The temperature was up near 60F today with sunshine, blue skies and no wind to speak of. Perfect for the last day of January.
I had a rather lengthy meeting in the morning, then stopped at the supermarket to use my $10 worth of Purina coupons...cat food, and headed home to make eggplant parmesan for lunch and dinner. I ate, relaxed a little then headed out to the barn to do the chores and....ride!
I saddled Chance up this time and gave him a perhaps 20 minute school in the arena. Most of it was at the walk, but I did a good session of trot. I have to laugh a bit at me, because I was actually getting winded as we worked--a pretty sad commentary on my general fitness at the moment. But aside from the barn chores, I haven't been doing any really serious exercise, so I'm not all that surprised. We finished the arena work with 50 canter strides on each lead and then went out for a super short loop on the trails directly behind my property. It's basically a hairpin out and back.
When we got back, I was surprised to see my farrier's truck in the yard. Apparently, he had arrived just as I was leaving to go out the gate and I never saw him. Meanwhile, Toby and Tucker were all riled up, galloping and bucking wildly along the arena fence putting on quite a show. Toby, the herd boss, was quite upset that Chance and I had left, and Tucker was joining in just for the heck of it. I guess at that moment, Scott figured there was no point in trying to catch either one for shoeing, so he decided to wait for me to get back.
Everything settled peacefully as soon as I returned, and we put Chance on the crossties at one end of the barn for Scott's assistant to trim while Tucker stood on the ties at the other end for Scott to shoe him. Kevin, Scott's assistant, fell in love with Chance almost at once and spent the rest of his time there trying to buy him. Some of it was joking, but he was also serious.
Both he and Scott kept remarking at what wonderful feet Chance has--the kind you dream about. And, of course, Chance's steady personality and nice chunky, solid body add to his appeal.
It had been 12 weeks since Tucker's last shoeing, and his shoes were still on nice and tight despite the many rains/snows/muds we have had. Either we were really lucky or his feet are improving. He has been on the Purina Healthy Edge for about a year now and I'm wondering if that has helped his feet. I held off on the shoeing so he could grow some good hoof, which he did. Since I really wasn't riding much, the extra length didn't matter too much and he was moving just fine, so the wait may have been worth it. I guess we will know if these new shoes manage to stay on for the duration.
Toby got his trim, I played with Mick, Scott's border collie for a good long time, and we shared some good stories all the while.
As for my ride, my knees felt all rubbery when I got back--not bad at all, just tired--so it is just as well Scott had come. I was considering riding Tucker as well, and that might have been a bit too much for my legs. This way, I had an excuse to just ride Chance and let the rest go.
I don't know what the weather is going to be like for the rest of the winter, but we are in for a mild spell again. I will try to do some riding as long as it's nice, with no real goals or plans to accomplish much except some general fitness.
No pressure. Just pleasure.