It's a beautiful spring day. The grass is lush and green, the trees are full of new, bright leaves, and the sky is blue with fluffy white clouds drifting over the horizon. The temperature is a perfect 72 degrees with a light breeze that pulls along the scent of blooming trees. Just enough to make your skin tingle but not enough to make you feel chilled.
I'm taking Gwen out for a hack and we're having a lovely time. She's calm and relaxed, yet very responsive. We turn into a field full of grass gently swaying in the breeze. Clumps of baby's breath and sweet peas peek out between the waving stalks. Gwen's head comes up and her ears perk forward, she starts to prance a bit, she wants to stretch out and enjoy this flat swath of ground.
I give her permission with a touch of my leg and she immediately steps into a light, rocking horse canter. She keeps her contact with the bit soft, maintains the gait on her own, and we float across the field in perfect harmony.
But the field is coming to an end, and the entrance to the woods is approaching. I sit up and still my back, Gwen obligingly comes down into a trot and then a walk. We ease into the dappled sunlight of the forest, both feeling happy and more alive after our canter across the field.