The first thing I did was turn on the sprinklers. It's been hot as holy hell here so everything is very dry and dusty. The second task was to turn Sydney out for a bit of a romp. Speedy was not particularly thrilled to be third on my list, but I was forgiven in no time as soon as I started grooming.
During the summer months, he gets a scrub followed by a soft brush each morning which keeps his coat clean and soft. He hadn't been brushed in at least six days, so he was particularly itchy.
Over all, I don't think the week-long vacation hurt him at all. In fact, his eyes were a bit softer, and he seemed really happy to see me. The thing that I most liked was how super tight his legs were. He doesn't fill, but his legs haven't looked this tight in a very long time.
When I rode the previous week, both Speedy and Sydney were suddenly terrified of something in the far corner. I suspected that some kind of animal had gone through there leaving a scent behind. After more than a week though, there was no reason to be so spooky out there, but Speedy remembered. I had to work that corner fairly thoroughly to convince him that yes, he could bend correctly, and no, bolting was not permitted.
A few times around, I had to give a very strong halt with the outside rein while jabbing him with my inside spur to keep him from whirling and bolting across the arena. We went through that corner at least 20 times. We did loops, serpentines, tear drops, 20-meter circles, etc. all while I kept jabbing him with that inside spur. Eventually, he gave up and made the corner without any resistance.
While it may sound like we were fussing at one another, it was actually a lovely ride. Speedy is really learning how to thrust with his hind legs, and I am having a blast riding his bigger, loftier stride. We'll be at the CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC) this weekend, and I am so looking forward to applying some of our new-found skills.
It's good to be back in the saddle!