Yesterday, Lauren went up to Dev’s where Feather continues in training. It would be nice if Lauren got to spend more time with her trainer but as it is a 200 mile round-trip the lessons tend to be few and far between. We do catch up during horse show weeks when Dev and Lauren spend several days at a time working together.
Dev has a way with horses. The first time we took Mickey there, nearly five years ago, he changed the way Mickey and Lauren worked together. Mickey immediately was more collected and had a better way of going. Lauren and Mickey both had the skills but didn’t know how to put it all together.
Feather had her time at Sarah’s where she learned skills for “on-the-ground”, trailer loading, fly spraying, clipping and bathing. At Dev’s, while continuing to work on these things, Feather is getting to be a better horse “under saddle”. That means flat work, at the walk, trot and canter and learning to jump. Everything that is done right now should pay off down the road in a horse that can negotiate the ins and outs of a jump course successfully. I did not get to go see the progress made by Dev, not yet, but Lauren is singing like a newly converted religious fanatic. Feather had a good start under saddle and we give major credit to Melissa and Dee for making that happen. She is smart and intuitive and seems to be able to process what we, humans, are asking of her into the right decisions.
Lauren was thrilled at the progress made over fences. We will take her to the show at Katy Equestrian Center this weekend and see how it goes. If she settles in easily we will let her go in the ring for her first class over fences (jumping). Although not physically a specimen for the perfection demanded in the hunter ring, we will start there so as not to rush her. When you start as a jumper, it is about going fast, and there are many things this mare needs to learn about a jump course before we ask her for speed. In the end, that will be her kingdom. If Feather is anxious and spooky, then maybe we will just get her in the ring for a flat class (no jumping) and try the jumps next show. I think it is good Lauren has this terrific mare to focus on with Mickey still out on sick leave.
Speaking of Mickey, I rode him last night. Lauren was off at Blake’s and it seemed like a nice evening for a ride. What I didn’t count on was the five-mile hay road trek was a lot slower last night when we only walked and trotted it. Mickey did cough some but seemed happy to be out and didn’t seem like he was struggling to breathe. I enjoyed the golden light coming across the land, watching the tractors still working at dusk and getting a close look at the cotton which is almost ready for picking in the back pasture. I was actually marveling at the cotton thinking who figured out you could take these white puffs and make them into clothing and other items? It is amazing to me.
I got an update today from Leo’s new family. They sent several pictures. I thought this one was telling because they saved the image as “pretty boy”. While I still miss him and tears still come unexpectedly to my eyes, I am happy he is loved, safe and content at his new home. They promised to get a picture of him in the pond soon.
Kid is still refusing to go out with Mickey. He is steadfast in his refusal to accompany out to the pasture, the horse who has bullied him for so long. Although, I have to tell you as Mick and I left the property last night for our ride, Kid did, briefly, stick his head out from behind the barn and neigh at us. I am pretty sure he was calling to me and not Mick!