Such A Joy!
I took Chance out for a short trail ride today. He selected the longer way home than I'd planned, but that was fine by me as it was a sunny day. There was a bit of a breeze to cool things off, but all in all, it was delightful.
I am endlessly surprised at how well the footing drains around here. Thursday we had torrential rains, and today? Except for the places where the water collects, nice firm footing.
And Chance was an angel. He trotted up a few little teeny tiny hills, but that's to be expected when a horse is not fit, but other than that...perfection. What a pleasure to ride a nice quiet horse out in the woods.
I rode in the arena for about two minutes when we got back, just to see where his schooling is. He kind of understands how to drop down on the bit, but is far from soft about it. As my former trainer, Chris, may be coming down in a month or so to do a clinic, I really do need to amp up the arena schooling for Chance. I would be taking him mostly because I am not sure Tucker's hocks are OK enough to do any serious dressage schooling. Kind of sad because he is much farther along, but I have no intention of causing him pain if the work is too much for his joints. So, Chance will be my lesson horse.
As for Tucker, I have to wait for Scott to put his shoes back on before I do any riding. I am not going to risk a lameness issue. Toby seems fine so far barefoot, but Tucker....taking no chances this year.
And what will I do with Tucker if dressage is not his game? Well, we certainly can do the lower level stuff and even learn some new things as long as we don't worry about collection. We can play pleasure horse, perhaps do a bit of low level jumping, and since I'm thinking it would be a blast to teach Chance to do trail obstacles, Tucker would enjoy that too. And, there's always the Tucker trail to ride along with a few variations as long as there are no hunters/ATV's in the woods. He's not exactly the happy ride out there Chance is, but he's OK. As well, I can work on the long lining.
Toby is semi-retired, but I do want to keep him somewhat fit. Anything that seems like play will suit him, as will some trail rides.
No big ambitions any more for me as I have not missed competition one bit. For now, anyhow, my horses will just be fun.
Earthquake night, I fell asleep on the couch worrying about my nephew and watching the TV coverage. I was awakened by the front doorbell. A passing motorist had come up to the house because the three Boys were out loose on the front lawn!! Once again, the chain on the gate had come off--my fault for not fastening it securely. But worse, they had breached the push gate across the driveway. Apparently Chance has figured out it's not a solid obstacle...he went through it once before, baffling the other Boys. This time, they followed.
Drastic action is needed. The gates can be electrically charged to that is what I am going to do. I will need to do a little repair on the ends and then hook up a charger. The one side is OK for an AC charger, but the other driveway needs a battery operated one. I've put in a bid on eBay and hope I win. Once I get the gates powered up, I'll introduce one Boy at a time to the "zap" and hopefully, that will discourage escapes.
I also have to put electric fencing on the front fence area too, so that's another project I need to get to when the weather finally cooperates. It's looking promising for Spring around here, but you never know.
Is is safe to be optimistic?
Nephew is still safe in Tokyo area but he says the aftershocks are kind of disturbing. And some of them are actually little quakes from other areas. Here's his most recent post:
"Having a nice cozy nabe hot pot meal late night at O's new apartment, aiming to stay warm without using much electricity, trying to remember what normal life feels like despite the tremors every half hour! Feels like we are on an airplane experiencing turbulence every so often! I guess that makes this an in-flight meal?"
I guess having a sense of humor is a necessity under the circumstances.