I was out at the barn as night came, and had a sudden brainstorm. I read someplace earlier in the week that a training level dressage test is about a half a mile if you tally up all those long sides and circles and such.
I had opened up the arena to the geldings' paddock, thinking they might enjoy some non-muddy footing to stroll in tonight, and the arena light came on with dusk. Suddenly the arena seemed inviting and I felt like some exercise.
So off I trotted, to enter at A, on foot, to get a half-mile work-out before heading back inside.
I was soon joined by a painted pony, who met me at my halt at X and continued on for a bit of the test. Then Cody the QH came in and took up where the pony left off. We did 3 runs of training 1 and then Cody and I did our own thing for awhile with the pony watching closely.
After a little longer, Rafer asked to come in from the barnyard, but as soon as I went over to let him in the geldings crowded the gate and I asked Rafer to wait.
Cody and I took another turn around the arena and Keil Bay decided all this was too much to resist, so he sauntered in and joined me. At one point he, Cody, and the pony were all standing at different parts of the arena and each one would accompany me for part of my round.
Rafer Johnson could not stand it. He shoved through the gate and joined the fun. After a few minutes of greeting he engaged Cody in a rousing game of tag. The two of them trotted and tossed heads and cantered and danced from one end of the arena to the other, while the rest of us watched. Finally, Keil Bay realized hay was being served and he headed out the gate to his stall. Cody did another round with me, the pony joined for one more free walk, and Rafer got a face rub before we all went in and I opened the clean stalls that had mangers piled with hay.
Rafer did a very tidy run-through when I opened Cody's stall door into the barn aisle, so he could join Redford and Salina.
It is still muddy and damp, but we had a sunny day, no need for blankets, and the evening's impromptu arena party was one of the best times I've had this week.