Harley says Wheeeee(!) on the 29th. I free longed him a little, then as hooves were trimmed on the 27th, it didn't take long before his body language wimpered a little.
I gave in. Softie me. Put on my helmet, and hopped aboard in the bareback pad. Rode at the walk, transitioning collected walk to free walk and back every few strides. He was agreeable to it.
Much better than his last trim, when he was sore and off for nearly a week. Romeo, on the other hand, is having "first new trim" blues, being sore and stiff since Monday evening. He'll be alright, probably by this evening.
Last night, 06/30, Harley got his good standard longing warmup, and without neck stretcher. Ten minutes of warmup (or less), and I hopped on. That's awesome, and I realized it this morning - I'm not doing the standard 20-30 minute "get the boogers" out anymore. That's either a result of him growing up a little, frequent enough work that he's quiet, or just a byproduct of it being awful hot outside.
The ride work was great. Picking up canter left, he got it two out of three tries, but both of the good ones were super speedy and strung out. I rode it until he relaxed, pushed him a little bit further, then eased into a trot. His canter right was really nice, slow, easy, so I think it's just a "food adjusting , saddle adjusting , I'm a baby and I warmed up quickly" thing. I don't believe it's a soreness / stiffness problem. I'll keep an eye on him.
We completed our steamy ride in the 95F+ temperatures by splashing through the pond. I rode Harley over to the arena gate (one strand of un-hot tape fencing), and undid the fence from the post from his back! YAY! It took a few tries to get his body close enough to the fence, but he didn't wiggle when I got the fence loose. With only a mild hesitation, Harley dropped his face to the water, and splashed on through. Three times heading away from home, and three heading back to the house. SPlish SPlash! Much fun.
Total work, only 50 minutes. How delightful is that?! All three gaits, turns on fore/haunches, backing up, give to the bit, gate opening, splashing through the pond. In less than an hour! Fantastic Harley! We've come a long way, with a long way to go.