How I think everyone looks:
On days like today however I much prefer my non-fancy cow horse who has a brain to the fancy pants warmbloods who have NO brains. Like none. Today Rhode Island brought us 28 degree weather (an actual heat wave... I'm unfortunately not kidding) and 40mph winds. When I got to the barn there were horses all over the indoor. And I don't mean they were productively working all over the indoor... they were literally bouncing around, jumping out of their skin because ZOMG THE WIND IS MAKING NOISE!! Everyone eventually "abandoned ship" of their own accord, thank goodness, and I pulled my fat cow horse out of the frozen tundra that is her field.
|Molls doesn't have snow shoes... note the chunk of ice in her hoof.|
I tacked Molls up, even put on her sissy-cooler to keep her back warm, and brought her into the ring. At this point the wind had picked up and everyone thought I was certifiably insane and borderline suicidal for riding. And wouldn't you know Molls was a straight up superstar. The only thing she gawked at was the sliding door in the back left corner of the ring because it was rattling like crazy every time we went by. She gave it pricked ears and ducked slightly to the inside each time we went by but that was it. I warmed her up slowly, doing lots of walking before trotting. Then I essentially "human lunge lined" my horse around the ring at trot and canter.
I was riding in the snaffle again because I'm lazy and haven't put my bridle back together. I was very impressed with how soft she was again and think I should probably ride her in the snaffle more often. When she's actually light and quiet in it our rides are way more productive than they were before doing double bridle work. She collected nicely and we got some quality collected trot work done. We did some shoulder in and then haunches out but I didn't drill it because she was good.
Towards the end of our ride I was cantering her to the right on a large circle. As I came through the middle of the ring she got a little heavy so I gave her a big half halt with my left rein and really sat back on my left seat bone and wouldn't you know that punk did a clean, quiet flying change and cantered off to the left on her own. I was absolutely stunned, as I haven't asked her for a change in quite some time. She used to have changes but the last few years she hasn't been able to do one without scooting off and scrambling... I chalked it up to her hind end/hocks not being what they used to. I actually laughed out loud, loving the fact that my mare is so freaking sensitive, gave her big pats and got off.
She's a good horse, even if she is part cow.