I haven't blogged for awhile because I've been busy working, both at home and my part-time job. I've had several inquires on how Flash is doing so I guess it's time to update and turnover my "compost pile".
Flash is doing fine. We missed one dressage lesson two weeks ago because we thought he may have an abscess. He was having trouble putting weight on his right front foot and couldn't trot at all. I took Annette and Jackson up to the lesson, and when we came back, Flash was at the pasture gate, ticked off that he couldn't go. When Annette put Jackson away in the pasture, Flash chased him around for five minutes, letting Jackson know that he is not supposed to leave without Flash's permission. His foot seemed fine then. Flash was definitely upset; either because he couldn't go, or the fact that Jackson was in Flash's "stall" at the front of the trailer. Maybe both.
I worked the next day, (Sunday), and when I came home I decided to longe Flash and see how he was. Well, I haven't longed Flash for at least 6 years because there wasn't a need to. He used to be wild when I first got him and had to longe him before I got on. There were several occasions when he tried to drag me around the arena. On this day he started out fine at a walk for 30 seconds, then decided to trot half a circle and then go into a canter. When I told him he was on the wrong lead, he bucked, farted, picked up the correct lead and took off . I held on because I knew he wanted to have a tug of war. I was right, but was ready this time. After a few more bucks he went into a nice canter. We then changed directions and he was a good boy. After 5 minutes we stopped. Flash was still snorting, ready to go, so I walked up to him and asked him if he just wanted to run around the arena. He just looked at me and said, "what do you think?" I took off his halter and said "go". He turned as he "flew out of sight", a twinkle in his blue eyes, full of delight. We played "chase" games in the arena for the next 15 minutes. He would run and I would chase him down the rail. If I got closer than ten feet he would shift gears and leave me in the dust. When he got to the corner, Flash would turn and prance towards me. When he got close he would say "haha" and take off again. After the 15 minutes, I walked over and picked up the halter, and Flash came right over to me. I put the halter on and asked if he was done. Flash nodded his head yes, and said "thank you". His foot was fine. No sign of an abscess. I think he just tweaked something.
This last Saturday both Annette and I took a lesson. Flash was really good. I wasn't sure what to expect since I had only ridden him once the past week. The lesson was hard as usual, 50 minutes of NON-STOP trot and canter in both directions. Gayle, our trainer, asked if I wanted a break half way through. Me, being macho, said no, I was alright. I didn't want to tell her that my thighs were killing me and my right calf was cramping. That's not to mention I couldn't close my fingers because of the arthritis in my hands. I just grit my teeth until my crowns fell out. Look how tough I am. Not. Flash felt it too. Near the end he started to transition down to trot from canter without permission because he was getting really tired. He was good though, and when I asked, he immediately went back into canter. I've never seen Flash so happy to see Jackson when Annette and he walked into the arena for their lesson. Yes, Flash's foot is fine.
This next week will be an interesting one for Flash, if the weather holds and it is not rainy. On Friday Flash and I are going on a 4 hour trail ride with a group from Irvine, (limited to 10 horses). It goes through the hills of Irvine Ranch, following an old Wells Fargo stage coach route. On Saturday it's up and leaving the barn at 0600 for posse training all day, (emergency medical aid for horses), put on by a local vet. She wants 8 horses to stand still for three hours while we practice bandaging. We'll see. On Sunday it's up again early for a 2 hour drive to San Diego with both Flash and Jackson for an all day sensory clinic. Not only do I have to get up at 5 to feed the horses, I need to run back and forth to the house every 10 minutes to slowly wake up Annette. She did promise me she would go to the clinic, but I think she is secretly praying for rain so it will be cancelled. It's not that she doesn't want to do the clinic, she just doesn't do well getting up early. It's a process, but she's getting better.
I'm looking forward to the clinic because that is what Flash and I really like. Tarps over his head. walking under a parachute while other horses hold it up, walking over mattresses, crossing over a teeter totter, going thru a "car wash", dragging a trash bag full of cans, shooting a paint ball gun off his back, pushing the "battle ball" around, smoke bombs of all colors, fire crackers, popping balloons, and his best friend "air man". This and more. I'm also interested to see how Jackson does; though I suspect he will do fine. He has a really good head. I went to this clinic 3 years ago and it was great. In the afternoon there was a contest, voluntary only. It was a timed event going thru 4 obstacles. You could trot or canter between obstacles, but had to walk thru the obstacle itself. The first obstacle was a "trash pit", just like it sounds. The second was walking up to a bunch of balloons and popping three of them. The third was the "car wash", (walking thru streamers of various sorts attached to an overhead frame). The last was walking across a king size mattress, then back to the start as fast as you want. This, by the way, is staying on and with your horse the whole time. Most riders completed the course in 3 or 4 minutes; some a little faster, some a little slower. Flash, well he is just a tad bit competitive; somewhat like his owner. We finished the course at a full gallop, scattering instructors everywhere, Our time; 29 seconds.
I sure hope it doesn't rain. It makes my compost too soggy.