Well, the mud has slowed everything to a crawl at best. Ranger has had some time off while we acclimate Tailor, our new Corgi puppy. The mud is so deep in the back that Tailor is not allowed there. He came out once and stood in front of Doc (age 31), barked fiercely and tried to herd him around, so we will do some quiet intros at another time. Doc just said whatever...Tailor is light colored with a white belly and paws, and has already decided "enough with the brushing!" since he has had mud removed multiple times daily.
Ranger now goes out of his way to come over, ask for nuzzles and is being great. He only gets excited if Sami goes out the gate before him - that's when he forgets his manners and can be pushy. So we have just taken some extra time to stand quietly, back up and "Wait for Your Mother" before we get to go out of the gate. 10 seconds of quiet standing has been working pretty well. He stands quietly to be released, takes his treat gently and hangs out to be petted and scratched. He likes the mares in serial form - the past couple of days he bonded with Spirit. She was happy to be with him till he got bossy and then she kicked him pretty good right in the chest and he became more respectful. Today he was all buddied up with Freya for most of the snowy, rainy, dreary day. Leia is no longer in the cool crowd.
The horses are disgustingly muddy but with all the rain this afternoon their coats all flattened out and they actually look really good when they are sleek! Everyone is in good flesh, including Ranger, even though he hardly stops moving mares around. He did manage to un-braid his tail, however, opting for the wild mustang look as long as possible. With the current mud level I have no hopes at all that it will stay pretty.
When the weather gets nicer Ranger will start learning some gentle obstacles. Right now leading, feeding, practicing spacing are about all I'm up for since the mud keeps sucking off my Muck boots and I end up stepping in 4" of slop wearing just my socks. We are due for another whole week of wet snow which is not helping me smile much.
Meanwhile, puppy shots are what we have for today! Tailor and Wrigley are getting to be friends.