Early this morning, we woke to the sound of heavy rain. It didn't last long and we dozed for another hour or so. The walkways were wet and the sky was cloudy when the sun came over the ridge.
The rain came down again while I was in the barn mixing the vitamin buckets for the horses. It stopped before I finished making their breakfast. Their backs were wet and steamy when I let them into the barn, but they didn't seem to notice. By noon, the clouds were gone and the sun was bright.
Mid-afternoon, I went down to play with my horses. I got Jackson out first and washed his tail. He also got a thorough, nose to toe, grooming.
I led him back to his paddock, through the pasture, twirling the end of the lead rope to keep the other horses at a distance. Winston wants to be in my space as much as possible, Flash was trying to supervise, and Mufasa thought I might have cookies in my pocket. With Jackson safely tucked away, I took Winston out.
Winston and I have been making progress on our fitness. We have progressed to doing 15 minutes of forward, connected trot and a bit of canter work. Wednesday was my monthly weigh-in and measurement day with my trainer at the gym. The last measurement day was just before our vacation, just before I was thrown, just before all exercise stopped for a month -- but eating, of course, continued. She had me step on the scale first. Sure enough, I was up 2 lbs from last month. While she measured, she fired questions at me "What are you eating?" "Are you getting enough protein" "This is the wrong direction." But the measurements hadn't gone up and my waist had actually lost an inch. Hmmm, she said, that's weird. Last she measured my body fat % and voila! It had decreased. We both danced a happy jig. Muscle weighs more than fat. My body now has more muscle and less fat. This is much better than just losing weight. I'm firming up.
Today, I saddled up Winston and took him to the mounting block. He stood quietly while I tightened his girth and dropped the irons. When I mounted, he didn't walk off until I asked him to. That deserved a reward because standing still is not easy for Winston. Instead of going into the arena, we headed down the back driveway. Winston picked up the pace, ears forward, and swung him self sideways to the gate so I could open it from his back. We walked forward, happy and only a smidge nervous, down the street and around the corner. We went up the little hill and kept going to the next driveway. I'm trying to go one driveway further every time we go out alone on the roads with the goal of eventually making it solo around the block. There was a dog loose across the street and Winston stopped with his head up and alert. I let him look for a minute, and then we continued on. On the way back, we came upon a woman out for a walk and he did the same stop and look behavior. Then he walked on. I turned him into the back driveway and he tried his best to avoid going in the gate. When I shut the gate, he tried going back out. Silly, silly boy. He trudged to the arena where we did a couple victory laps at trot and canter. He connected to the bit at canter for the first time, with consistency, and when I got off I was happy to see his mouth was foamy white in the corners. No, no, not rabies. That is the evidence of a horse who is comfortably chewing on the bit and working in the contact.
I put Winston back in the pasture and started mucking. As usual, Winston was invading my space. I kept trying to get a picture of him but this is how they all came out.
Winston has stopped harassing Mufasa. They all eat nicely together and we no longer have to put Mufasa's hay in a bin far away from the others. I think Mufasa looks very lion-ish in this picture.
It's been a good week.