Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weekend at Todd’s with Sharon and Nancy

Was the weather going to cooperate with our plans?

We regularly have “weekends at Todd’s” where Sharon and I and sometimes Nancy drove down on a Saturday morning and stayed in my camper and came home on Sunday.  This weekend had been planned months ago, and it just happened to coincide with Blu’s first weekend at Todd’s.  Nancy was driving up Friday with her horse Cabbie and I was driving down Friday after lunch.  Sharon had plans that evening but didn’t want to miss out so she came down Friday night late, after her event was over.

Nancy and I managed to arrive within about 30 minutes of each other, around 5:00.  Fairly amazing since we each had 4 hour drives!  I arrived first and of course immediately ran over to see Blu in his new home.  He looked great.  But I’m biased!

I noticed right off that his nose was a bit pink.  One of those side effects of having a paddock vs a box stall.  He was standing in the sun and got sunburned!  Poor guy.  So we’re keeping him covered in sun screen as his nose gets used to the sun.  I guess I should buy stock in sunscreen.

No chance to ride that night.  It had rained my entire drive and was still raining that night.  Nancy and I enjoyed a nice dinner with Todd and then went off to the camper to catch up while waiting for Sharon and listening to the rain hit the camper roof.  So there we were, chatting away when the knock sounded at 10:30pm startling us!   Yeah! Sharon was at our door.  The “Three Horse-kateers” were together again, and all of us with horses again!!

Saturday we’d planned on taking a trailer to a covered arena in Salinas if the rain continued, but the rain stopped mid morning and we were thrilled to be able to use Todd’s arena!   I pulled Blu out of the stall, groomed him, and learned that I should act around him as I would an older horse.  This will allow him to 1) get to know me and 2) get to know what it’s like to be a horse and what’s expected. 

I learned what it means to lunge a young horse, too.  My previous experience was with Cre – a horse I thought could be wild n crazy at times, but really, now I know he was pretty darned GREAT.  Let me just say that one should never let a horse that you’re lunging get going in a straight line.  I started with him going around in circles on a long line in something like 30’ circles.  But twice I almost lost him.  He got going in a straight line, and if you can imagine trying to keep up with a horse that is running pretty darned fast, you can imagine what I was experiencing – in my mud boots on a wet arena no less.  And since Sharon and Nancy were also in the arena on their own horses, it wouldn’t have been fun to have Blu loose.  Luckily it worked out.  I yelled “fish on” a couple times, probably let out a curse word or two as I thought I was losing him, but overall managed to get his kinks out. 

Most of them, at least.

When Todd got on I learned what “humpy” truly means.  Todd mounted and started to walk off when Blu hunched his back and did a small bit of crow hopping (picture four stiff legs and a bent back while hopping up and down) but I didn’t have my video camera going so there’s no recording.  I guess I’ll just have to remember it.  Two hops and Blu settled down and work through his lesson.  I was able to video a lot of it and have spent the time since then reviewing the video to learn what I can.

Sharon and Nancy both got to ride and have a lesson.  Saturday was a great day for my first full day with Blu.  The rain started again that night but we still had some great entertainment.  Friday was Todd’s birthday and we had pretended to not know.

However during the week we'd been planning a surprise.  Sharon set dinner reservations at Jardines de san Juan after talking with the owner and setting up the surprise.  It went off fabulously.  When we were done with dinner, the waiters all came out with a cake, and the gifts we’d brought (and hid at the front desk) and cards and the employees all sang Happy Birthday (accompanied by a Harp, no less).  Surprise!!  We got Todd! 

We weren’t going to get another chance to ride on Sunday.  With the weather storming again Nancy, Sharon and I all headed to our homes.  Driving the camper in windy stormy weather isn’t a lot of fun so I wanted to be sure I was giving myself plenty of time.  Regardless, I knew I’d be back the next weekend with Sharon.

That called for more patience.

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