Is Autumn on the Way?
Lovely days both, but it did get a bit warm on Wednesday. I weed whacked again, this time in the back yard and around the exterior area of the barn. This included a horribly overgrown rosebed I had neglected. In the process I accidently whacked the only rosebush that had a blossom on it. It is now just a stick. If I feed it, it may come back before winter comes in, so I will try some tender care.
A very nice couple dropped by to look at my solar energy system. The company installed it referred them to me and they had called on Tuesday and actually driven by. But, the barn is in the back yard so they couldn't see anything from the road. We had a nice chat and I explained everything I knew about the system to them. Hopefully they will make the investment in a system for their home, mostly because we can all use as much energy savings as we can.
I ended the day with a nice long swim and a cruise along the lazy river. When I got home that was that. Once more I was worn out.
This morning, Thursday, I got up very early and fed the Boys. Then I went back to bed for an hour or so. I went back out again, thinking of some lunging and changed my mind. The Boys were hanging out in the arena and there were no flies about at all.
I brought Tucker in and rode him first. I didn't ask him to work in an upper level frame until the very end and that for only a few minutes of trot. The rest of his work was done on a lower level frame with lots of stretching. Something is definitely bothering him in his hind end. This time, though, it is when he is on the left lead. He is very cranky and breaks gait if I try to do a small circle. As a matter of fact, he was even cranky at first doing a twenty meter circle, so he was trying to tell me something. When his hock was bothering him, he would not take the right lead. So it's not the same problem. Could be that his right stifle is a bit weak. Right now, I will just see if I can leg him up to see if it makes any difference. No pressure. If it continues to bother him, I will get the vet out, but for now as long as he is not lame, I will just work it carefully.
Toby let me put the lead rope on him, so I rode him next. This would have to be one of the world's shortest workouts as he has had very little work over the last several months. We trotted around the arena three times in each direction, then cantered three times each way with a flying change on each hand. Then we walked a little and called it a day...and a carrot. He feels so sound. It is just wonderful to have an older horse go so well.
I collected Chance from the pasture where he had strolled when he saw me coming for him. But he was easy to catch, so no biggie. He too felt really good. There was no sign of his strange hind end unevenness which shows up now and then. At the trot, he worked nicely into the bit in a stretchy frame. Two things I need to work on are getting him more laterally supple and not allowing him to drop me into my right seat bone. He wants to carry me on the right which then allows him...on the left rein....to fall into the left, so I have to consciously sit more on my left seat bone....or evenly.
The nicest moment was our first canter depart on the left lead. He "slid" into a soft canter without throwing up his head for balance. And, he kept his head down as we cantered on. It was short lived success, however as after two circuits of the arena, he broke gait and then it was a little difficult recreating the same soft depart. The right lead was a head up affair as well, but again, it is a matter of both balance and suppleness. After I finished the basic,"let's just canter for a while to get fit" part of the ride, I worked a little bit of suppling/softening at the trot and then managed one little session of much better canter with a decent depart.
I actually think Chance has grown a little. I measured him this morning and he seems to be just about 15.3 h. I don't know how I look on his back, but he seems to fit me really well. Since Tucker is nearly 17h, there is quite a difference, but in this case it's a nice one. Chance is one special boy.
I also had another surprise yesterday when Paprika, the stray orange tomcat, showed up in the hay shed. I haven't seen him for months and was quite convinced he had met his maker. I can only guess he spent the summer visiting lady cats somewhere in the neighborhood. I tried to catch him two years ago to get him neutered, but the gate in the trap came unlatched and I lost him. I have a feeling he's too smart to fall for that again. I don't know how old he is, but he is apparently a survivor. He begs for food, and I give him nice dishes full of both canned and dry food. I have a little house for him with a nice foam pillow when he wants to take a nap. I think that's where he was when I went out to feed this morning. It is sad to think of him roaming about instead of settling into a good home, but there's not much I can do. I will continue to feed him and give him shelter for a long as he wants. I'm just glad he found his way back to his haven here.