Mud Puddles and Photo Ops

My Canon has been gathering dust since Rolex, so I thought today would be a good opportunity to play with it at a local Horse Trial. But first, I had a higher priority. Crossbo has also been too idle lately (although he’s gotten more recent work than the camera), and today finally looked like a good opportunity to remind him why he’s here.

Because of a combination of factors (weather, shoeing problems, schedule conflicts, etc), Crossbo hadn’t been ridden since my last report. After getting some shoes on him last week, and giving him a few days to get over some temporary ouchiness, things finally looked good today.

The weather affected my plans a little bit. Considering Crossbo’s lingering hydrophobia, I had been planning to take advantage of our recent drought to introduce him to strange new territory while it was bone dry. I was hoping to let him get familiar and comfortable with the wild outside world before adding the additional terror of water. Unfortunately, a couple of days of light rain managed to dampen things enough to make him act like a “show pansy”, as a Texas buddy called him.

Actually, it seems like it’s not really water per se that bothers him, but muddy approaches to it seem to be the real problem. He didn’t show much hesitation about going into water with a flat, solid approach. He just didn’t think it seemed prudent to approach water of unknown depth with his feet sliding out from under him. So I just have a couple of months to teach him that prudence is not a virtue in a hunt horse. Later, after he figures that out, we can move on to the fine art of judging the weight of my flask and determining when he does need to temper my judgment with his own. But that’s a more advanced lesson.

So, once again, we spent a lot of time playing in mud puddles. I think we made some progress, as I got him to go through some places that he refused at first.

After I thought we’d both had enough of that for one day, I grabbed the Canon and a cooler of beer and headed out to the Horse Park. As expected, I found my farrier on duty, and supplied him with beer before moving on to the Stadium Jumping rings. Novice and Training were running in adjacent rings, and I managed to get lucky (photographically speaking) and show up at a time when I could get pictures of several friends riding fairly close together without hanging around all day (and could have gotten some more if I’d been a little more alert and noticed who was riding before they finished their round). Aside from paying a little more attention, I also need some more practice with the Canon.

And, if there are any other racing fans out there, I also snapped a picture of Cigar to satisfy a couple of the travellers.

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