I woke very early and was up and about by 6.30 so the ponies had not only had breakfast but digested their hay too when we got them out at 9.30 and brushed off.
Jen took Sonny into the field and mounted him by the gatepost there, just to let him be mounted in a different place. I followed when I'd harnessed and yoked Ruby. Jen and Sonny were already walking the sheep off the hayfield so we joined her.
A stag and two hinds cantered out of the Nursery wood and across the river, over Tom's fences, across the road, and away over two walls, running from Mr Allen's motorbike as he "looked" the sheep. Jen was astonished at how large red deer are - it's a long while since she's seen them close up. The horses didn't bother, for once; Ruby has got quite sparked up at times when we've put-up roe deer close at hand.
It was all very laid-back today; the weather was fresh and cool, Ruby was chilled and Sonny relaxed, despite several hours of grazing in the paddock yesterday afternoon and despite the clegs fastening on blood at every opportunity. I didn't get bitten - I must be doing something right! Jen rode Sonny up and down the slopes, circled at trot, and cantered him frequently, which he evidently enjoyed. She also went on working on ground tying - throw down the lead rope and he will halt. He was confused though when I asked if he was reacting to the throw or the rope ... she moved her arm without the rope and he thought about stopping, then didn't. Bright boy! The memory of his crack over the backside evidently held good; he didn't "plant" himself at all today.
I moved the sheep away from the yard gate a couple of times with Ruby, who quite enjoyed being a sheep-herd. Sonny saw Jackie Taylor and her son James walking up the road, and pricked his little ears and asked to investigate, so Jen told him to canter after them, which he was delighted to do. He saw that they had a dog, and was curious but not too bothered. I took Ruby for a nice trot along the wood side and back, and we both really enjoyed that. She wanted to tank through the gateway (also remembering Sonny's crack over the backside yesterday!) but I made her walk back in quietly.
It all made a nice change from sorting out web forums and damn-awkward trolls :)
Photos of tomorrow's schooling session, I hope. Today was too laid back to bother :)