Our weather is finally turning nice!! It made it to the low 70s today and that was a great reason to get Katai outside for the first time since last fall. I have taken her out for a couple of walks and some time to hand graze but otherwise she hasn't been out since last year.
The goal for the next few weeks is to get Katai outside as much as I possibly can so that at least that part of the show at the end of May won't be too odd for her. I'm getting her out every day that the weather holds whether it's to ride or just to take her for a walk.
I felt like we had a 50-50 chance tonight whether she would be calm and normal or completely lose her mind. Spoiler alert...
It was the latter
During grooming she was really quiet and sleepy. I'm so happy to say that this no treats thing is working really well and she's quiet and pleasant and seems to enjoy my company. Katai was also really quiet and reasonable about walking to the arena which would have really made her hot in the past. I was still sort of thinking that there might be a chance that she would be calm and reasonable but when I got her in the arena on the lunge line she went right into a canter.
I could tell by her glazed over eyes that there was going to be no reasoning with her so I decided to just let her run it out. I tried to gently re-direct a few times but mostly just moved her around the arena and left her as far out on the line as I could so that she could make nice large circles. Eventually she calmed down and I was able to get her to make some walk/trot transitions. Finally I got her switched to go in the opposite direction and she got herself going again.
Eventually she wore herself out in that direction too and after a couple more walk/trot/walk/halt transitions I called it a day. She had run hard enough that she got herself slightly sweaty but nothing bad. I could tell that she didn't have much energy left but I have the feeling that she just needed this and that next time she'll be her normal calm self.
Honestly I was just really happy with how I handled it. I never got frustrated or tried to make something happen that just wasn't going to happen tonight. I was just calm and relaxed and let her do what she needed to and in the end that meant that her running didn't last as long as it likely would have and we had a nice calm walk back to the barn. I'm proud of myself for not getting wound up because even a few months ago that's what would have happened.
The plan for tomorrow is to ride inside but take her outside for a walk after. I'm fairly certain that Katai will be stiff, sore, and a little tired after her run today so I won't be too surprised if I get some fireworks. Hopefully though I can get some pictures!