Today I had a riding lesson booked with my big friend Chief White Cloud. Johnny dropped me off, then went to Mcleans for a bike ride. Once I had walked the derby course for tomorrow (being chief judge, I need to know my stuff), I started getting Chief ready. He was so quiet, and I thought it was because he was next to his best friend Teddy. Usually he is quite restless when being groomed. I noticed he was standing resting a hoof constantly and when I had a little look I noticed that his lower leg was swollen, and it felt puffy, especially below his fetlock and above his hoof. When I trotted him to see if he was lame it was clear that he was very sore. Poor man! Erika hosed his leg and took him for a gentle walk, then hosed it again, and the swelling started to go down. He'll have to be rested for a few days. He was getting right into holiday mode, munching on grass alongside the arena. Did I detect a twinkle in his eye?
I adore Navarro. He is a character, and a safe ride, so I get a lot out of lessons on him. My problem is that he is used a lot for jumping, and is therefore not available for me to ride often. I focus on dressage mainly, and when Navarro is jumping he is only available for one lesson a day. Today our paths crossed once again, and I had an amazing time working on my canter, and generally having fun working around his little tricks. He tries it on with the beginners, and has apparently taken people out of the arenas, rubbed them up against the fences, and makes steering tricky. So I had fun keeping him busy - cheeky boy! It felt strange sitting on him after Chief and Zanny, because they are both much bigger, with a lot more neck. I do like being closer to the ground. I don't like to think of falling off, but I'd much rather fall from Navarro's height - about 15.2 hh than Chief's at about 17hh. It makes a huge difference getting on and off (voluntarily) too.
The Crafty Neighbours have gone camping tonight. It is WINDY! I wouldn't be too keen on sleeping in a tent in a strong wind. Hope the wind dies down for Derby Day tomorrow. I will have to be out in it, and my skin is never happy being whipped by wind. Hopefully there'll be some interesting stories from the competition tomorrow!