Sam tries to pull one over on us

My riding lesson with Kelsey went well today. Sam, the quarter horse-thoroughbred cross who is Kelsey’s lesson horse, was a good boy today (he usually is). I am getting better at standing changes and interrupted changes. Cantering is pure joy—well, for me, at least (not so sure about Sam). Sam and I also achieved some improvement from our gate-closing debacle a couple of lessons ago. (Sam doesn’t like to close gates that swing away from him, so this was major progress.)

And Sam, who has been dealing with some intermittent pain in his left front hoof/leg, revealed that he was playing the “Oh, I hurt” card a bit too often. When giving Sam a break from gate practice, I would walk him in a big circle. He started to limp (very obviously) during one of these circles, so I let him walk another. As soon as we turned away from the gate—voila!—no more limp. Hmm. As the circle turned back toward the gate, there’s the limp again. Hmm! Head the other way away from the gate, and—ta da!—no limp. Busted! Sam sheepishly realized that neither Kelsey nor I were particularly impressed, and began walking normally. I think he was actually a bit embarrassed.

As I expected, I wasn’t able to get out to see Bob today. And Kim’s saddle did arrive. Or, rather, the “we tried to deliver this to you, but of course you weren’t home, so you can come pick it up at the post office” postcard arrived. Kim is experiencing some nasty back pain from coughing too hard (asthma flare-up), so I’m not sure if she will be in good enough shape to try out her saddle this weekend. I’ll cross my fingers. I need to get her out to buy a riding helmet, too.

It was another day of fencing camp, which went well. One of the campers, Bethany, is from out of town and has been being hosted by different fencing families this week. Tonight is our turn to host Bethany. Nice girl. She even likes cold cereal for breakfast!

Bethany is going to go along with me tomorrow morning to go look at a couple of Percherons out in Scio. If we have time after that, we’ll go pay a quick visit to Bob before camp starts. It’s kinda nice being a host dad, actually.

About Mike

Michael Heggen is a horseman, maker, and thinker who lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife, Kim, and "three to eight cats". He stays quite busy riding, driving, and caring for their three horses, Boulder, Shasta, and Bob. Among other things, Mike has been a fencing coach, police chaplain, computer consultant, aspirant to the diaconate, computer salesman, box boy, carpenter, computer technician, typesetter, church youth leader, copy machine operator, and network administrator. His other interests include juggling, reading voraciously, and (pretty occasionally these days) cycling.
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