Good weekend. I still haven't quite struggled out from under the Tired anvil, but I am a bit less sleepy. I suspect the first opportunity to really catch up won't happen until Thanksgiving break. During which I am SO looking forward to sleeping late and getting things done around the house.
Meanwhile, I think I've decided for sure that Apollo needs to get chucked out to pasture instead of into a pen, and I'll just suck it up and get up early. Boy needs to move his feet! We're going to try him with a different, more laid-back group of horses to see if it's easier for him and to keep him from getting hurt again, so I hope that works out. If he can't get along with the northeast pasture (he got kicked in the southeast pasture), I don't know if he'll get along with the west pasture. We'll see! I'd be surprised if he didn't get along with Rocky's gang in the northeast pasture.
So a week of rehab after his last attempt at cantering on a longe line, I decided we'd see where he was this weekend. He was certainly happy to trot out yesterday, with that big hoof-flipping trot he does, and worked out of stiffness well. So I asked for the left lead canter first, so as not to overload the right hind too much right off the bat. He didn't seem to have any trouble with it, no head-tossing or cross-cantering. I only had him do two circles of canter, then back to trot. On the right lead canter, he'd cross-cantered last time I tried, so I was prepared to bring him back to trot within a few strides. However, he gave a true canter, if a short-strided canter, so I let him work into it for two circles, then back to trot. Yay!
Last weekend, he'd been rather off after the canter attempt, but this week he was doing better, so I got on him for a bit. Just to get him really moving, yknow? He needs more time and work. So walk and trot and circles and two-point, and as I was encouraging him to move out in the trot, he offered up the left lead canter under saddle. Whee!! I didn't force him to stay in it, just rode the three or four strides he gave me, then when he started to fall out of it asked him for a trot transition. Tracking right, I asked him for more trot, and he offered a canter transition, one stride, then back to the trot. I didn't want to push it on the first day cantering under saddle, so I just worked in the trot. I heart my horse. :)
Anyway, this is a good sign! I think we'll be back to normal soon. *beam* Or at least in the foreseeable future. Maybe not soon, but I can see it in the distance.
And yknow, as I mounted up on Sunday and Apollo stood still, waiting for me to take my right stirrup, I had to say a little prayer of thanksgiving aloud, right there in the arena: Thank you for this horse. God, the universe, fate, my own intuition, whatever force prompted me to email on his ad or put us in each other's paths, however you want to think of it ... I'm grateful.