If it seems like I'm on a cat rant lately, that's because I am. But Armani thinks he deserves a mention. It is his blog.
While Baby was sick I spent 2 weeks away from the barn to nurse her. (...I also burned almost all my vaccation time for 2010.) It was the longest Armani and I had been apart. Armani was ridden by his trainer and was reportedly good... at first...
She called me a few times to ask how the cat was. "How's Armani?" I asked.
"Oh, don't worry about him." Hmm, ominous?
...I tried hard not to. When I got back to the barn finally, I had to pry the whole story out.
Armani makes hay
First, Armani apparently made hay at a lesson. Another Grand Prix trainer had asked to borrow Armani once a week for her students. Evidently his last lesson was cut short because of erratic behavior.
Armani declares war
Armani did not leave a fence untouched. He went on an unabashed board breaking, fence jumping, gate unlatching spree. Most uncharacteristically, he even left his dinner behind when he ran wild.
Armani is unrepentant
2 weeks later, I returned. Armani squealed and raced to the gate. He began working at the latch. "Hang on, Stinker!"
He danced around in the crossties. "Settle, settle..." I softly intoned. He completely disregarded my advice. He tried to follow me into the tack room. The crossties snapped, swung about. He knocked my trainer's saddle off the rack.
Back in the saddle, "It's not like riding a bicycle." I mused. I had my period. I felt out of sync. It was a windy, snowy day. Armani was high as a kite. He leapt at every gust. He carreened toward walls. He snorted. He stomped. He spun. He flew.
Armani decided the indoor arena was a gladiator arena. For 3 days I struggled through his airs-above-ground. "He sure has gotten stronger."
I was frustrated. Armani needs a steady hand. I knew it was my fault for having been gone so long. But I couldn't have neglected Baby.
Armani reforms himself, a bit...
Then I was invited to go on a trail ride. My companions were a 80 year old lady on a quarter horse and a close friend on a 4 year old. In such company, Armani was expected to be a seasoned leader.
Armani rose to the occasion - sort of. Actually he grumbled and grunted for the whole ride. But that was his only display of defiance. We rode through wood and field, through 2 feet of dense snow, for over an hour. The ladies had a wonderful time. After we got back I gave him a massage and treats.
The next day it was back to the gladiator arena.
2 hours ago