I rode today - the first time in 25 days - I'm very excited about it! Although there have been days when the weather has been good - we've been having a very mild winter - I just haven't been able to muster the gumption and energy to ride. Today it was nice again - about 40F with little wind and a bit of sun. The arena is still a swamp, but the grassy areas were pretty good to ride on. I think in a way, my getting all hot and bothered about the rail carpers was a good thing - I felt more like riding and wasn't worrying about what might happen (my annoyance with external criticism shut down my internal self-criticism - how's that for weird psychology?). Pie may have been surprised to be taken out of the paddock - he's been either in a small paddock or a very muddy, deep, turn out pasture, by himself, where there's no opportunity to run or play. He's recently taken up pawing when he's tied or on cross ties - he's feeling so much better now that he's over his EPM symptoms (he and Drifter finished up their medicine last week and both of them are feeling great) - and I had to ask him to stop.
We saddled and bridled up, and we did a bit of lungeing in the parking lot. He's pretty much got the idea of lungeing at the walk in both directions now, so we tried a bit of trot and that went pretty well. Then I did some leading work at the walk and trot - he now trots up nicely with me when he would never do this before. Then we did about 20 minutes of ridden work on the grassy field, both walk and trot, with lots of transitions and figures and some halting, standing around, backing and turns on the haunches added in. His mounting was perfect - he stood like a rock on a loose rein. He was energetic and forward, but well behaved - there was a small bit of head-shaking but that's all, and for a 5 year old who's not had much chance to move out recently that was pretty good.
I felt pretty good about the whole thing, and Pie's demeanor was great - he was interested and alert and there was no ear pinning or crabbiness. He seemed to enjoy himself, and Drifter was very jealous - with no arena to work in Drifter will just have to wait.
All in all, a pretty good day!