Some Great Firsts

Tucks St. Aly gets familiar with his new home in Texas. Click on this image to see more photos from Texas.

Dear B&B Family,

Tucks St. Aly and I have been so busy the last two days getting over our worries together I’m afraid I have forgotten to tell y’all of some of the great things that have happened with us as well.

For one thing, on the first day Aly got here, as I was walking him down our drive way he came across something, that from his reaction I don’t believe he has come across before; a cattle guard, let me tell you people, it freaked him out! The cattle guard at the end of the drive is so totally filled in with dirt and caleche that you can barely see the metal of the bars sticking through the dirt ( good thing we have no cattle to keep in huh), anyway it didn’t matter how covered up and un-dangerous it looked to me, to Aly it might as well have been the jaws of an aligator sticking straight up to bite him. He walked sideways, he edged back, he walked over close to me only to get an elbow stuck in his shoulder and a voice telling him to “get off of me” and he flared his nostrils, put his head down and, oh cruel Alex, as she tugged him his foot went over onto it and wow, it didn’t bite him after all. I was mostly really impressed with when we crossed back over it and today when we walked over it, he barely even looked at it.

One even worse thing Aly has had to deal with out here in the wild west….dogs on springs..well that is what my husky appears to be, he loves to run along the inside of the fence that is beside our driveway,and at each end of the fence he does this crazy bounce thing, where he shoots straight up on his hind feet and his head goes at least a foot into the air above the top of the 5 foot fence. When Aly first saw a white and black husky head appear with a bark coming from it, over the fence, he jumped, spooked majorly, not in place either, he almost plowed right over me and boy was he shaking; I scolded him but he wasn’t just being bad, he really was scared, I doubt many horses have been desensitized to that before. He still gets timid as my dog does this almost every time we walk up and down the driveway, Aly is a bit edgy about that area still, but much, much improved.

One other hilarious thing…I can now say that my high-strung, drama queen Thoroughbred is calmer than a wild burro! Wanting to introduce Aly to his supposed to be future pasture buddy, the burro,Junior, I held Aly’s halter in the big pasture, while my dad held the burro; I walked up to them, Aly was pretty calm, eager to reach out and meet the burro, the burro was very stolid and looked suspicious, as soon as Aly reached out to touch noses and say hi, the burro wheeled around and freaked out; dad got him calmed down and we tried again several times. Then, Aly being quite laid back through all the ruckus, moved forward again, this time just to munch a piece of grass off the ground, as he did he hit a piece of the siding on the shop and it set the burro off like an explosive! he started backing up and pulling my dad across the pasture Aly, on a medium longish lead, just turned slowly, but interestedly around, as if to say, “wow this is entertaining, what is that crazy animal getting himself worked up about??” Seriously, Aly’s attitude really seemed like that, his eye was relaxed, head down, leg cocked, and totally at ease, in a pasture that, even in a halter, he was freaking out in the day before. I was very proud of my boy.

Tucks St. Aly and Alex's first ride in Texas. Click on this image to see more photos from Texas.

Also, the climax of the day so far, was the first ride we had together on Texas soil. We only rode for about 30 minutes, but it was still a very good first. He had his head down a good bit of the time, and even though at first he wanted to take off and run I could tell, after I kept telling him to calm down because he just wasn’t going to do that, and gave him jobs to keep his neck bending and lower his head, he calmed down a good bit and by the time I left he had improved his head quite a lot. I did miss having Elizabeth and Barry giving me tips so much though! Gosh, I didn’t realize what a chore it is to keep remembering your good posture all the time without having people remind you….ahem, of course I know you’re supposed to remember anyway, but when you’re excited and trying to deal with an excited horse I had to purposefully remember not to look down at him and keep those dang elbows bent. In general though, it was a very good success, and I’m hoping on Monday after all my school stuff is done I’ll give him a good long workout, and even trot and maybe canter a bit.

Even though Aly is still lonely for his farm and pasture buddies and gets antsy in the pasture turned out; in his paddock and stall he seems very comfortable, and most of all, I am soo relieved he is eager for his food again. VERY eager, he is nickering steadily and the barn is sounding with “Aly cut it out!” from his pawing for his food. I’m hoping to see him filling back out this coming week. There are still plenty of tough things to get through and I’m sure I’ll have an endless jillion questions for Elizabeth, but I’m very happy with him right now and proud of how he is calming down, today especially.

Love to all our dear people,