Drifter has passed the first step in his vet check. The vet called me when he was done and we went over the results together. His flex tests were excellent and he had no response to hoof testers - these are all very good indications. There were only a few minor things (all horses have them) - he tends to carry his left hind slightly to the inside when he moves, although he doesn't toe out or in and the leg swings straight. This could be just the way he's built - many horses have some asymmetry - or it could be a matter of unequal muscle development. He, like Pie, also travels a little bit narrow behind. The vet and I aren't too concerned about this since the flex tests were good and his hoof shape (and therefore loading) are normal - no flare or distortion in the hoof capsule. He also appeared to stand with his front legs slightly underneath his body at rest, which could indicate that he is slightly behind at the knees, although the vet said he was fidgeting so much it was hard to see - his impatience and fidgeting are one of the first things we'll be working on once he gets here. (I can see a lot of ground tying, standing tied and just standing around in our immediate future.) For what I'm intending to use him for, neither of these conformation flaws are likely to present any issues. If the x-rays on Monday are within normal parameters for a horse of his age, we'll be all set. He's supposed to arrive on Saturday afternoon - I'm looking forward to that.
* * * * * *
Pie and I have been doing some exploring - he's a curious horse and seems to enjoy this. When we're out riding, if he sees something he'd like to explore more closely, if he asks to go that way I generally say yes by actively directing him to go in that direction - that way I'm still providing direction although he gets to express some opinions. When we've looked, I also try to provide the signal to leave - if he asks to leave, I ask him to stay for a moment and then direct him away. I like his independence but I also want to be the one with the final say as to how and when we move. I also like to give him the time to stop and look at things rather than just rushing him along.
On our Monday trail ride with Charisma, Pie wanted to go investigate the chicken farming area. This is a large plastic hoop house with a fenced yard around it where free-range chickens live. It's down a track about 50 yards from the trail we ride by on. Pie and I went down there and stood for a while so he could take things in - as we were standing there the chickens came pouring out of their hoop house into their yard, with much clucking - I guess having an equine visitor isn't an everyday occurrence for them. Pie found this very interesting.
Then yesterday, Pie and I went on a short excursion through the farm buildings at the organic farm - lots to look at there - buildings, equipment, people, vehicles. Pie seemed to thoroughly enjoy it and we stopped and looked at things several times. He was giving a good hard look at the lawn by the farmhouse where the geldings had their escapade a few days ago, and wanted to go over there, but I said no - there were already too many hoofprints on the lawn.
Looks like another good riding day today, so I'm off to the barn.