I don't have a lot to write about, I suppose. I rode Tonka today and ponied Scout. I've been riding Tonka in a nice, really gentle bit these last several times, but today I didn't want to warm it (my hands didn't have any warmth to share) so we rode in the halter/bridle or riding halter or whatever you want to call it. He is SO much more responsive when he doesn't have a bit to distract him. I've probably made that observation on here before. Not that he's bad in a bit, but he plays with it a lot, and it's really apparent what works better for him when you go back to riding without one. Feather light neck reining and a beautiful stop. Everything just happens a fraction of a second sooner, with more relaxation.
Anyway, we had a short ride in the cold, me in my marshmallow man suit of coveralls and old farm coat, and with my hands about to fall off because I didn't realize I needed gloves until it was too late. We were trying out the Skito shoulder bridge pad that I got yesterday (cheap - eBay). I think it may well be the ticket. My saddle sat more level and he didn't have near as much loin scrub as he usually does. He had plenty of room for his shoulder to move freely. He also didn't pop his head in the air when I put weight on his shoulders during the dismount. Nice.
Yesterday I didn't ride. Had full intentions to saddle up until I walked outside. Ice was blowing sideways through the air. The cold, windy weather had them feeling very playful and a little nervous. So I took them to the trailer, picked out their hooves and scraped most of the dried mud off, then took them back to the pasture. I ended up hanging out in the pasture, walking all over the place and loving on my boys, just because I couldn't get over the fact that they so obviously wanted to hang out with me. Scout wouldn't leave my side and Tonka wasn't far behind. Not that they usually run away when I'm around, but our relationships have strengthened with the consistent work lately. It makes me happy.