Tonka is doing soooo incredibly well! He rode out calm as could be, opened and closed a gate, crossed a rather wide creek a little over knee deep, up and down a hill, a strange horse came running up and he didn't mind. Wow, I was so impressed. He was very aware of everything going on around him, but not at all spooky or goofy. He quickly sidestepped once, but that was because there was a monster gopher hole right in front of him.
Then I got to ride him! Wow was that really awesome but kinda weird. I have been looking forward to this for so long! And it was really great. I have a feeling we've got a lot of good times ahead of us. He's really narrow! Even more so than my TB mare. He has a different feel in the face than my other horses, much lighter, and I'm really going to have to work at riding him right. He expects me to be constantly in the driver's seat too, which is weird. Todd, the trainer, is constantly riding with his legs, and using the reins not so much, and I'm not that advanced a rider yet. Using my legs is not second nature yet. Plus I kind of let my horses go on autopilot a lot of the time. Not to mention I can't stand long leather split reins and that's what he's using, and they're sticky from being on so many sweaty horses and don't slide much at all. Will practice...
Todd had changed his tune from what he said on Wednesday, he said Tonka has come a long way even just since then. He'd be happy to keep him for another 30 days or whatever I am most comfortable with. I said I'd leave him there this week to make up for Lyric leaving a week early, and I'll decide later. Todd wants me to come out as much as possible and take lessons. I hate that drive! It's an hour and a half on really winding roads. But I really think I could learn a lot from him.
As you can probably tell I feel a lot better about this guy now. He's very quiet with Tonka, and at the same time matter of fact. No pussyfooting around, which is good, but no more force than is necessary to get the right reaction. Not that I've seen him fight with Tonka, just a little discussion about not running through his leg last time I was out there.
I'm really excited, and really excited to do it again! And again and again for many years to come. I think Tonka's going to be a wonderful mountain horse, and eventually he'll be able to do some competitions too.
I wish I had pictures, but I don't. Sorry!