A virus is running through the barn, so all rides and lessons were cancelled from Wednesday through tomorrow.
Luckily, the virus doesn't appear to be very strong and the sick horses have been recovering well. Fawkes has been fine, but we were all asked not to ride much to keep the stress level low and hopefully help the virus clear out faster.
Wednesday I hopped on bareback for awhile because nothing will keep me moving slower than trying to prevent Fawkes' withers from breaking me in half. It was actually an interesting challenge. I spent a lot of time just "listening" to his back with my seat and moving with the motion.
Then we did leg yields in both directions. He was super responsive even to my right leg, which makes me think that his unwillingness under saddle is not just general one-sidedness. Need to ponder that more.
I left him on a loose rein and used only my seat and leg to change his path. Amazing how much you feel the effect of shifting your weight on their back when the muscles respond directly under you. So while slow and probably painfully boring to watch, it was a neat exercise. Except for halt. Could not get the pony to stop sans reins. Clearly a signal we both need to clarify.
Took a hand walk afterwards to graze on the first blades of spring grass. Eating helps ease the fear of leaving the comfort of home.
Since we are still on "quiet time" I chose to go to happy hour today instead of ride. Fawkes approved of my choice. I stopped by on the way home to say hello and he was blanketed, buried in his hay, and mostly concerned that I wasn't going to make him leave his comfy pen. He tolerated my hugs and kisses and happily said goodbye.
Have people in town visiting this weekend, but will hopefully at least get to ride and then get back to work again next week. This enforced break wasn't bad though, I do forget that just enjoying your horse is good for the soul too.