This morning dawned cool and overcast. The sun took it's time coming over the ridge and then played dodge ball with clouds all day. I picked apples and Brett groomed the arena. It was far too beautiful to be stuck inside the house.
I packed my suitcases; one for my conference and one for Alisal. Then I went back outside and did some pruning and cleaning up in the garden. Brett moved the compost piles and washed my car, the truck and the horse trailer. We were busy.
At 4:00 Gayle came up to give me, Jeanine and Brett lessons. Winston and I were first up. He was hopping all over the place at the tie rail. He is not used to being ridden at dinner time; I usually ride in the morning. . We ended up with a long, hard lesson. Winston was showing lots of "Appy-tude" so I kept pushing him forward every time he protested. He worked his tail off since he couldn't focus. When the donkeys ran around in the pasture, when Jeanine and Calibar walked down the driveway, when nothing happened at all... he decided to pop out of the contact, break out of canter, or otherwise focus on something other than work. Despite the cold, I was hot, sweaty and exhausted when we finished -- and so was Winston.
After my lesson, I put a cooler on Winston, loaded my tack in the trailer, (ready for Alisal) and then took a quick shower and loaded my car with the conference suitcase while Jeanine took her lesson.
Then I joined Gayle on the viewing stand to watch Brett's lesson. They started out great. Flash was walking well and was responsive to Brett's aids to be forward and round. They looked great. After a long warm up, they moved on to trot work. Going left, Flash looked fine for the first half of the way around the arena. Then he took a "hitchy" step and was definitely off. They trotted around again in the hopes that Flash would work out of it but he didn't. Brett changed directions and the gimpy steps disappeared. He changed back, and the gimpy left hind returned so they stopped. So, Flash isn't 100% yet but he is definitely improved. Brett will take it easy with him at the Alisal and we'll cross our fingers that he continues to improve with the anti-inflammatory medication.
Brett was understandably depressed. I felt horrible kissing him goodbye and heading down the mountain for my conference. The meeting is two hours from home and starts at 7:00 tomorrow morning so I really needed to check in to the hotel tonight. Friday morning early, Brett and Camille will drive the horses up to the Alisal. Kyle will head down after finishing his classes at noon. And I will drive up after my conference ends. If all the stars align, we will all be there for the afternoon ride. I'm ready.