My first ride on Tucker at the new place was great, he out-did himself once again. The wind was howling around the barn and indoor and I was sure he was going to be fresh, but he hacked around the indoor with a couple of other horses as though he'd been there all his life. I didn't make him work too hard, mostly because I was so surprised and relieved at how level-headed he was. Have I mentioned lately how much I adore this animal? (Tucker apparently shares my feelings. He's quite smitten with the horse in the mirror in the indoor.)
On our first night at the farm, the girls threw a little martini party for me in the tack room when we were done riding (yup, I think we'll fit in just fine). We cleaned tack, we had a few laughs, and Tucker settled in for the night in his cozy new stall. Well, I don't know if "settled in" is the right phrase. I had forgotten how strong his feelings are for my friend Kathleen's mare Chloe, who made an appearance way-back-when in this post. (Don't worry Sug, Chloe does not return the sentiment.) Chloe lives next to Tucker, and when I left, Tucker was using every inch of his 17hh to see over the stall wall and catch a glimpse of her. Not sure Chloe noticed, but I thought it was cute.
Since then I've had two more great rides, so I think Tucker is feeling pretty good about the change of scenery. Sunday we did some really solid flatwork, focusing on transitions within the gaits at the trot and the canter. I think I've honed in on a key issue with respect to my aversion to going forward. When I send him forward and he gets flat and strung out and a little downhill, it's a very disconcerting feeling. When I collect and make him really sit down and use his hind end first, and then send him forward from there, I like that forward canter much, much better. Makes sense right? So we've been doing canter circles spiraling in to increasingly smaller circles, to really make him collect of his own accord, and then spiraling out and extending the canter by the time we hit the rail, but making sure to maintain the back-to-front connection with seat, hand, and leg. I'm a big fan of this exercise at the moment.
Tucker is getting turned out with his buddy Tuck (I'm sure that won't get confusing), whom you probably remember from this post. So do you think they are getting along?
Two peas in a pod
You can get a glimpse of the beautiful farm we are at in this shot, but I will share more pictures later in the season. The winter weather won't do it justice.
So that's all the news I have for now... happy big brown horse, happy little girl.