Last night as we were walking our final laps around the arena to cool off, I thought to myself that maybe we were done as we walked up to the gate. Ashke stopped at the gate. I had to think, we need to do one more circuit, before he would walk on.
I found a treat in my hoodie left from when I was grooming Ashke yesterday. We were on our last circuit, so I stopped Ashke and offered him the treat. He ate it, then we started moving forward again. He took three steps and then stopped, turning his head back to me. I laughed, but didn't reward the behavior with treats. Instead, I used the behavior to ask for flex to both sides, bringing his nose around to briefly touch my toe. Then we moved on.
I asked Ashke to bow, when I was grooming him. He wasn't trying and I couldn't figure out why. J walked up and said to me, "he can't bow because you have him tied." Duh! He was still cross-tied. I undid him and he bowed.
When I was grooming Ashke I had to stop and check both back legs. There was so much more stifle than I was accustomed to that I was afraid he had swelling above the hock. It was not swelling, but rather, muscle. Both the gaskin and the stifle are gaining solid muscle.
I checked the right hamstring yesterday while grooming him. There was no sensitivity over the pelvic-femur joint, the place where he had the charley horse back in June. The tightness in the hamstring and the knot over the joint are pretty much gone and there is layers of muscle over that joint now.
The boy loves his stall gate. Although I hear from everyone that he has a great time pulling the blankets off of his door and his neighbors door. I dangled a peppermint treat from rope over the opening to his stall, so he can lick and chase it around when the door is open. Maybe that will keep him from playing with the blankets.
Tightening the cinch has improved. I start with just taking the slack out and making it snug, but not trying to tighten it. Then we walk. Last night I tightened it in a different part of the arena and Ashke stood still for me. Afterwards, I walked him over to the mounting block. He was nervous about Cinnamon moving the jump brackets. I tried to get him to turn around and he did, then stepped forward and stood still for me to mount. He did take one step and jig a little when I got on, but stopped when I asked him to and waited until I told him he could walk off. Progress! Yeh!