Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Camp

Tucker and I are at Summer Camp this week and it's been an absolute blast.  If you recall I occasionally farm-sit for a good friend of mine at her beautiful place (which is about five minutes from my house) and Tucker and I just love it there.

My buddy Linus
Stopping to smell the flowers
Pretty farm house
It's beautiful, peaceful, and quiet here all the time. All the animals (horses, dogs, cats) are happy and relaxed. It's probably more like a week at a spa than a week at summer camp. I ride, I go for long walks with the dogs, I take long baths, I read my books. Did you just sigh reading that? I sighed writing it. It's a horse-lovers' paradise, basically.
I got to the farm Sunday night and got all the horses tucked in to their stalls, since it was raining.  Monday night I went to my farm and picked up Tucker, and once I got him settled in I turned everyone out for the night.  Tucker tried to make friends over the fence with Shadow (an adorable paint, the "husband horse" on the farm), who promptly squealed and told Tucker what's what.  Tucker turned around and looked at me like, "Mom he's being mean!" Once he realized Shadow was not, in fact, interested in becoming his new bestest friend in the whole wide world, he moved onto more important matters, namely a gorgeous field full of lush spring grass.

The next morning he wasn't too sure about finishing his breakfast, so I went out and picked up a few tubes of UlcerGard for the week (more on that in another post).  By the time we were ready for our ride, he seemed to be feeling better and we hopped over a few crossrails in the ring, which were uneventful.  That night I turned everyone out again and this time grass was the only thing on everyone's minds, which was good.

We had a lesson yesterday with Alicia, who came to the farm to ride one of my friend Chrisie's horses, and Tucker was fantastic.  As much as the dressage has been kind of an uphill climb for both of us, it SO pays off when we go to jump around a course.  He is so straight that it's like steering a car, and balancing his canter to add a stride in a line is about ten times easier.  Chrisie had a nice little course set up and Tucker and I had so much fun jumping it, two outside lines and two singles on the diagonal, nice easy hunter-ish stuff.  First time we've jumped an entire course in, I don't know, forever?  Tucker was of course perfect.

Today we put the dressage tack on and went for a lovely ride in the big grass meadow with the sun shining and a cool breeze blowing.  Tucker felt amazing.  We even got the big canter that we worked on in our fix-a-test, and I felt that awesome moment when his shoulders lift and he truly moves up leg-to-hand.  I am pretty sure I heard angels singing on high.

I think all the fun of summer camp is catching up with him though.  I've been trying all week to get a more photogenic shot of him, and what I have is a phone full of many variations of this:

Shhh...  it's nap time.
It's a rough life.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tucker's First Fix-A-Test

OnTheBit from A Horse and a Half (who also did the fix-a-test with Lucky) was kind enough to video our test during the fix-a-test we did on Sunday, so you all can see how adorable Tucker is looking these days.

I loved the Judge, Mindy Elgart.  She gave lots of helpful criticism but was extremely nice to all of us.  The comments about Tucker were very complimentary which made me beam with pride.  After we ran through the test we worked on my position (which is still pretty hunter-ish, despite Cindy's efforts to fix it) and worked on getting a bigger canter and a better canter transition.  Tucker was wonderful for all of it, and since he did exactly what we asked and he was blowing pretty hard with the extreme heat yesterday, we opted not to run through the whole test again.  Overall, though it wasn't perfect, I was super happy with him.  No invisible monsters anywhere in sight yesterday.  Good boy!

After the test we stood and talked to the Judge for a bit, so when I gathered my reins back up he thought maybe he'd try some of his spooky/stuck stuff, but I was able to sit and support and send him through it without incident, so I am pretty happy with myself too!

Here's the video:

Doesn't he look ADORABLE in his white polos and dressage tack?