For the first time since mid-June, Mickey has returned to Dev for training. A little bigger, a little more excited but hopefully coughing a little less, Mickey took the almost 100 mile trip to Dev’s this morning for his first lesson in over 90 days. That is crazy. I don’t think Mickey has ever been out of training for 90 days since the time he was a two-year old.
I had been a little anxious all morning waiting to hear how it all had gone. Things seemed to be starting off well. Mickey loaded in the trailer first try which was way easier than the usual angst with Feather. And he rode quietly, even though they hit rush hour traffic on the Beltway and weren’t traveling over 10 miles per hour for a period. But Mickey is not Leo either and stood quietly in the trailer no matter what truck or car pushed past.
And the lesson was a success! I think Dev was a little surprised to see “Western Mickey”, with his mane long and wild. His body shape is more of halter horse than the sleek thoroughbred he has resembled in the past. “Western Mickey” will have to have a major grooming session prior to the October show to get him back to “Show Mickey”. Today he looks like he should be going out to work some cattle.
Lauren has really been reminiscing about her days with Mick. I come home to find her re-watching her winning videos of the past season, over and over. Last night she posted on Facebook, a video from the February show. It was a good round for them and I think she is so eager to be back in the ring that she is yearning for it. It has made her eager and hungry for the adrenline rush of the big fences (for us anyway).
Dev said he thought Mickey looked solid (people have called me solid before-not sure it is a big compliment-maybe better for a horse than me). He said he looked healthy and well-rested. Once they got in the ring, at the trot there was some coughing, but they pushed past it, and went on with business. It seemed that Mickey, like Lauren, was eager to get back to his job. He was very accurate with his jumping and looked great over fences, which he has not jumped at all in these past few months. They took him up to about three-foot. It was enough for the first day back. Enough for Dev to know that the little bay gelding was on a come back trip.
Actually, Mickey looked good enough and behaved well enough, that Lauren was the one that got the homework assignments. The horse can only be as good as their rider is, and Lauren has been out of practice these last months as well. While she has spent a lot of hours in the saddle between moving Feather along and keeping Mickey fit, she has not had the eyes of a trainer on her. We all know that words coming from me, are just that, words. So, Lauren has some work to do on her posture and sitting back and waiting before the jump. These are not new concepts to Lauren but ones she always needs to be mindful of as she rides.
We could probably cancel our date for the scan on Monday but I would rather go ahead with it. If we do and all is fine-then that is done. If I don’t do it and Mickey continues to have issues, we will always wonder what the scan would have shown. My analysis at this point is Mickey has allergies that cause him to cough (and he will always have issues with these) and he had the Pythium fungal-like infection in his respiratory tract. He has overcome the Pythium problem but will always have allergy issues. I think the scan on Monday will be fine. But I want to know for sure.
It is with enormous satisfaction that I received the message from Dev today after the lesson that it went well and Mickey did great. It has been a long, hot summer waiting to see this horse back in action.
As always, thanks for riding along!