Riders with the Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers usually spend the winters training in an indoor arena, but this weekend the sand in the outdoor ring was soft enough to jump outside months earlier than usual.

More than a dozen riders warmed up in the spacious outdoor ring Sunday afternoon.

They say typically the ground is too firm until later April or May, but for the first time this year they could go through their paces outside without worrying about the risk of injury to the horse.

Riding instructor Emily Bjornson says growing up in British Columbia, she was used to riding year-round, but she never expected to see this happen in February in Nova Scotia. 

"Compared to last winter it's been pretty awesome to ride outside," she said. "Since the ring is so much bigger it helps for jumping and for bigger classes since we have so many people in our rides. It's a great opportunity."

The stable held a schooling show in the barn's indoor arena Sunday to help riders prepare for the summer show season.