I just got home from a vegetable shopping trip to the farmer's market, and found the "kids" of the herd bedded down in the paddock on the old hay.
This is not the first night I've found them snoozing out there. However all three stalls are nicely bedded in clean straw for Christmas. You'd think that would be the preferable bedroom. But no, they have to nap outside. The temperature is still pretty moderate, 46 degrees or so. I guess being outside is just more fun--kind of like camping.
Chance is a trail junkie! Nick came over to do some work today, so I set him to unloading my 54 bales of hay while I did some barn work. The Boys were out in the pasture. After a bit, they saw me at work and decided to investigate. When I finished and set Nick on another task, I took Tucker out for a hack on the same trail where we'd met the ATV yesterday. When I got back, Chance was at the gate, hanging over it with a longing expression on his face. I took Tucker in and Chance stayed at the gate, staring out into the woods. I unsaddled Tucker and called the kid in. It wasn't until I told him that, yes, we too could go out on the trail that he decided to come to me.
Once more, he proved himself a star. This time we even trotted a bit on the way out. He was definitely eager to go and totally disappointed when I turned into the first woods trail--the one he's been on before. I guess he was looking for adventure. Once we were in the woods he kept looking for new places to go. I think I will have to take him out to the tree farm sooner than later. At this rate we'll never get any ring work done, but I'd rather have him happy than trained. He's still a kid and deserves to have some fun in his life. Plenty of time to learn how to do that "dressage stuff."
As for Tucker, we had a milestone on the trail when I finally tried jumping one of the fallen trees across the trail. It was more of a "trot over" than a jump, but he was both quiet and bold about it. Later, we explored a bit, mostly because, like Chance, he wanted to investigate the path ahead. I had a bit more time for him, so we went up the lane that used to go to my grandmother's house--now bulldozed after falling down--then turned around and came back. If it weren't so darn wet, I'd love to see how he'd be about going around the lake, but I have a feeling the footing is under water. I'm not keen about riding anybody on that kind of terrain.
I gave Toby the day off. He made an evil face at the sight of a bridle, and practically smiled when I walked away with it.