With everything drying out at a great rate, the woman decided it was time for the horses to begin an exercise program. This involves a ritual called longing (or lunging, whichever you prefer). She puts a very long rope device called a longeline on their halters and they then perform different paces while rotating around her. Typical. She gets to stand still and they get to work up a sweat. She once put this device on me and I quickly showed her all three paces in the correct order to illustrate that I had absorbed this juvenile process through simply observing. I did this in both directions and then turned and faced her, giving her a withering look. She professed utter astonishment at my performance and has never asked me to do this again.
TJ has never seen this before and became highly excited and alarmed when Doc began to circle. "Come back" he screamed. "She's tryin ta spin him ta death!" He got in under Doc's tail and stayed there through the first set of paces and then dropped off to one side. He was blowing like he'd just run a four minute mile. He quickly figured out that Doc didn't actually get anywhere and in fact made an excellent moving target for bouncing off and generally tormenting. Molly was next, but he watched her respectfully from the sidelines - he knows the painful pinch those large, yellow teeth can inflict.
Then the woman put my halter on and we set off on a walk, or what she calls "the Royal Progress". There are still some snowbanks in the farm lane and she selfishly refused to carry me over these. I was forced through knee-deep snow and had to take several breathers. I know it was only ten steps or so, but she was blind to my predicament. Once through, I indicated that I wished to take the longer route in order to inspect any changes that had occured over the winter. There was a damp pile of feathers on one trail and I smelled that for quite awhile, till it caused a violent sneezing fit.
Last week the whole bottom of the valley was full of rushing water but by yesterday we were able to take the trail that leads to the green bridge over the stream. I planted my feet at the edge of the bridge and insisted she go first. Good thing too. She took two steps and the whole thing spun up in the air and she suddenly disappeared from view. I stood rooted to the spot and eventually her head and shoulders appeared, covered in a variety of mud and vegetation. My first thought was "Good God, there really IS a troll under every bridge." She was laughing so I surmised she was simply filthy and not hurt. She told me to stand still and then grasped my fetlocks in both hands and hoisted herself out. I'd rather not be used as a hoist but I figured we'd be there forever if I didn't comply.
All in all, a very satisfying day, even if my ankles are a bit stiff.