Some animals know when their owners are sick. They stick close, cuddle, and do their best to be helpful and faithful companions. And then there’s Luc. Instead of being saintly, he took the opportunity to be a sinner.
I’m suffering from a rather severe flu. My head is fuzzy, my sinuses are blocked, and my ears are ringing. I’m in rough shape. Instead of staying home and nursing myself back to health, I decided to head out to the barn anyways. Mostly because seeing Luc always puts a smile on my face.
Thankfully I’m incredibly spoiled, and Jen (Luc’s owner and my sister) brought him in from the field and tacked him up while I choked down some awful tasting cold medicine – non-drowsy of course. Then it was time to ride. I decided it would be an easy light workout considering both my balance and breathing were a bit compromised.
As usual, Luc had other ideas. I could barely get him to walk around the arena in hand, something I do before each ride now as a warm-up for both of us, and to give Luc a chance to get the sillies out. Instead of calming him down like it usually does, this time our walk around the ring just seemed to amp him up even more.
So we kept walking, and walking, and walking. And he still wouldn’t settle. Finally I gave up and decided just to get on. Things did not get better. He balked when I asked him to go down to the scary end. For a moment, I thought about just letting him have his way. After all, I was sick and in no condition to put up a real fight. He was clearly exploiting that weakness.
But instead of giving in, I gave him a kick and forced him forward. At nearly 12-years-old it’s time for Luc to put on his big boy horseshoes and get over his aversion to the arena. He made me work for every step of the ride, but eventually he started listening and working well. At the walk, trot, and canter we were able to move forward toward the scary end, not bolt away from it, and listen to everything I asked, even when the wind howled and the dogs barked.
Let me tell you, by the end I was exhausted, sweaty and hot. Of course that might have had something to do with the fever because Luc had barely broken a sweat. Once again, I seemed to have done the lion’s share of the work.
While I don’t approve of Luc’s protests in the arena, I can’t say I blame him. I’m going a little sir crazy being stuck inside the arena as well. I sure hope spring is on its way soon!