It was a gorgeously sunny and warm day for my weekly ride. It was nice enough I was able to ride outside in just a t-shirt for the first time this season. It should have come as no surprise then that there would be a lot of others out and about. No, I’m not talking about the regular lessons or boarders, of which there were plenty. No, it was those who aren’t usually around the farm that took me by surprise.
When I brought Luc outside to get on, he was a little distracted. Staring down the driveway, eyes peeled wide. I couldn’t quite figure out what had captured his attention. It wasn’t until we made our way to the sand ring, in fact halfway around it, that I finally realized what he was fixated on. A bright red hot air balloon was landing in the field across the street.
We stopped and watched it for a few minutes before continuing on with our ride. Luc didn’t seem to mind getting back to work, and took the hot air balloon landing much better than I had thought. Of course, this isn’t the first time one’s landed near him. In fact, a few years ago one landed practically right in his field.
After we got to work, Luc proved why I love him so much. He was fantastic. He was forward and willing – a nice change from the past few rides. He felt so nice in the canter that I decided to try for a flying change. His owner, my sister Jen, had managed to get a few from him during the week and instructed me on what I needed to do in order to make it really obvious to Luc what I was looking for. I took him across the diagonal, shifted my weight at the same time I asked for the change, and lo and behold he swapped easily and cleanly. Success! I heaped praise on him and then decided to try his more difficult direction. No luck. I tried his good way again. Nope. I tried three more times on his good side and still nothing. Apparently I had broken the button that triggered the flying changes.
I changed tactics and went back to working on other things. After some lateral work, I tried again. Still no luck. I tried a few more time and managed to get two half changes. He swapped in the front, but took a few strides to change the back. Finally after a few more attempts I got one more good change and called it a day. No need to risk breaking the button again!
I never did manage to get the change his bad direction, but at least I got it a few times in the good one. We cooled out by walking up and down the driveway. He was such a good boy!
After our ride it was time for Luc to see the chiropractor again. She poked and prodded and stretched Luc this way and that. By the happy, relaxed look on his face I’d say he enjoyed every second of it! The chiropractor said Luc was in great shape and the massage and stretches Jen has been doing diligently everyday have really paid off. It’s so nice to hear he’s doing so well!
Now that the warm weather’s here I’m feeling more energized and eager to ride. I have grand visions of jumping in the grass ring, hacking out in the fields and enjoying the sunshine and warmth on horseback. Here’s to a nice spring and an even nicer summer!