Well Phantom got off sort of easy today. Despite my intentions for a good ride, I got off after only 15 minutes to longe him again. I suppose if I wasn't just recovered from a broken wrist I would have remounted. Injuries that take one out of the saddle for extended periods can certainly make one skittish.
Woke up to freezing fog today. The sun burned it off in the burbs, but not at the barn. It was foggy and COLD! "Cougar weather." I longed Phantom before riding, per usual, to take off the edge. He does this thing sometimes when we begin our trot work of popping his rear end to canter before he's even in a place where he can hold a canter. Today, the "canter pop" was combined with the "hairy eyeball" -- on the lookout for said cougars. Since returning to riding after breaking my wrist, I'm still a little tense about unexpected "tap dancing." Tension doesn't help one stick to the saddle. The combination of looking for a reason to be silly and the canter pop was more than I wanted to deal with -- especially when alone at the barn.
So I jumped off, ran up the irons, looped the reins behind the irons (quick and dirty "side reins") and longed Phantom another 10 minutes. He let off more piss and vinegar this time, but also gave me some nice trot work in the end. So I called it good. I'll recover more confidence with time in the saddle, and Phantom has been very good considering all the time he had off.
So while I'm removing tack and grooming Phantom, I hear a loud meow. I tell the kitty I can hear him, but don't see him. He meowed again and then Romeo exited Impy's stall with a mouse in his mouth. So I praised our brave and fearless Critter Control Team member -- and the mouse wriggled it's front legs. Eeeuuw!
I quickly trotted down the aisle to close the tack room door and then made sure my brush bag was out of reach for a "gift." I told Romeo he was a good kitty as he strolled down the aisle with his trophy mouse (that kicked it's hind legs! :-P)
Romeo wandered into Harley's stall where I think he may have deposited his mouse under the pile of hay (sorry Molly). He then came back to me to claim my lap while I recorded the day's ride/longe in my calendar. We enjoyed some kitty bonding time and the Great Fluffy Hunter received his due.