Monday, September 3, 2012

Tucker Fixes Everything!

Wow.  I'm so sorry, I let the entire month of August go by without even a word.  I hope you've all enjoyed the end of your summers... I'm still in trial hell, but there's light at the end of the tunnel at the moment, which means those of you who are still willing to follow along will be treated to much more frequent blog posts.  I promise!  I have about two more weeks of trial left, and then the dust should settle. 

The good news is, you didn't miss much on the Tucker front for the month of August.  The bad news is, that's because he was lame for most of the month.  Nothing major, he popped a splint on his right front, and although he was sound at first, he soon decided it really hurt.  (I'm pretty sure the other horses tipped him off that he could be getting a vacation and major sympathy points if he limped, so he did.)  It was actually perfect timing, I was too busy to ride, and he was too sore to work, so he just had a three week vacation of turnout and rest.  Thankfully (I can't stress that word enough), I have an amazing barn manager, Cindy, who took great care of him while I couldn't get there and treated the offending limb with surpass and ice.  He'll probably be left with an ugly bump on his leg, but let's face it, he wasn't exactly a conformation hunter to begin with.

This weekend we went back to (mostly walking) work, and I can't tell you the difference it has made in my general outlook on life.  I'm sort of glad that there haven't been too many witnesses for these rides. I don't think they're very pretty. I couldn't care less though. It feels so nice to be back on my horse, and I can't get enough of this view:

I tell you, Tucker fixes everything.  I was starting to get cranky, and irritable, and kind of depressed, focusing on all the wrong things and forgetting how lucky I am.  Three days of riding and currying and bathing and tack cleaning, and I am 100% better.  I have learned that I am definitely NOT the kind of girl who could ever give up the horses, not even temporarily. I'm completely and utterly miserable without my horse time.  This will be a lifelong affliction, I am afraid.  There are worse vices to have though!

As for Tucker, he was very happy to see me and has been incredibly affectionate and snuggly, which I just adore.  So nice to feel loved.  The first day I got there he was already out in his field, talking to his girls over the fence, and when I called his name he spun completely around and flung his head straight up in the air with his big old ears pointed right at me, and my heart just melted.  Then he met me at the gate and just couldn't get enough of sniffing my hair and snuffling my tummy and licking my hands....  A non-horse person would think this is completely nuts, but it actually brought tears to my eyes, I know you all can relate.

He's not so happy, on the other hand, about all the walking we are doing undersaddle.  If you recall, the last time we were recovering from an injury, all the walking resulted in him hacking into my blog and begging for help.  He's equally enthused about it this time, and keeps trying to see whether instead of leg yielding maybe I meant trot?  Or maybe instead of just one longside at a time, I might like to keep going around the ring a few times?  It's so tempting, because his trot feels great, but I don't want to push him too hard or make him sore, and I have to be the sensible one.  So we walk for about 40 minutes and trot for maybe a total of 5, spread out over the course of the ride, and only in straight lines for now.

I'm trying to keep him entertained at the walk with lateral work and lots of circles and changes of direction.  The first time I asked for a leg yield, it felt like I was riding one of those two-person horse halloween costumes, I'd either get the front or the back to move, but not in unison.  Today's ride saw some slight improvement in that area, though I'm pretty sure we'd still fail a field sobriety test with our walk down the centerline (in his defense, he's not entirely sober.  I've been giving him a little bit of Ace to make sure he doesn't pull any stunts and hurt himself).  He finds all of this mind-numbingly boring, though he does appreciate all the praise he gets for doing work that really isn't very difficult.

Last time this program got him looking really muscled up and nice by the time we were done, so let's hope the same will be true this time:

It's good to be back, readers and bloggers.  I may not have time to catch up on everyone's blogs this week, but hopefully next week.  I can't wait to see what you and your lovely horses have been up to!