Thursday, October 14, 2010

Soybeans and Sadness

Today was another gorgeously sunny fall day, and since we started out on the strip, Bear was back to standing like a champ. In fact, he was really good at everything today. We ran through some circles and figure eights and few other things to get warmed up, and then we walked off into the soybean field.

Steen was also having a great day. It was windy, so the guys couldn't hear super well, but despite this Steen was still shockingly relaxed. He had one funny little spook while we crossed a grassy section of field, but it was almost nothing. It didn't even bother Bear, and you could see Steen thinking that he really shouldn't be spooking. It is nice to see him getting increasingly comfortable with venturing out.

On the hills Bear was still stepping carefully, but I do think I'm seeing some improvement in his flexibility, mobility, and willingness to stretch his comfort zone. He also had a mini-spook towards the end. We were on the strip and something got him scooting along quickly, but both of us settled right back down. At the end we did a little more work within the cones and he was downright amazing.

So why the sadness? Jean's horse Schooley, one of my favorite horses at the barn, will be put down tomorrow. He is a 20 year old thoroughbred and has been having some health problems lately, so this is certainly the best decision. But it is really sad.

Jean and Schooley have become great barn friends. Robin and Jean have enjoyed many great rides together, and last fall I was lucky to go on a couple of the slower and more relaxed ones. Jean also knew that I really liked Schooley. Last spring she was kind enough to let me ride him. Even for a 20 year old he was a super spunky guy, but he had no problems leading me around the arena like a gentleman. I don't have any great photos of Schooley, but I do have a video from our ride:

Robin also has a nice Schooley write up on her blog.

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