma. I was completely prepared to go bitless using the big and has something to grab hold of in.case.of.emergency western saddle. My scared of eating
Going back to that whole not riding in 7 months thing... My mares haven't been ridden in exactly that long either. Oh boy.
I was prepared though. I had a "riding plan" and it was simple. No chance for failure, so simple. I took a page from Kate at A Year With Horses and set up a four cone course, but added two in the middle of the box. If you get a chance I highly recommend visiting Kate's blog, you won't be disappointed.
I decided to NOT lunge. I know.. kinda.. dumb right? I mean I did say 7 months of no riding. Bonnie actually had 7 months of vacation, I've done nothing except groom, love, and hug on her all that time.
Taking a deep breath I pulled up my big girl breeches; looked at Bonnie and said out loud "You're either going to kill me in a bucking fit, or we'll be just fine." I exhaled and mounted without thinking.
That mare is a rockstar !!
She was forward and looky, but not crazy jumpy as she can be when the mood strikes. I had no plans for anything faster than a walk in the not exactly soupy, but not exactly dry, outdoor arena and she wasn't much interested in anything faster either.
We walked between cones, exhaled halt at each cone. I did square, diagonal, figure 8's, flower petals, etc. I kept very light contact, just took the slack out of the reins as she gave it. She gave me a few consecutive steps of soft, round and with hindquarters reaching up under her. MUCH more than I expected for first ride.
All in all a GREAT day!