Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Waffles! Woo hoo!"

I finally got to ride a horse today, after 7 long weeks of recovery from my foot surgery! It was a balmy 2 degrees above zero and I was wearing my husband's pac-boots (foot still swollen) but boy did it feel good! Johnny came running to the gate because he is that kind of horse; my thoroughbred just stared at me from the middle of the haypile. "Are you back already??"

It was only about a 20 minute ride, with more time than that devoted to unblanketing and tacking up, then reblanketing. Johnnie was so kind as to let me dismount onto the 3-step mounting block, which seemed safer than landing on my 'new' foot full force.

Gentle John is a gaited horse and that smoothness plus power is what drew me to him originally. When I was trying him out as a 3-year old, the seller suggested I take him down a ditch and up a steep hill. He took this so much in stride that it felt like being on an ATV; vroooom. It is one of the best feelings in the world. He is a little out of shape and so am I now, but by glory we've still got it.

His mouthiness has not improved, and here you can see him chewing his lead rope. I need to be more disciplined about these "cute" little bad habits. He is such a sweet minded horse though, that it is hard to be strict. Taking pictures just encourages him. But I was glad to see he remembers his little tricks: he will bow, for a treat; and he will pick up his grain bowl on request (or even without request, flinging the grain into the snow). A clown and a sweetheart...a tad spoiled?