Shorty and I have been taking it easy these days. Most of this is due to the fact that I am getting married on Sunday, so I've been busy running errands to prepare for the big day.
Shorty got a massage last week. It didn't really create any miracle transitions, but I think he felt a little better. Shorty and I went out for a ride a few days ago in the field after a day or two off. Normally, Shorty would be all over the place. Fortunately, he was tired from running around in the field while on turnout. Instead of taking off at the gallop, he took a lovely extended trot. I didn't ask for it, but heck, I'll take it! At the canter, his strides didn't increase in tempo, but he did increase stride length and elasticity (which felt lovely).
As for next week, I will be in St. Thomas, lying on a beach. I have a fellow instructor taking care of Shorty, but I will miss him terribly while I am away. I'm awfully attached to that horse, and I think he's attached to me a bit, too. At least, he nickers for me and sticks his nose out the window of his stall when I drive up the driveway. He knows the sound of my car. Today, as I hand walked him around, he put his head down and I stood there, gently rubbing and scratching his neck, forehead, poll, and ears to the point where he was leaning his head on my shoulder and drooling in delight. I even pushed on his poll, and he did not react at all, just looked at me as if to ask, "Why did you stop rubbing my itchy forehead?" I seriously stopped for all of ten seconds, causing him to stomp and fidget before I resumed rubbing behind his ears.
Shorty does not allow many people into his life. He decides within a few seconds if he likes you or not. He pins his ears and bites at the bars of his stall when certain people walk by. He likes my business partner, Judy, and my farrier, Holly. He hates Dr. Wade, my vet. He hates my boss, most of the boarders, and all of the tackers (even though these people feed him on a regular basis and are nothing but nice to him... ingrate!). He does not like the girl that is taking care of him for the week, but she's the only one I felt comfortable with in terms of quality care. I just hope Shorty doesn't outright hurt her; he's gotten MUCH better about that, but let's be honest- Shorty is a 1,200 pound horse in great shape with aggressive tendencies and trust issues.