It was a sunny day with not too much wind, but the temperatures didn't make it to 20F. I went to the barn not really intending to ride - it was supposed to get much colder in the afternoon but by the time I got everyone groomed, it was still 15 degrees and one other boarder was riding, so Red and I ended up having an excellent ride. He managed well yesterday with all the distractions, but I wanted to see if we could have a relaxed, stretching down ride so I took my chance - I didn't want to leave him where he was yesterday. He had behaved very well under challenging conditions yesterday, but although we managed a bit of relaxation by the end of our ride, it wasn't as much as I'd like.
Even though conditions were very cold, he was just wonderful. Lots of very nice, forward, stretching down trot with very good engagement behind and excellent stepping under with the inside hind on turns and circles. There was a pile of new stuff in one corner - hay bags and buckets for the pasture horses who are staying in the indoor arena tonight - Red gave this the hairy eyeball a few times but then was just great. We kept our work session fairly short since he was doing so well. When we were done, I asked him to stand in the center of the arena while I picked up some manure. He did that beautifully as well, watching me as I walked around as well as observing the other horse and rider. People are often surprised that Red and Pie do this for me - I never "trained" them to do it but just asked them, and they willingly comply.
By the time I got home, it was down to 11F, and after I went out for a quick dinner a couple of hours later, it was 6F. Going to be a cold one, with no riding tomorrow . . .