First things first, let's talk about Tucker (it's his blog, after all). We had a lovely, fabulous, beautiful ride yesterday. There were moments where I was overwhelmed by how special and awesome he is, like when he stayed round through his back and stepped lightly up into his right lead canter, or during the five minutes of actual working trot we did, when he got lighter, and more engaged, and stayed soft in my hand. I love those moments. Even though I can tell that he's out of shape and we are taking breaks a lot more frequently, physically Tucker feels fabulous. His canter feels better than ever, for some reason. I'm not questioning, just enjoying. I've never felt a horse so happy to be back to work. I guess there's no question that he loves his job.
And now, onto the big news. I've been struggling recently with what the next step for Julie should be. She is still in training down at Stones Throw and doing well, but I do want to sell her and it's been difficult coordinating those efforts with a horse that's 1,000 miles away. Boarding is expensive in New Jersey though, and I can't afford to put her into full training with Alicia, and don't have time to keep a second horse working myself. So I've been, understandably, at a total loss for what to do.
As luck would have it, Allison, the assitant manager where I'm boarding Tucker, is retiring her mare and in need of a project horse. She and I had discussed this fact before, but we hadn't really gotten into the details. So, yesterday I approached her about the possibility of taking Julie on as her project for the year, or until she sells, and happily, she agreed! I won't bore you with all the little details of this arrangement, but suffice it to say that it looks like it will be mutually beneficial and financially very doable, for both of us. And of course, the most important part: we are on the same page as far as Julie's training, what she should be doing, what the expectations are, etc. We both agree that, since she's only just turning three this summer, the goal should be to work on her brain, keep the little lessons short and sweet, lots of ground work, trail rides, tagging along at horse shows to hang out and take in the sights, etc. If she can hack around quietly at home, go for a walk in the woods, and generally behave herself away from home, sounds like a perfectly well-rounded three year old to me.
I'm thrilled. I've gone from having no clue what to do with this little girl to being very excited about the next phase for her. Of course, things could go wrong... Allison and Julie might not get along, it might take longer than a year to sell her, situations could change, so we are still working on some contingency plans, but overall, I think this is going to work out well. So, for the moment I am staying positive and hoping that this will help me find the best possible home for Jules. I'll keep you all posted once she has a move-in date!