Chris and I rode out again today. The temperature was near 40F, so it was a lot warmer and the sun did peek out now and again.
JJ was his usual quiet self, but several times, he picked up his walking pace all on his own and kept up with Nordisk. That's always nice as then Chris and I can talk without shouting to each other. *L*
One of the spots where JJ moved out was when we headed for the back of my pasture. Apparently, he likes to see my Boys.
My little herd obliged nicely. First Chance appeared from the barn paddocks, and then Toby and Tucker came racing out. It's the most animated I've seen them in days. Of course, the ground was not frozen solid as it's been in days either, so they had some fairly good footing to romp in.
Nordisk started a bit when the galloping hoofs thundered across the pasture, but JJ just kind of stood there and watched with interest. The Boys did not react too much to my voice, but we'd ridden past on another ride, so they were not too impressed that I was on "another horse." They hung out at the fence for a while.
The trees and brush are grown up all along my fence line, so there aren't many places we could approach. And I was a bit hesitant to let everyone sniff noses anyhow. My Boys have not had fall vaccinations for flu since I haven't been taking them anywhere, so I figure horse to horse exposure is not too ideal at this time.
For some reason, known only to the horse brain, the Boys turned tail and galloped off again, this time back into the riding arena and out of sight. Both Nordisk and JJ were a bit disappointed that the show was over. Chris and I expected the herd to some back, but the didn't. I guess they decided the "show" of the visitors was over too. Instead, they hung out in the riding arena doing who knows what. But, then again, with the thaw, I suspect the footing in the sparse pasture grass was a bit slippery. On the other hand, even on the wettest of days, the riding arena has pretty good footing and if they want to frolic, that's the place to do it. Perhaps they were partying up there instead.
Nordisk, possibly inspired by my Boy's display, decided he wanted to do something besides walk quietly home at that point. Chris thinks he was getting bored, which may well be. But he kept trying to jig. Now, mind you, JJ was in his usual tranquilized state of mind, although he did start walking out again, even, (heaven foirbid) taking the lead on the way home. All the while Chris kept gently checking Nordisk to keep him in a rather animated walk.
On the last leg back, we saw another rider well ahead of us. Nordie's head went up and he animated even more. He had that "I want to gallop after that horse" expression on his face, but once again both he and Chris kept it together. She did a great job of keeping him under control, but you could see he wanted to "Do Something!"
Meanwhile, JJ kept at his forward, but calm pace all the rest of the way.
I don't know what the magic formula is when I ride JJ, but once again, he was a delightfully unexciting ride. As I noted in comments below, we do wonder if the Ansur has anything to do with it.
Whatever it is, as long as it keeps up when I ride him, I'll be happy. There's nothing nicer than a good stead trail horse. At my age, it's the only way to ride. *G*