My horse day today continued to be great, after my fun experience with Dawn this morning (see the last post). Both Pie and Red proved their wonderfulness, in different ways.
When I was grooming Pie, I noticed that he had a chip on one of his front hooves - there was a section of hoof that had split off and was bent out at an angle. The chip wasn't so much of a problem - it wasn't hurting him any even though it was pretty long - but the sharp point was. Since it was on the inside of his leg and pointing right at the other hoof, I wanted to take the point off so he wouldn't gouge his other leg. I have a nice diamond rasp, but I don't have a hoof stand. So I improvised. I took the small plastic footstool that I use to stand on when I'm saddling Pie - he's too tall for me otherwise - put it in front of his hoof, picked up his leg and asked him to rest his hoof on the stool so I could rasp off the sharp point of the split piece. When you try these things, you never know for sure if they'll work. But Pie took it all in stride - he cooperated beautifully and rested his hoof on the stool nicely for me to rasp the edge off - he's willing at this point to try to do pretty much anything I ask. Then we had a very nice ride - our bending problem is pretty much over with so long as I pay attention (more on the necessary connection in another post). Pie was as calm as can be, despite the serious windstorm going on outside - the roof of the arena was buzzing, the doors were slamming back and forth and at certain points the wind was so loud it was howling. What a good Pie!
Red and I had a different experience, although just as good in its own way. We were alone in the arena, and the wind was if anything worse than when I was riding Pie. Red is naturally a much more high strung horse than Pie, and can sometimes be nervous and anxious. But he always tries very hard for me, and our bond is getting very strong, which helped today. He was eyeing the flower boxes by the jumps that were set up - the plastic flowers were new and he sure noticed - there were eyes and ears on the flower boxes until he decided they weren't threatening. He dealt very well with the buzzing and banging doors, although the howling wind at times made him tense up. But he kept right on working. Then at one point something about one set of doors really disturbed him - I didn't hear or see anything unusual - perhaps it was the changes in light coming through the door as it banged to and fro - his head shot up, he scooted around in a half circle and he started snorting. I decided to dismount, and led him gradually towards the offending doors - he was blowing and staring as we came, although he was glad to approach so long as I was in front. He didn't mentally leave, he didn't wiggle and he didn't try to circle or spin - all things he would have done in the past (or worse). He stayed with me, and as I talked to him and reassured him, he calmed right down and his eyes got soft, even as we were standing right by the doors. I mounted up and we went right back to work, and he did wonderfully - the doors, and everything else, were no longer an issue. What a good Red!