A few months ago, when Jackson started his regime of multiple medications to manage his Cushings disease, thyroid imbalance, and navicular, he could hardly walk. Our vet said, "You may be able to ride him again once we get all this managed." I was dubious. I've been trying to manage Jackson for years and, yes, I've sat on his back bareback on a good day and we've walked a handful of steps. But that's it. On a good day.
Brett wanted to ride Flash on Saturday. Flash is 21 and very arthritic but he wants to go. So, I understood. Brett misses riding his mounted patrol partner and Flash misses it too.
I wondered... who should I ride? Tex was a possibility but I wanted to work on other things with him. Lucy needs some fitness work first. But Jackson... he's been trotting to the gate in the morning for his breakfast, and striding along with the comfortable smooth gait of a sound horse.
When I brought him to the tie rail and began tacking him up, Jackson's anticipation grew. When I mounted, he strode confidently forward (and then stopped). We waited for Brett and Flash and then spent 20 minutes or so meandering under the oaks, crossing the dry stream bed, and walking past the pastures. Jackson didn't take a bad step. I felt like I was back on my old trail buddy. He was tired after 20 minutes, so we stopped.
Jackson was happy. I was happy. Lucy was irritated, jealous and vocal about it. Tex was curious, standing at the fence watching us go by. Flash and Brett finished up a few minutes after us.