This morning I was feeling lazy. I had promised Brett I would ride Flash again but I didn't feel like working hard - and too much time in the arena discussing bracing issues with Flash gets old. I decided to take Flash for a walk around the block instead.
I wore Western boots and blue jeans. No breeches. No tall, hot dressage boots. Comfy, lazy clothes were calling my name.
Brett got Flash out and started grooming.
I grabbed Jackson's bridle and hopped on him bareback. I wanted to see if he still felt uneven on the right. Today is technically a rest day for him but I knew he would be happier about me riding Flash if he felt secure in his relationship with me.
The best way to accomplish that was to ride him. We cruised up and down the driveways, around the rocks and aloe, and then went into the arena for a quick bit of trot work. He felt fine. Forward and not off at all.
Flash was ready to go so I put Jackson back in his stall. My intention was to go around the block, a 20 minute ride. The sky was blue, the sun was warm and the breeze was cool with a hint of fall in its crispness. The sun warmed the skin on my arms while the breeze blew cool across my face. Flash sighed softly and walked at a forward, but relaxed, pace. We got to the four way intersection and instead of making the right turn to head home, we turned left out towards the front gate of our community.
A Harley motorcycle grumbled and spat its way past us. Flash just flicked an ear and walked on. At the next corner, we turned left again. I wasn't sure if Flash would protest because left is the direction of the trails into the surrounding wilderness. He slowed a bit to make sure he understood correctly, and then softly turned and walked on. We passed under huge shady oak trees by Bruno's place, past the little black mini who whinneyed to us in welcome, and turned up a steep hill back towards home.
Flash stayed relaxed and on a long rein as we passed the olive green house, home to a ba-zillion kids. There is a brand new baby in that house -- number seven or eight. There are toys, swings, strollers and stacks of wood that constantly move around their property. There was a hammock that I don't remember seeing before. Horses don't like things moving from place to place. Flash didn't care.
I started singing "They call me Mellow Yellow" in my head. Flash marched on, past Sandra's beautiful yard with the cactus blooming brilliant yellow, past the new barn at Rebecca's place, past Jacquie's horses playing in their paddock, and back down our street.
Brett was weed whacking by the back gate. I swear, I can't leave that man unattended for five minutes when he has an injury. I'm riding his horse so he can recover and here he is out whacking the weeds! Flash and I walked in the back gate and Brett followed, with the weed whacker still purring. Flash didn't like the sound of it following us -- or maybe he was upset with Brett for working too. He didn't settle until Brett turned the thing off.
Jackson was watching us but he wasn't upset. He had already had a pretty perfect morning. And I did too.