1. Earlier this week, Brett was in the house relaxing with his lunch when he heard Flash call. He didn't think much of it until our neighbor, Cindy, called and said that Mufasa was out. Brett went out on the front porch and, sure enough, there was Mufasa on the wrong side of the front gate looking for a way back in. The property is fully fenced and Brett knew Mufasa couldn't jump out. He was stumped; how did Mufasa get out?
2. A neighbor tried to catch Mufasa but he is very wary of people he doesn't know and he took off up the dirt road that circles behind the property. Mufasa followed the fenceline until he was behind the barn and could see Flash and Jackson. Brett hiked all the way around, wondering if Mufasa would trust him enough to be caught. Mufasa looked at Brett, took a step towards him, and froze. He wasn't sure if he wanted to run or go to Brett, who was softly calling his name. He dropped his head and went to Brett who slipped on his halter and walked him back around the property and in the front gate.
3. Of course, the wheels were turning in Brett's head the whole time. How the heck did Mufasa get out? No one had come to visit or deliver mail so the gate had remained closed. Or maybe not. Brett remembered that the metal axle of the muck cart can activate the sensor that opens the gate. Mufasa just got shoes back on his front hooves. Maybe the metal in his shoes triggered the gate... Brett walked Mufasa back and forth in front of the sensor and sure enough the gate opened. Now we turn off the sensor when the horses are out.
4. I had another excellent lesson on Winston tonight. My job when I ride is to keep focused and keep him busy. If I coast, Winston gets bored and starts thinking naughty thoughts. So, I flex him in and I flex him out. We do lots of transitions (I keep forgetting to keep my leg on the whole time so he doesn't get annoyed, darn it). We even did some canter work. My job at canter is to follow with my elbows. I tend to lock up and restrict his movement. After the lesson, I took him for a long walk, groomed him, turned him out in the sandy arena, and then let him hand graze. It was good quality time; something we both needed.
5. Many thanks to all of you for your words of support as I grieve for my mom. She was the family glue and my best friend. I miss her tremendously. Many evenings, I just don't have it in me to write a post and I appreciate your understanding as I work my way back to some sort of normal.