Had to reintroduce myself to Phantom. My schedule the past few weeks has altered my riding routine, which still isn't back to normal this week.
We had the arena to ourselves today, which can be nice every once in awhile so I don't have to worry about getting in someone's way. Phantom gave the open end door the "hairy eyeball" but didn't scoot or get silly. The end door is open for a cross breeze during warmer summer days -- so several of the horses use it as an excuse to evade imaginary horse eaters undoubtedly lurking outside. During the winter, summer storms can make the door rattle. We can't win. :-)
Phantom and I had a minor skirmmish over "giving" instead of elevating his head into my face. We came to an understanding and ended up with some nice lateral work at a sitting trot. My recent efforts with "forward" have resulted in a nice, swingy walk to start with (no connection...making connection during a walk later in our session resulted in our dispute). Same forward exercise at the trot from which Phantom volunteered canters. Not surprisingly, our left lead canter was gangly and took several attempts to maintain it. Phantom gave me a right lead without his characteristic head flip. But we managed to eventually settle into a decent canter both directions.
Once loosened up with the canter we settled into sitting trot work. Takes me a bit to get into the groove but Phantom is patient and we worked our way into some nice, round, connected work. Whatta guy!
Gave Phantom a quick sudsing and let him dry in the sun before returning him to his turnout. I think he appreciates the hose down. He has strict instructions not to roll after a bath until I'm off the premises, but he doesn't always wait.
I just heard on the local news of two confirmed cases of West Nile in horses in Washington. One in Prosser had to be put down. :-(
Thank goodness Phantom is vaccinated...as are most of his barn buddies.