All on An April Morn
After an aggravating morning of trying to find out whether or not the feed store had ordered my grain, I called Stacie and asked her to pick up four bags at her local feed store on the way up here. I had called that store yesterday and found out they had some in stock.
Stacie was coming up so I could go with her to look at a mare she might be interested in buying. After we unloaded the feed, we headed off out near where I used to go for some lessons and shows. The mare in question is a lovely Hanovarian, 5 years old, 15.3, so she may yet grow a little. She is a nice mover, well balanced, good conformation and seems to have a really nice attitude. Stacie fits her really well but did discover the mare is fairly green, though definitely not spoiled or badly trained. She really is a nice horse at a good price.
But Stacie has at least one other horse to look at and doesn't want to jump into buying anything unless she is pretty darn confident it will be the right horse for her. Our trainer is coming next weekend and he is willing to look at any horses with Stacie, so that's a good thing. If this mare is sold before then, we've decided it was just not fated to be, so we'll just have to wait and see.
When we got back to my house, we saddled up the Boys--Stacie on Toby and me on Tucker for a quick school. I decided to put my spurs on for the first time since October and I must say, they made quite an impression. As soon as I picked up the reins, Tucker threw a striking out tantrum with both front feet and then pulled a mini-rear in protest--While I did NOT touch him with the spur, he felt the metal on my boot and really reacted. THEN he started going FORWARD! Perhaps a little too aggressively forward, but forward nonetheless, so ultimately it was a good thing. I was very careful not to be strong with the spur but just to touch him with it if I needed to reinforce a leg aid. They really worked well and aside from a kick out or two, he stayed ahead of my leg.
I didn't school for too long. Tucker did everything I asked including some half pass in each direction at the walk and canter, some pretty good canter/walk/canter transitions, some nice reinback, some shoulder-ins and some nice bouncy canter. By then he was lathered under the saddle and between his hind legs and I still had to ride Chance. (Ah....it was kind of warm today....)
While I trotted Chance in the arena to settle him down, Stacie took Toby out to ride around the pasture. That set Tucker to whinnying to him and a little frantic trotting. That unsettled Chance enough that he forgot how to drop his head and he developed a decided "drift" towards the pasture gate. It didn't precisely settle him down, but we went out for a hack in the woods and field.
For the first part of the ride, Chance insisted on being in front, jogging everytime Toby moved up behind him. While I do find the jogging off annoying, he was easy to bring back to a walk and never really did fuss about it. When we reached a section of trail he had never been on before, he settled down and, still in front, behaved nicely all the way home.
Back in the barn, I could swear Toby was smiling. I really think he enjoys the work. I know he loves the hacks and today he had some of each.
All is well at Follywoods.