I never thought I’d get so excited over a bunch of dirt. But this week we got the best present a rider could ask for at the barn—more arena footing. It had been getting a little bare the past few weeks, so the barn owner brought in some dump trucks and performed her magic. The result was footing I hoped Luc would actually want to work in.
I rushed outside with my sister Jen (Luc’s actual owner) to bring him in and tack him up so I could be the first to christen the new footing. I have to admit I got a giddy kind of thrill knowing I would be the first one to actually ride on it.
There was just one small hiccup. Luc had blown an abscess only a day or two earlier, and we weren’t sure if he might still be a little sore. Feeling optimistic, we tacked him up anyways and brought him into the ring. I walked him around by hand a few times in each direction and he seemed very relaxed, and very much liking the new footing.
I hopped on and we walked around some more, doing some bending and working on our serpentines and circles. He seemed more relaxed than I’ve seen him in a long while. About the polar opposite of what I thought I was going to get seeing as he’d had more than a week off while we soaked his foot and waited for the abscess to emerge.
Cautiously, I picked up the trot to the right. After a few steps I determined he seemed ever so slightly off still. When I tried trotting in the other direction, it was very clear he was still a little sore. So I came back down to a walk, and tried to walk him around the arena once or twice more just to get him moving a bit.
After those brief steps of trot, a switch had flipped somewhere in Luc’s brain. Instead of being all calm and relaxed, he was suddenly super amped up. So much so that I had to work to keep him from breaking into a trot. I guess he was ready to go back to work! Too bad I wouldn’t let him with him still presenting as a little sore.
I jumped off and we gave him a nice rub down while he happily munched away at his breakfast. Then we treated his foot just to make sure all that nasty gunk from the abscess had made its way out. Jen will try again in a few days to see if he’s feeling 100%. I think she may have an interesting ride when Luc is finally ready to go back to work. I just hope it isn’t too much like riding a rocket ship to the moon!
Even though it was a short ride that really only consisted of walking, I’m still calling it the first official ride in the new footing. I hope everyone else enjoys the new footing as much as I do!