Indy and Abbie had a play date for the first time in forever! With horses safely out of the way we let the pair loose in the arena where they had a blast. Abbie has almost caught up with Indy in size and can pretty much keep up with him at a run. However, she's too smart to wear herself out chasing the goofy Sheltie. Per usual, Indy raced around the arena in large circles. Abbie chased him for a distance, then stopped to wait for him to come by again. Any time Indy stopped, Abbie was all over him.
Watching the pair do "breed stuff" is fascinating. Obviously, Indy's circles originate from the need to round up the sheep for herding. Abbie stalks Indy, pauses, and then pounces -- just as a bird dog would do to locate and flush woodcocks for the hunter.
Never let anyone tell you that dogs can't smile. Both Indy and Abbie were happily panting during their brief breaks from whooshing about the barn.
BACK IN THE SADDLE:
It was so hard to get Phantom moving today. We started out at a semi-decent walk and eventually got some connection. Then I asked for the trot. Chubby Phantom picked up a shuffle and chubby me tried to squeeze him forward. So he then tried to pop into a canter which was hysterical because he was so strung out there was no way he could pick up and hold a canter. But I didn't want him bouncing me out of the saddle, so I cautiously attempted to pursue the trot . It was sooo muuuch wooork. After my forced three month "vacation" from riding, my muscles aren't responding like they used to. And the Goober Boy is so "fluffy" from his time off that the girth is a hole looser than the norm. We're definitely a pair.
But I put in a whole 35 minutes today. Last week all I could manage was 20 minutes at a time in the saddle. Once again, lots of circle work. Only a wee bit of lateral work. I got the "beach ball" connected trot that I was after and called it good. We generally finish with a stretchy trot on a long rein, and then walk out until I dismount.
Phantom is being a very good boy. Definitely a keeper. :-)