Following along in the thread of making Theo a happy, productive member of society again, I decided he needed a day that was all about him.
Well, not completely about him. I'm not going to throw a bale of hay and a 50 pound bag of sweet feed into his field, followed by choice mares and a note saying he never has to work again. I have to keep it realistic. He still has to do some work, but I can make it the kind of work he likes.
First he got a very thorough curry comb session, followed by a complete tail brush out. He's a weird horse and genuinely enjoys having his tail brushed. By the time I was done, he was gleaming and dozing. Next came the jumping tack, since he still seems to prefer that jumping saddle.
Our work out of the today? A walk up Walnut Hill. The bugs have finally subsided, the heavy deer fly season is over, and walking trail rides are now an option. We walked all the way to the top. The great part about hill work is that I was able to get him puffing without any nagging or requests from me. I just sit on top and try to keep him from falling on his face while navigating granite rock faces. By the time we were done, he was a sweaty but content beast. We walked back to the barn on the buckle with his ears pricked.
After a nice, cold shower, he got a massage with lots of liniment. While I was working on his hips, digging in with my elbow in the way that makes him shut his eyes and quiver his lower lip, the guy feeding dinner asked if Theo would like his dinner during his massage.
I'm pretty sure it was Theo's idea of heaven. He had his face buried in a bucket of grain while I worked his glutes after having a nice (if steep and sweat inducing) walk in the woods. And then he got to go outside in full fly armor to chase his roommate away from the hay. It really doesn't get any better than that.
Today I have a property owners association meeting, so he gets a break. These cupcakes aren't going to frost themselves and I need some extra time since I've never made paleo-friendly cupcakes before. Not quite sure how that's going to turn out. The golden cupcakes with mocha buttercream, on the other hand, I know how to rock. Tomorrow I can take him out for another trail ride, this time on the flat, and get those hoses cleared.
I just found chocolate batter on my keyboard. That's going to be a problem. Word to the wise, don't have your laptop near your stand mixer.