Trot, Skip, and a Trot

Before I update you on Ike’s condition, I feel I must apologize for my less than humorous posts the past few days.  It is sometimes hard to see the glass as half full when life is siphoning the water out before your eyes.  But Ike and I are rallying and are back to work with good spirits.  Two outings are in the works in the next couple of weeks, and we’d like to put our best hoof forward as we venture back out under public scrutiny.  We have a clinic with Rebecca Langwost Barlow on Friday and our next schooling show is on October 7th.  Dare I say that I’m more nervous about the clinic with Becky than I am about riding the two tests?

I popped on Ike after work on Monday.  Mid-to-late afternoon can be challenging because that is feeding time.  Ike, being the strapping young man that he is, HATES to miss a meal or have it delayed because his uncaring owner choses that moment to ride.  We try to fool him with a handful of oats, but he is no dummy and knows he has been jipped.  He was a good sport, and I’m happy to report that he felt even stronger than he did during my Sunday ride.  He even gave me a more forward-thinking trot without any argument.  My half halts were a bit half-assed since I’m still not back up to full speed either (nursing a cold with a dry hacking cough), but Ike did hear my pitiful efforts and tried his best to comply with my requests.

Tuesday dawned a cool and glorious fall day.  Had to be at the barn early for Ike’s pedicure.  Sadly, his feet are much more presentable than mine…maybe I should try some bell boots to hide their wretched condition.  I then went home and finished my work day.  It was too nice a day to not ride, so I headed back to the barn after work to have my first lesson with Ms. C in over two weeks.  She has an incredible eye for the movement of a horse and can see things that people like me miss.  Right away she spotted a small hitch in the movement of Ike’s right hind leg…the one that had the worst trouble last week.  She asked if I could feel it, but it was so slight sometimes that I felt nothing.  Other times it felt like Ike would trot a few steps, take one skip step, and then get right back to trot.  There was nothing screaming “ouch,” but Ike definitely is not back to full steam yet.  And since we are laying it all out there, my skills were a bit rusty today as well.  It is very clear that I require weekly adult supervision to keep me on my toes with my fingers closed, legs relaxed, and reins the proper length.  Ike and I started off with work that would have earned us a 5.5, but ended the lesson with work that could get us a 7.5.  It was agreed that Ike’s movement improved over the course of the lesson, so hopefully it is just a matter of working out the kinks to get us back to show form.

Hopefully Ike will be done skipping before our October 7th show.  I just don’t see the judge giving us extra credit for our interpretive trot.


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