No, really. Anyone who doubts it is welcome to come visit Lucky. An OTTB who finished racing a little under a year ago can go out, do an old-school work (jog 1/4, gallop 3f), go for a walk in the woods (proved to be a tactical error, though he’s vaccinated for encephalitis even if I’m not), walk around the track and go for a canter in a wide-open hayfield, walk back to the ring, do a few canter circles, and toss in a couple turns on the forehand before letting his rider play around with sitting ‘side-saddle’ (disclaimer: experienced rider on lazy horse. Do not emulate.)
That was Lucky’s day today. Yesterday also featured a track gallop, but after that mostly ringwork, including jumping. I am proud of him–on the third try, he took the oxer at the canter from a spot I picked, rather than from the best we could manage as he wove coming in (he still does a little, as if he’s not quite sure how to look at the fence) and he cantered off after. Strictly speaking, the line from the x to the oxer should probably be five strides, but I’ll take a slightly choppy six without a stop. After that, he got a turn around the barrels, at the trot and the canter. I don’t know if it’s the cooler weather, but he’s picking up the pace, by and large. He’s also gone from being stuck on the right lead to being stuck on the left (even on the track–he swapped for the turn and I couldn’t get him to switch back, even swapped whip hands to see if that helped. It didn’t.)
The dogs are coming home this week, rather than my going to pick them up, so hopefully I will get out to the barn again this weekend, possibly with pictures. I’d love to get some of him on the track–he likes to run with his head up (classic sprinter style) and his ears pricked.
As to why the dogs were gone, I was away this weekend at the Windy City Open dancesport competition in Chicago. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures of that, too. I can do something that does not involve barn grime, too!