So I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and suck it up and try again to find a riding buddy. Have I really succeeded? I am not sure and the answer is probably no but I am at least trying. I have 2 people that are coming out right now, one coming from about 45 mins away (RB4) and the other about 25 mins away (RB5). RB4 is a couple of years younger than I am and has a decent seat. She is an intermediate rider who seems to have only ridden her own horse(s). She rides western but has ridden saddleseat and lightly dabbled in english when she was in college. She rode only her own horse, however, and thus doesn't know some of the cues I expected her to know. For example she didn't know how to ask for a canter any way other than keep kicking. She really wants me to show her all of my training tricks, she was impressed the horses knew so much. She said she wants to know how to train her horses to do some of the things that mine do. I have no problem showing people how to train but her approach was a bit too direct for my preference. It was almost like she is more interested in what I can teach her than the riding. The only other downside of RB3 is she appears to be hearing impaired, she has aids in both ears and speaks with a heavy slur. That part doesn't bother me, it is that she doesn't appear to hear me unless I am riding directly next to her so it makes it hard to carry on a conversation or give her instructions on how to do something. She is not sure how often she will be able to ride due to her personal life. We will see.
I also have RB5 coming out on Saturday for the first time, she sounds a bit more stable so we will see. She lives much closer too which I think helps. She is older and says she has had horses for about 30 years and is looking to for a riding buddy because she doesn't have an indoor arena so her winter riding has come to a halt. She said she does some NH training and is interested in learning more about showing. I will certainly let you know how it goes with her!
I rode the TWH on Monday with RB4 and am getting increasingly frustrated at his disregard for my insistence of a certain gait. He is flipping his gaits fairly regularly, when trotting he will flip into a pace or step pace when I make a smaller circle or try to slow his trot down. He is also pacing for longer periods of time when coming out of a canter then he was. I am pretty certain it is a fitness and balance issue and it will go away as I get them back to fit but it is very frustrating. I didn't get to work on this too much Monday because of RB4's hearing issue, we spent a good half of the ride walking while talking with her. That is a good thing, as it is building a rapport and at least the horses are getting exercise, but it isn't want I wanted to work on when I have a lesson coming up on Thursday.
But as it turns out there aren't TWH lesson worries this week. I thought the TWH looked odd when I did night check last night but didn't think anything of it This morning though he is definitely lame in his right front. I don't feel any heat in the hoof and he seems most tender right above his knee. There is a very, very slight increase in heat and he picks his leg up when I palpate it thought it could just be him picking it up due to his personality. He looked really off while I was leading him over the uneven, mud-frozen ground but looked really good once he was in the indoor arena. I gave him some bute and turned him out, I will check on him at lunch and give him a good hard look. I guess I am glad I have a "spare" horse so I don't have to cancel my lesson though I am not really ready for it on the App. Gotta ride tonight for sure!