Luc and I work on his forgotten manners.

Luc and I work on his forgotten manners.

So this was my first chance to see Luc since returning from my amazing trip to Florida, and I have to say, he put a smile on my face and warmed my heart – which I needed since it’s official, summer is gone. It was wet, cold and windy. And that meant Luc and I were relegated to the arena. Before we even started tacking up it was clear that one very important thing had happened while Luc’s owner, aka my sister Jen, and I were away. Luc’s manners had completely disappeared. He was pushy (even for Luc), impatient and just a general all around jerk.

Things didn’t get better when we got into the dreaded arena. He stood, wide-eyed staring down at the scary end while the rain thundered down on the roof. Oh yeah, I could tell it was going to be one of those rides. What a welcome home.

I attempted to go around the ring a few times at the walk, but really got more of a squiggly, twitching gait that made me feel a lot like I was riding an atomic bomb. I mustered my courage and asked for the trot, hoping to get his mind on work. One step in and it became very evident that he was lame. I wasn’t sure at the walk, as the complete fixation on the door meant he wasn’t really walking normally, but boy oh boy was it clear at the trot.

Now I have to admit that I wasn’t overly surprised, despite the fact he was completely sound a day earlier out in the grass ring. One, even when his feet are in their best condition, for whatever reason he seems to have trouble with the footing in the arena. We’ve seen it before when he’ll appear lame inside, and then be completely sound outside. Two, we’ve been battling a nasty case of thrush all summer and his feet took a turn for the worse while we were on vacation, despite having someone take care of him every day while we were gone.

As soon as I realized Luc was lame, I hopped off and prepared to walk him back into the barn. And wouldn’t you know it, that little monster tried to run me down. Not acceptable! So instead we spent another ten minutes in the arena working on manners – a lesson Jen has already decided to continue tomorrow. Luc needs to re-learn the concept of personal space, that it’s not okay to bolt away while being led, and that yes, he can in fact stand with his back to the scary end without doing some strange contorting half passes to try and twist himself around enough to get a good look in that direction.

Despite his antics today, and the fact that my ride was unexpectedly cut short, it was good to see him and hug him and kiss him and feed him treats. I really did miss him a lot while I was away. Now if only we could skip right over fall, winter and spring and get straight back to summer!