Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Trip to AZ

I recently returned from a vacation in Arizona, where I spent some time teaching my brother's brother-in-law, Simon, to ride my sister's horse, Jak.

It was a nice break from work, and the sun felt really good, but we got back later than expected and so on Tuesday afternoon I had only been back in town a few hours when I went out to the barn to meet the farrier. The boys were both happy to see us - Steen whinnied and ran for the gate and Bear also loped up to greet us. It is actually astonishing to me how much Bear has changed in the last two months. He's lost a lot of fat, gained a lot of muscle and is significantly more mobile and alert.

Things went well for the trims, even though Steen was in some remnant of his old restless mode. It was actually funny to see, because all his bad habits hadn't surfaced in a long time and none of them were actually coming through all the way. He was mostly standing still, but he was moving his head in his frustrated "nodding" manner, and he also called a few times and looked generally restless. Still, he was great for Duke and all in all it was encouraging to see he could be worked up but still remember his manners.

Yesterday Brian and I headed for the barn in the afternoon. Both Bear and Steen were quite good for their first ride in ten days or so. Steen was more relaxed than I expected after Tuesday. He was content to walk in circles and figure-eights, though his trot was erratic and as we went down the strip he did make a few attempts to turn for home. Nevertheless, it was great to be in the saddle again. Bear is either feeling great after we had a chiropractor work on him just before our trip, or perhaps he was happy that the bugs are all dead now, because he was just about as content and relaxed under saddle as I've ever seen and he wasn't doing the large amount of tail swishing I've noticed in the past. Now let's just hope the weather holds as long as possible and we can keep up with the riding well into winter.

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