After almost two weeks of heavy downpours, we've had a break in the rain. The weather has held for several days, so the arena was actually dry enough for a lesson this morning. We decided to do 9 a.m. instead of 8, so I had plenty of time to get Ace ready before Gayle showed up.
We headed out into the arena and I set up my cones and dropped the hula hoop we use as a "safe" spot for Ace when we want to take a break. Jumps had been left out in the arena and I needed to move one of them to keep Ace from working too close to the horses in their runs. I moved Ace so he was standing with his feet inside the hoop and told him to stay. I figured that he might do it for a few minutes.
Much to my surprise, Ace stayed put for more than just a few minutes. While I was moving the jump, Gina, who works at the air conditioning business that co-exists with the stable, came outside and asked "did you ask him to do that?" She was amazed that he was still standing there. I went back to him, told him he was a good boy, gave him a couple of reward treats and told him to stay.
He stayed put until Gayle drove in, when he thought he could move out. I put him back in the hoop and told him to stay again. I figured I'd walk to the end of the arena and let him know he could join us.
So Gayle and I stood by the mounting block and called for him. He looked at us and stayed put. Gayle and I laughed and waved for him to come. He stayed. I pulled out the bag of reward treats, called him, and shook the bag. We wished we had a video camera. His ears pricked, his tail went in the air in classic Arab fashion, and he did is big, high, park horse trot across the arena to us, stopping on a dime right near me so he could have a peppermint snack. Gayle and I could hardly stop laughing.
It was also one of those mornings where Ace tried to convince us that being a circus horse is more fun than anything else. He picked up my water bottle from the mounting block and we managed to get him to move his head around so I could grab it from him (he was a little less willing to let it go than I might like, but I did manage to get it from him without falling off the saddle.) He kept trying to retrieve his cones before we were done with the lesson. When we did finally finish, he had a hard time choosing exactly the right spot for picking up the hula hoop--he doesn't like the taste of sand. Gayle, who was on the ground next to him, said he was blowing sand off the hoop before picking it up in his teeth with his lips curled back. Cute as all get out.
The chiropractor came by last Saturday and I think it did him a lot of good. The doc said he's got good range of motion (I didn't want to watch has he moved his front legs around--it looked like he had to be breaking something.) He's moving beautifully and we do seem to be making progress on that left-front heel. My farrier came by today to do some other horses, and we decided that it wouldn't hurt to trim the toes back again. If only his front feet were as good as his back feet.
Lunch with the Barefoot Contessa
2 months ago