"Excuse me, I've been trotting around perfectly sound. I've jumped the stream. I've bucked in the cold morning air. I think you need to ride me for a change."
Finessa and Tuffy chimed in, "Yeah, when does he get a turn? And, do you have any treats?"
Before doing anything else, Jackson needed to have his trail boots cleaned and a thorough grooming job. He hasn't
When I went into the pasture to get Jackson, he was on the other side of the trickle stream. He jumped it to get to me.
I took him into the wash rack where I hosed off the trail boots, and washed his mane and tail. I was tempted to give him a full on bath but then he would be too wet to ride and I wanted him to be dry before dark.
Next we went to the tie rail. I removed his boots, sprayed his feet with anti-thrush medication, and checked for rubs on his heels. After thoroughly hosing off the boots, inside and out, I slid them back on his hooves and tightened down the velco. Next, I went after the mud with the curry. He's still far from clean but definitely improved. I used my bareback pad since I didn't expect to ride him at more than a walk and only for a few minutes. He was eager for the bridle.
We started out in the arena; walking around in one direction...
...and then the other. He marched right along with just the slightest bit of stumble once or twice.
We finished up with a "trail ride" through the trees. Jackson was an amazing trail horse before his feet gave out.
We rode through the trees to the south of the arena and then down the other side. I found the shallowest slope by the stream, which is a trickle there too, and walked him down.
He hesitated at the water, put his head down and took a good thoughtful sniff, and then hopped over. I laughed. And I stayed on! Do we look pleased with ourselves or what?
I jumped off when we got to the chickens. The ground gets hard just past the hen house and I didn't want to ride him on that. He didn't care about the chickens (who are still laying); he cared about the grass.