Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Little Nostalgia

My grandfather asked me last weekend to go through his computer and see if I still want "those horse pictures" that were on there.  I couldn't remember what they were, so I checked it out and found these little gems:

These were taken September 2005, so Tucker was 3 years old and had only been jumping for a couple of weeks.  If you can call this "jumping," considering his hind legs and front legs are all on the ground on either side of the jump.  I love the babies in the background, coming over to see what's going on in our makeshift ring.

It's also worth noting, by the way, that he appears to be actually planning to canter, or possibly trot, away from this jump.  The first few times we jumped, he apparently thought he had to "stick the landing" like a gymnast, and would land at a halt.  Ta-da!  I did it!  I jumped!  It took some convincing to explain that he actually had to keep going.  I think he was just so proud of himself that he forgot about anything else.

I don't care that we look slightly absurd in these photos, they make me so happy.  What great memories.  That summer was when I started getting glimpses of what Tucker would be like as a grown up, even though he was still gangly and goofy and had a 5-minute attention span.  We still weren't doing much, and I was still painting with a pretty broad brush, but little things were starting to come together.  He was starting to bend (sort of, sometimes), sometimes balanced himself for a few steps, and was finally figuring out the difference between the right lead and the wrong lead (for months, he was convinced that "canter" was the right answer, and just couldn't understand why I was being so picky about a silly little detail like which lead he was on).  But even then, I was getting glimpses of genius -- I knew he was a Wunderkind.

I was still in law school at the time, and I would drive an hour from Newark out to Hunterdon County every Sunday, and as soon as I pulled off the exit for his farm I'd start getting butterflies, and by the time I could see the fencing of his field I could barely sit still I was so excited to see him.  He'd spot my car coming down the road and come galloping across his field, whinnying away, and be waiting by his gate by the time I got to the top of the driveway.  I'd go in the barn and get his halter, and then walk around back to find him standing at the gate as tall as he could make himself, chest pressed against the gate, big curvy ears pointed straight forward, big brown eyes fixed on me, mirroring the same feeling I had felt in the car a moment before.  Then we'd play, and I'd ride, and he'd make me laugh, and I'd forget about the paper I had to write, the exam I had to study for, the Supreme Court case I didn't understand, the resumes I had to send out, the bills I couldn't pay, and the boy who didn't love me back, for just a few hours.  It was a few hours of pure bliss. 

And so began the Wunderkind's lifelong career of saving my life, a few hours at a time.


  1. Oh I love this post! It is so beautiful how you describe the start of your relationship with your horse and how he transports you away from all worry. My feelings for my horse exactly. I've been thinking of doing a post of favorite quotes from other blogs so I hope you won't mind if I use your last sentence (with your site) if I get around to doing this.

  2. I get butterflies when I am on my way to the stables....I hope I always do! Tucker loved you then and the love story continues. You are a great team.

  3. This is a great post. I'm so glad you have Tucker and it's so encouraging for people like me who are several years behind you to see where you've gotten to.

  4. "And so began the Wunderkind's lifelong career of saving my life, a few hours at a time"

    This is it, all of it (riding, horses, dirt, mud, learning etc etc), exactly how I feel, in one sentence. Beautiful, just beautiful.

    If you don't mind, I'd like to direct people to your last two posts from my blog, they're beautifully written, and SO right on the (lack of) money! :)

  5. Of course I don't mind! It makes me so happy to hear that readers can relate, and that I'm actually able to express these things in a way that makes sense to someone! (Even if these things only make sense to crazy horse people like us!)

  6. LOVE this!! and I love 'series' photos so much! What a little baby athlete Tucker is here and I love that two of his feet are on the ground while his body is over the jump, lol, so funny and cute! Perked happy ears! :)

  7. Beautiful....... What more can be said!

  8. What lovely sentiments. I really like the way you've described the start of your relationship with Tucker. Very special.


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