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Remember, He’s a Stallion

    So, it seems I own a stallion, and he reminded me of that fact today.  I had a lesson that started well, and ended badly.  
    Last night I went into mental stress mode.  One of my old friends got laid off from his job yesterday, and he’s in the construction industry.  Not a good situation.  He’s fifty-six — a worse situation.  A spotty job record because construction is a cyclical business.  No college degree….  You can see the trend.
    My time in L.A. did not result in any meetings because my manager is expecting his first child, and that, quite naturally, has taken all his attention.  And did I mention the economy sucks?  Not a great time to be trying to get back into the industry.
    The upshot of all this is that I woke up at 2:00 am and could not go back to sleep.  So I read The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie until 4:00 am.  Then I managed to get to sleep until around 7:00 am.
    My ride started out pretty well.  I’m really getting the hang of the canter half pass.  There was another woman on a big warm blood also taking a lesson with her coach, and she kept almost running me down even though the rules of the “road” in a ring are pretty clear.  You always pass left shoulders.  The person on the diagonal across the ring has the right of way.  The person doing an intricate maneuver gets the rail.
    It was near the end of my ride, and I was suddenly exhausted.  My boots have been chaffing the hell out of my left ankle and right knee, and I was hurting pretty back.  I was cantering, and I tried to keep Vento to the inside, but he just blew through my left (outside) leg, and we nearly crashing into the woman on the big horse.  I was so annoyed with myself and with my horse for this.  It would also have helped if she had looked up, and noticed I was having a problem.
    Anyway, after that I decided to take him on a ramble all around the extensive grounds — past the other dressage arena, through the woods and over a bridge to the cross-country jump course, and then back to the barn.  One the way we came across some big pastures with a couple of moms and babies.
    Vento suddenly got 18 hands tall.  He arched his neck.  He started chuckling to the mares and the babies.  One of the mares called to him.  He began bugling which is a very distinctive stallion sound.  I decided we wouldn’t go walking right past the pastures so I went to turn him around.  He did not want to go.  These had become _his_ babies and _his_ mares.  We had a tussle.  He backed up.  He spun around.  He half-reared.  Finally I just kicked him hard, and got us out of there, but he grumbled — husky nickers deep in his chest — all the way back to the barn.
    So I gave him a bath to take some of the arrogance out of him.
    I’ve gone past lots and lots of mares over they year, but this was the first time they’ve had foals at their sides.  I think that was what did it.  He wants to be a daddy.
    Seems to be a lot of that going around during my L.A. excursion.
   

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