Things have been moving right along since my last post. Actually here's a hint, things are always moving right along... if I could get like three extra hours in my day, I'd use them all easily and probably still have stuff to do!
Alex had last Friday night off, mostly because I felt like poo and had to leave work early, but also so I could make an appearance at dinner with my brother and sister in law. After a cold-medicine induced good night's sleep and another morning dose, I was ready to hit the barn. Of course, like clockwork, when I arrived, they were running the bobcat moving shavings from where they are stored in my barn, to the other barns on the farm. Usually this elicits terror in Alex, but this time he seemed to mind a little less. I decided it was probably best to tack him in his stall so that the constant to and fro of the bobcat wouldn't bother him. This turned out to be a good decision. Saturday would also be one of the first times (if not the first, I can't remember) that I intended to get on and ride Alex after a day off, without lunging him first. Wouldn't you know it, he was great, which was good because my brother and sister in law had come out to watch and it really wouldn't do to get bucked off/run away with/insert naughty horse behavior here____ with them watching ":-)
Sunday, Alex was rewarded with another day off... no, it wasn't really because he was good, it was because I had my sister in law's baby shower to attend and unfortunately it just wouldn't do to arrive late and smelling of horses...
Alex and I had a really good ride on Monday night, again I ditched the lunging and went straight into the saddle. No mass chaos, a little fussiness in the bridle, but basically a workman light performance. Lots of stretching and even some bending. Overall a very pleasing experience, which is, after all what we are aiming for!
Tuesday morning Alex had the joy of getting his teeth floated. Did I mention that Alex really likes drugs? Ok, before anyone gets all bent out of shape, my horse is not a habitual drug user, and I am not a habitual drug pusher, but in this instance, he was given a little tranquilizer to make the experience less alarming. Turns out that Alex has a mild case of "parrot mouth" (an overbite) coupled with not much room in the back of his mouth and he gets big "hooks" on his back teeth... poor guy. This means (unfortunately for my bank account) that he needs to have his teeth done every 6 months. I know he's had his teeth done at the track, so it shouldn't be that big a deal, but he really was good, I was proud of my big man.
Fast forward to tonight (Tuesday he was off because he got his teeth done and yesterday he was off because I was having dinner with friends). A lesson was in full swing in our preferred arena, so I decided we'd work in the indoor. I was all set to lunge him, since it had been two days since I'd been on him, but then I got lazy and decided to "see what happens." Wouldn't you know it, two days off, big scary indoor and all he was REALLY good. The work on his teeth seemed to make a noticeable difference, in that he wasn't fighting the bit nearly as much as he had on Monday night. We also cantered for the first time in the indoor, which was a big first; the indoor is narrower than the outdoor and so sometimes he has a hard time cantering smaller circles as he's not quite strong enough yet. Although he was definitely looking around, there was no spooking, hopping, head shaking or bucking, I was amazed and thought to myself... "are we growing a brain?"
So we have had some really great productive rides over the last few weeks... and those who know their history might recognize the reference in the title to this post, but I thought it was appropriate given the last weeks' occurrences and my general history nerdness... see Alex and I really are made for each other... he's a guy with an overbite and I'm a history nerd... it's a match made in heaven.
I have new pictures of Alex and I in action... I'm going to try and post them this weekend :-)