1. Ashke loves to lick. T's hair. My coat. Our hands. The back of your shirt. The top of the bucket. His saddle. He's a licker.
2. His feet look pretty good, even without the shoes. He is pawing a bit with his front feet, but all that is really doing is giving his toes a "mustang roll".
3. Ashke has a great winter coat. There is no super long (four inch or more) hair growing anywhere on him, and the winter hair is nice and even. I'm using just the brushes and super gentle rubber curry on him, since I don't want to strip the heavier hair off.
4. We are blanketing him when the daily high is 50 or below, with a night time low in the 30's. Once he is at TMR, they will do that as part of their service. Woot!
5. Ashke loves to be scratched. I use my hands and fingers to do his neck under his mane, his shoulders, his face and his butt. He head bobs and turns his body into the pressure as if to say, "Please, up just a little bit. Oh yes, right there."
6. Ashke has taken to bumping my shoulder when I lead him. He doesn't do it hard, just a little nudge. It's almost like he is trying to get my attention or checking to make sure it is me. Or maybe he's bored and wants attention. He hates it when I talk to or pay attention to another horse. Jealous boy.
7. Nicole said that when I was riding the other night he seemed really relaxed and happy with me. He was mouthing the bit and snorting at Gary every time we rode by. He responds very well to the term "Good boy" and knows that means he is doing a great job, doing what I want him to do.
I think our confidence in each other grows by the day. There isn't a mean bone in his body and I try to not react when he is being jumpy. I was able to get on and ride him after a two week lay off with absolutely no issues. I think he will love TMR even more, since he will be outside in a run with Callie on one side and another horse on the other. He will be fed four times a day. And we will be able to ride so much more than we are now. I won't feel so bad about riding at night in the big arena. And he will be in the middle of a barn full of horses, where he is included and can see everything.