I spend a lot of time riding my horses, but I balance that with just hanging out with them, too. We go for hand walks, I let them graze on the lawn while I clean tack, and sometime I just sit on the fence and tickle their noses. Izzy's. Speedy's into standing close, but he's not into the touchy feely stuff.
I rarely catch Speedy napping. I knows he lays down to rest at night because his face, belly, and butt get pretty muddy, and at shows, his tail gets filled with shavings. I just don't get to catch him at it. Izzy doesn't let me catch him napping on a regular basis, but he does like a mid-morning snooze.
Izzy's a lot lazier than Speedy, so if I happen to catch him snoozing, he'll keep laying there as long as I don't seem like I am in any hurry. And if I am really respectful, he'll let me hug and pet him. After snapping a few awkward selfies though, he gave a me "to hell with this" look and heaved himself back up onto his feet. That was the end of that special moment.
The rewarding thing about spending time just hanging out with my guys is that I get to experience a lot of quiet moments that I don't get to see when I am saddling quickly to beat the clock.
While our resident bunny is still quite skittish, he greets me almost daily, begging for his handful of senior feed. On this day, he actually stood up on his hind legs right under Izzy's belly. I quickly tossed his treat underneath the trailer so that Izzy didn't inadvertently step on him and scare the crap out of them both.
Whether it's in the dead of winter or the heat of summer, I like those non-riding moments just as much as the ones where each footfall is magical. Horses, man, they're in my soul.