Ashke still sounded sound when I led him from his stall. That steady, without hesitation walk is the best indicator, I believe, of how comfortable his feet are. Coming back sound after a longer ride on Saturday made me very happy. I got him groomed and tacked up. I had brought my Osprey hydropak and emptied it of everything but water, emergency medical kit (including snakebite kit), camera (which I didn't even use) and phone. I put all four boots on Ashke, because his back right hoof had a couple of chips out of the hoofwall from the ride on Saturday. They aren't big or anything, but I didn't want to aggravate it any further.
Liz and Sally have ridden together a lot. Liz was on Reagan (TWH) who can move pretty briskly at both the walk and the rack. Sally rides Ibn, which makes us a matched pair. Ibn was a bit of a handful to start, mostly because they both let them graze a lot on the trail. Ashke got right into the habit and kept trying to thrust his nose into the knee high clover. We did a lot of trotting and some short, nice canters. We went south on the canal but not as far as N and I or J, T and I have ridden. Sally was ready to turn back since Ibn is rehabbing a strained tendon, and we didn't want to push. He did really well, considering he hadn't been out since our first trail ride back in March (?).
We saw a Golden Eagle being dive bombed by a pair of Kestrels, a Stellar Jay, several Meadow Larks, and a bunch of killer bunnies. We were also attacked by (through a fence) by that stupid Golden Doodle that caused such a bad spook when Ashke and I were riding back from the Mesa. The dog's owner was laughing and smiling at his dog barking at the horses, even though it should have been obvious the horses were spooky because of it. Sally and I asked him to call his dog off and he laughed and said it was a dog and if it was causing our horses to spook we shouldn't ride the canal. Ashke pinned his ears and went after the dog. Chasing it down the fence line and striking out with both front feet. It's a darn good thing the dog was on the others side of the fence. The guy was kind of a jerk. I'm a dog owner and I work very hard with my dogs to make sure they understand manners. This guy obviously did not. And since he was also very rich, I guess he figured he could do whatever he wanted. He and Sally exchanged a couple of words. She was being polite and said a couple of times that they were just having a conversation and he didn't need to be so nasty. Luckily, on our way back the dog was inside, although both Liz and I watched the house carefully to make sure he didn't set the dog loose on us.
It was the only downer on the day.
And we saw no snakes.
An eight minute mile is not bad. Reagan was racking and Ashke was cantering.