Meh. I have been sick since late last week. I missed going to the barn at all for 3 days. Sinus pressure is painfully annoying, coughing is no fun and after the fever and sweats I've about had it. It gets better and then when I take the expectorant to get the gunk out of my chest the crappy coughing starts in until my eyeballs ache. My darling children brought this home to me from school and while they needed all of a day or so to burn it off, the germ mutated and moved in with me. Even my husband is over and done with it as it malingers with me.
I wanted so badly to ride Rugby but after 3 days of no interaction with him and my coughing spells, I figured it would be more groundwork and lunging. Saturday I made up for the lost time by sweating through an hour of groundwork with him. At least if start coughing I can just disengage his hindquarters and let him hang out until I'm ready to send him again.
He came out like a freight train. He's not particularly fast, but he's strong and wanted to buck and run on the line. And I let him, in fact I urged him just a little to make him work at playing even harder. Then we did what seems to work for us when he's all full of himself, the disengage, and send to change direction. And then he tried to stop and change direction without waiting for my cue, so I had to get after him about that but kept at it and worked through it and after 20 minutes or so started to have a more cooperative fellow to work with.
By the time we called it quits, I was really tired. I had to waste time before returning him to his stall as there was a truck picking up something in front of my barn and I didn't feel like dealing with any nonsense from him about it so I walked him out and let him graze a bit until the truck left. As I was returning to the barn, my husband showed up with my boys. They made a beeline for Rugby. I gently shooed them back and had them wait until I brought the big guy into the barn and on the cross ties. And then I let the boys play with him.
Rugby loves kids. I mean really loves them. Monty was always well mannered when they were around but I always knew inside him it was a very well-controlled state of nervous. He would allow them to walk around him but when they wanted to rub his nose he always kept it just out of reach. They could brush him but I could see by the way he would stand he was not relaxed, but being very aware of where they were around his legs and feet. He was better when I would give them pony rides on him but I always read his mood first before allowing it.
With Rugby, he just soaks up their affection. He will put his big head to the ground so they can rub and pet his forehead and ears. And he'll keep it there. Since he is not hand fed treats, he's not pushy with them, he knows attention is all he's getting from them. He will watch them move around him (and at this time they are under strict supervision with him and only allowed near his shoulders and chest) but it's more a look of curiosity, not nervous. I even taught them how to move him over using one finger and he will do it for them. He stands relaxed, with one back foot resting and lets the boys brush him. And my children are not quiet, they are chattering and asking questions and talking to Rugby and even the crescendo of children's voices doesn't concern him. He's passing all the tests so far as a great family horse.
Yesterday it rained, a soft steady rain almost all day. I spent the day cleaning house in between coughing and chasing kids. I almost didn't go to the barn at all but my husband tossed me out at around 7:00PM. I'm glad I went. Rugby didn't get turned out as I had hoped and his legs were a little puffy from standing in all day. So I threw on his rope halter and 12 foot lead and did about 20 minutes of walking work with him. I was glad to see some of the puffiness go down from the light exercise. I'm hopeful this cold gets over with so I feel more up to riding.