Lucky got a ride this morning. It was terrifically hot yesterday, the 4th of July, so everyone but Rug had a holiday. Back to work this morning, and I was up early – on the first horse by 6:30 a.m. It was just tolerable! Lucky was the second to work, and he lunged well, a bit reluctant to walk in a straight line to the ring but his protest is so mild, he sort of does it out of habit. He went both ways well. He’s thinking every day about what I am wanting and I do think he is trying. He is untracking quicker each day, and that can be good and bad! When I say “untrack”, what I mean is he is taking less time to relax into an open stride, lower his head and stretch his neck and back out a little, and achieve a relaxed, forward stride where he is pushing off the ground with the hind feet, rather than pulling himself along with the front feet. If you get a chance to watch your horses move at a gait faster than a walk on a consistent basis, you’ll understand immediately what I am describing.
I brought him back to the barn, zipped on the safety vest and clipped on the helmet (yes, every time, every ride, even in this heat), messed with him at the mounting block a second and had a little help holding him while I laid a little weight in the stirrup, then mounted. He hasn’t been ridden probably in over 6 months, and I’m a lot heavier than a jockey (ah hem, yes, I’m on a diet) so I was just being cautious. He walked out of the barn nicely and then….well…he took a left turn….sort of on his own….the steering wasn’t really there….and went to his buddy near the fence, thank goodness. On the way he almost walked into the backend of the tractor….oh well. Guess we have to work on the steering issue. Our helper caught up to us, and we carefully attached a lead rope and walked two or three circles back over in front of the barn, then returned for a bath. I had enough to know he’s going to be a freakin’ awesome ride. He’s got a beautiful walk, which means he’s going to have a beautiful canter, too. He stood for mounting and dismounting and I just know the glitches will work themselves out. Lots of his favorite peppermint treats! I am building his confidence as best I can. I know the little anxiousness here and there is going away and becoming less of an issue with every day he is worked and handled. I continue to monitor the attitude, in case something may be physically bothering him here and there, but so far he seems quite sound, and is gaining weight and condition each week. No pictures but maybe I’ll get some tomorrow.