After checking the footing from the barn to the run-in, I decided to try taking Commander out today. I put Ben into Counterpoint’s stall so he could look out the window and see everyone, then led the Mighty Morgan out.
He checked out the surface before him when we paused at the step down from the barn floor, then walked deliberately down to the gate. Once inside and unhaltered, he puttered around for a bit, dropped for a good thorough roll in the thin snow, and headed into the run-in to see what there was to eat.
Ben bellowed a bit, from the sound of it did a couple of stall spins as I was releasing his buddy, then settled down to alternating between eating hay and checking on the others at the window.
Commander got to stay outside for the hour-plus it took to do chores, then I brought him back inside rather than leave him till evening’s return for bedcheck. He looked fine, and also looked enthusiastic about going back into his stall. Perhaps that was because he spotted the mash bucket hanging ready for him as he entered.
If conditions warrant, I’ll keep doing this in the days ahead, maybe see if I can leave him out for longer with no ill effects.