"You're going to ride it right? Please tell me you're going to ride it?"
Uh oh. This was the question that met me when I walked into the barn.
I wandered down the aisle and found Tucker, who just came in from turnout, covered in mud and walking in circles around his stall. He paused for a nanosecond to sniff me: "Hi mom! Sorry! Can't stop! Busy busy busy!" He was like a kid on too much sugar (or, more accurately, me on too much sugar). Apparently the spring grass has gone to his head?
Tucker is clearly feeling all better and has been finding all kinds of ways to amuse himself (and drive the barn managers nuts) this week. Unfortunately, as you could probably tell from the lack of posts, I had a really busy week at work and didn't get to ride him at all this week.... Something tells me I better remedy that for the coming week, or Tucker may find himself equus non grata.
My endlessly patient and mildly exasperated barn manager proceeded to tell me that Tucker has torn the mats up in his stall every night, pulled all the blankets off his blanket rack every day, and has been generally disruptive, noisy, and annoying all week. Lovely, buddy, just lovely.
Her best story? When she came back from teaching a lesson to find him wrestling with his blanket in turnout. He had managed to yank it half way up his neck and his face was completely hidden from view inside the neck hole (are you picturing this?). He was leaping through the air and striking out at it. Fearing the worst, she ran out to the field, convinced he was stuck and panicking. But no, oh no, he pulled his head out and looked at her, totally amused, and then went back to his game, grabbing the chest buckles in his teeth, then burying his face up to his eyeballs and boucing around the field like a wild 1200-pound puppy with a new toy.
Only my horse. Only. My. Horse.
Given his current state, I quickly booted him up and led him down to the indoor to run around while the ring was empty. The second I unclipped the leadrope, he squealed and spun and took off at a full gallop, gobbling up the length of the arena in about ten strides. He lept, he spun, he bronced, he bucked, he tossed his head, he struck out with his front feet, he kicked out behind, he squealed, he grunted, he whinnied. I just stood at the gate and watched. Uh... at least he's sound? Even if... slightly deranged? Then he trotted for a bit, and walked around snorting at things, and then went back to galloping a few more laps, and then when he was done, just turned and walked toward me, calm as could be. "Ok mom, all better. Man I needed that. Phew!" I handwalked him for a minute or two and then got tacked up.
Despite the theatrics, I'm happy to say he was a dream to ride. He was soft, and relaxed, and listening, albeit completely unfit and out of shape, so we took a lot of walk breaks. He got some nice foam on both sides of his mouth, did everything I asked, and seemed to enjoy the work, which made me very happy. When we were done, he stood on the cross ties with his ears up and his eyes half shut, licking his lips. Much nicer horse than when I arrived. That's more like it. At least I know he misses me when I'm not around, right?
I actually forgot how lovely he is to ride. Well, maybe I didn't forget, but I did get a new appreciation for what a fabulous horse he is, after not working him for so long. So nice to have my boy back.