As usual I gotta tell you, I love my horse! He never did get that bath. I had to go over to my sister's and spend some time with my parents, so I took Tonka along, since she and I both wanted to ride before we go to the Trail Challenge tomorrow. I dropped Danni off at her prospective new home on the way there. They'll be trying her out for a couple weeks before they decide. Tonka waited patiently in the trailer while I chatted and watched her get settled in. Once we got to my sister's he was very interested in all the goings-on. He's so cute, the way he looks so intently at things with his big ears. He hung out in their arena for a while, then I took him for a walk down the road to see how he'd handle all the tall grass in the wind. We went over a wooden bridge that he was rather suspicious of. It's a big one that cars cross, so we had plenty of room, and he couldn't really rush over it. He looked like a cat with tape on his paws. Silly boy. But he didn't do anything stupid at all. We crossed it four times and went back. He was really interested in the horses running around on either side of the road, but not too worried or excited. I took him back to the arena along a path strewn with extension cords, hoses, PVC pipe, a ladder off to the side, a tarp flapping in the wind, a garbage can, etc. He was cautious and very attentive, but didn't do anything other than look and walk carefully. Later we saddled up and rode. He was a little dull, but that's really my only complaint. Todd had said I'll have to put him in a twisted wire bit every now and then for a day or so to remind him to listen. I needed it today. I'll be using one tomorrow. Well, not twisted wire, but slow twist. I was worried those square edges would hurt, but this bit I got is nice and rounded. If I were brave enough to wear spurs, I'd use those too. He was really blowing off my legs at times today. But I am not a good enough rider for spurs. I couldn't guarantee I'd keep them off him at all times other than when they're necessary.
We walked over poles, trotted around a bit, then moved out across the hay field to the water crossing. It was really just a mud crossing, but the mud was thick and deepish - nothing dangerous - and the banks were good experience. The near bank is gradual but kind of a valley-like avenue through tall grass. The far bank was steep and tall. I walked him across first, then rode him across several times. He did so well! Hauled us up the steep bank like a pro, and slid back down on his haunches without any trouble. My sister was watching him and said he's sure-footed as a goat. I watched her QH go up and down it, and he's clumsy! She laughs at him, but is glad that he never actually falls down. I got to show him off to her sister-in-law too, who is a former rodeo princess and I think maybe a breed snob. She thought Tonka was a Walker. I said nope, he's a mustang, but he does look like a Walker. She said, "No way, he's all mustang?" YEP. That's my boy.
It was pretty cool, my sister finally admitting that Tonka is a good horse. She said it with such disbelief too. "He really IS a good horse. I was worried for a while there..." She said he was all about trying to please the whole time we were working on the crossing. AND she thinks we should go ahead and enter the competition tomorrow. I don't think so! But if it's super simple we might... No, really, I don't think so.
I had some pretty pictures of him from today, but I forgot my camera there. I hope she remembers to bring it for me tomorrow! I want pictures of our fun day!