I have to admit, I was worried when I first heard that we needed to start making sure Little Love moved more in order to keep her in better condition and to alleviate some of the impact the sugar in the feed was having on her. I was so enjoying my time "just hanging out" with her and not having to ask anything of her. But I recognized the necessity in what we were planning to do, and so I resolved to do my best at making sure she got the necessary exercise without resorting to force tactics.
First, I have to say it helps so much that K spends most days working with her, because I benefit from the good habits and routines they establish together. Based on this framework, I have been working on extending my walks with Little Love and doing a bit of trot work in our makeshift arena, but today was like nothing I have experienced before with a horse. Little Love and I ran together side by side (well, OK, I was a little behind her side! :-) ) on our outing, and what an amazing feeling that was!
I have continued to marvel at the calmness this horse can exhibit and even envelop me in, but nothing prepared me for the feeling I would get from moving beside her. It has also been interesting for me to see that, even though she has been reluctant at times to walk away from the barn area with only me and to leave her horse companions behind, once we get going there is a change in her when she is moving. In movement, she seems even more at peace and happier in her own body. This experience has reiterated to me the unavoidable need horses have to move and our responsibility as owners and caretakers to give them ample opportunities to do this - and with as much freedom as we possibly can.