I am not a morning person. Like, not in any sense of the word.

But thanks to daylight saving time, my butt is out of bed well before the break of sunrise this winter.

It’s been a few weeks now, and I can’t really admit that I’ve gotten “used to it,” as my more athletic runner and biker friends say. They do it almost every day. But I do drag myself from bed at 5 a.m. now because if I don’t, then I don’t have any opportunity to ride during the week with real, natural sunlight at my back.

The shorter days during winter in Florida means it’s usually dark before I clock out and leave the cubicle for the day. We do have lights on one arena at the farm, but for whatever reason, I much rather ride under the sun.

I really love the morning moments I have with Belinda when I first arrive at the farm. She’s usually awake, but happy to rubbed and loved on in her dark stall. I just like that’s she’s soft, fuzzy and warm.

I like to be completely tacked up just as the stars are beginning to fade away, and the purple night sky is starting to catch fire at the edges. I’m in the saddle before there’s enough light for the trees to cast shadows on the ground.

Belinda, my Hanoverian mare, is slow to get going on these early morning rides. But after a long warm up, we tend to have great, easy hacks. I think she enjoys getting her work out out of the way at the beginning of the day, too.

I’ve noticed that when I ride early in the mornings now, I feel great all day. I’m bright and energetic by the time I walk into the office. I’m more productive and focused. I go to bed dreaming of the next morning ride, and how pretty the arena looks at the start of a new day’s glow.

That is, until the alarm goes off at 5 a.m. the next day.

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