Tonka was so awesome tonight. He was feeling adventurous and happy. We'd crest a hill and he'd want to stand there for a while and take in all of the view. He volunteered to go into areas he's normally scared of. He was still scared, but he was brave too. He's been more and more like this lately. It's fun.
I had also gotten Bella out and saddled her and left her to stand at the trailer while Tonka and I rode. She just dozed. I went in to get dinner real quick and asked if John or Katia wanted to come out and ride Tonka while I rode Bella. Neither of them has spent more than a few minutes riding him, so I wasn't sure how it would go. He's used to me and a new rider is different. John came out and rode him and they did great! I had carrots in my pocket that I'd been sharing with Tonka, and I forgot to give any to John. When Tonka saw me giving Bella carrots he'd look expectantly at John and then look a little put out when he didn't give him one. It was really funny. Tonka can be a very expressive guy. I secretly slipped John some carrots for Tonka when we were done riding.
We didn't do anything special, just wandered around the big pasture, but we had so much fun. It was great seeing my good horse be good and cute for John too, and not offended at having a new rider. And I was so proud of Bella. I think we might start doing this every day we can.
Oh, and I rode in the little synthetic Fabtron saddle and Tonka didn't "leave his hind end behind" at all today. So I don't know if it's the saddle change or the day of rest he had, or totally unrelated, but maybe his back wasn't sore today? Or maybe it's not back soreness but EPSM. I'm really leaning toward a sore loin area though, and I hope this saddle continues to be comfortable for him.