Cobwebs hang from the dust-covered bridle.
It's been months since I've ridden.
But last weekend, the weather was cool, the grass was mowed, the garden weeded, and no sheepdog activities scheduled. So I decided to ride.
While the tack may have gathered dust, Lily, my Haflinger, has not.
For several years, I worked her consistently, and those routines and habits became ingrained.
So even though she's been a pasture pony for the past few years, she knew what to do when I pulled that bridle from its peg. She opened her mouth and accepted the bit (and a treat). When I walked her to the mounting block, she stood while I mounted (and turned her head for a treat); then we ambled toward the five-acre pasture for a short ride.
Those days and weeks and months of not riding disappeared with every step.
For, though we may not be in the riding shape we once were, neither pony nor I forget. The routine comes back.
And, after 10 minutes, when she starts lugging toward the fence, I am reminded that her quirks are still present.
Lily never likes to poo on a potential dinner plate. While riding, she always tried to aim for a corner, a fence row, a muck bucket.
So, for our ride, like so many rides in the past, we must sidle up to the fence row so that she can relieve herself.