Last night I rode Tucker at home and he was W.I.L.D.! You know that feeling when you get on your horse and he needs to trot... immediately? That's how it started. So we trotted for a while and once I felt him start to relax I figured it was safe to pick up my canter. Figured wrong. I picked up my canter and as soon as we got to the top of the long side, he exploded like something cowboys would be fighting over at the PBR. He bronced and lept and bucked and carried on all the way down the long side (and you know how big that ring is). There was another rider in the corner putting her horse's cooler on and she turned around to see what the commotion was... for a second there, I'm pretty sure both our lives flashed before our eyes. Thankfully I was able to stay on somehow, and got him trotting on a circle in the middle of the ring for a bit.
We kept trotting until the ring was empty, and then I hopped off and pulled his tack and let him run around. Clearly he had something he needed to work out... because he ran, and ran, and ran. Then trotted for a minute, and ran some more. I just stood in the middle of the ring and watched (he actually looked gorgeous once he stopped bucking). Finally he had enough and trotted a few times all the way around the ring, so I caught him, tacked him back up, and hopped on again and let him walk for a while to catch his breath. I wanted to end with a few minutes of work but we took things nice and slow and easy, trotting circles, working on getting him to accept the outside rein, bend through the middle, keep an even tempo (tiny little bite-sized goals). We ended the ride cantering circles like a normal horse so apparently he had gotten everything out of his system.
I went to Alicia's this afternoon for a lesson and I wasn't sure exactly how he would be, but I'm happy to say he was absolutely perfect. I rode him in the hackamore and he flatted really nicely, though I'm having trouble lately with keeping him from over-bending tracking right, which we'll have to work on some more on our own. We warmed up over some small jumps and then started working on a gymnastic down the center line and he was absolutely fab-u-lous! He was soft, and quiet, and jumping so nicely. I'll let the videos speak for themselves....
Is that a wunderkind or what? Don't you just love him? He makes it looks so easy. 3'6" feels like nothing for him. This was our best gymnastic yet (they seem to be getting better and better every time). I definitely like doing gymnastic work in the hackamore. He stays so incredibly soft and jumps so nice and round in it. Never thought I'd say this, but I actually asked Alicia to put the jumps up a little for our last time through! This horse does wonders for my confidence.
After our lesson we went down the barn aisle and I let Tucker say hi to all his old friends. He was so sweet with all of them and they all seemed happy to see him. I love the way he sniffs noses and blows in their faces, and then he'll sometimes lick their muzzles like a puppy. Just the sweetest thing. Then when we opened the door to head back to the trailer Tucker didn't want to leave! He backed all the way up into the aisle, just about broke my heart. I felt so bad taking him away from his friends. There's always a chance that Tucker will end up living with his little herd again... though probably not right away. Right now I'm just hoping that at some point soon all the pieces of my life are going to start making sense again. Tucker certainly made his wishes known today in case anyone was wondering though!
Things are a little up in the air in my life right now, but today I had one of those rides that totally clears your head. Makes everything just snap right back into place. I've said it before and I'll say it again... I love that horse so much. I can't even put into words how special he is to me.