Blaze and I joined N and Willow for another Meander Fest at the lake this morning. Blaze walks like a Zombie and tends to pick up on other horse's energy--for example, "Oh, you're going slow and stopping, I can do that!" Willow is a cautious/fearful type and while she seems to do quite well trucking down the trail behind the ground stomping White Wonder, Desire, who is unquestionably a leader, the combo of Blaze's strolling and Willow's uncertain stopping makes for an almost comically slow ride.
Still, Blaze knows how to pose like the mighty man he is, once in a while. Like when mares roll up in their trailers...
One week til Gold Country 30 miler with him. He is fine shape to cruise through it, been eating and drinking out on the trail/at the trailer really well and I plan to electrolyte him lightly (half doses of Endura-Max Plus). The taped Easyboot Gloves are working really well on his front hooves. He goes bare in the back even on endurance rides as he is narrow enough in the hind that anything on those hooves makes him interfere. He did all his LDs last year barefoot in the hind without issue. Saddle fit seems good, I'm really bummed that my mohair girth gave him rubs on *both* sides the other day, but they are healing well, I'll be using Desitin or something similar on them, and am back to using his neoprene waffle girth. I have to be sure to stretch his front legs forward and get all his wrinkly armpit skin out of there (he has a lot more than Desire)--I think that was a part of the mohair girth issue, though it also really did seem like partially an allergic reaction since the rubs were not just pink but kind of swollen/inflamed. I've only used the mohair on him a handful of times and won't again after that!
Blaze is a very itchy horse and rolls a few times a day whether he needs it or not; after a bath the drips drive him nuts and he has to roll more than ever! So, after I got home I was leading him back to his paddock after his bath and I got distracted by the sagging hot fence wire that Joey had apparently been leaning on while we were gone (it was unplugged). In the few seconds I was distracted by the wire Blaze rubbed his head furiously on his front legs, undid his halter (the tail wasn't threaded down through the buckle), jogged a few steps and Stop, Drop, and Rolled before I even knew he was loose. Then he leaped to his feet, tossed his head mightily and trotted down to his open gate and out into his pasture where he rolled victoriously a few more times, leaped up, and trotted and cantered in circles at the fence line to be sure Joey knew how GoshDarn Tough he was. Joey worships Blaze and stood at the fence looking suitably impressed. I found it really hilarious because Blaze could have easily gone off to visit the mares or gone anywhere else on the 20 acre property but he trotted right to his paddock and put himself away all the while tossing his head and pulling snarky faces like he was being a rebel. Gotta love him, even when he's bad, he's good :-)