Elizabeth and Barry,
Well, it’s been a bit since Tucks St. Aly and I have sent in a report of our doings, but all the better, we have so many things to tell. I’ve been riding very steadily for the last week or two, sometimes every day and almost always every two days or so.
Day before yesterday in fact, I rode bareback for the first time. It was really neat!!! I must say, I’m sure it was a bit uncomfortable for both Aly and I, as I didn’t even use a bareback pad (we’ll be getting one very soon!!) however I was really, really happy with how great Aly behaved. After a good 30 minutes in the pasture, we even road around the rode beside our house. Aly was a superb gentleman. I trotted him a good bit, and even though it was somewhat painful, as Aly has such high withers , I didn’t really have trouble staying on! I am really excited for when we get the bareback fixed up, I think doing some trotting and canter bareback will be the very best way to get a good seat when in the saddle. It’s amazing how much it encourages you to reach your legs down and really have your legs in the classical position opposed to the ‘chair position’.
Then, yesterday, we went riding again. This time with a saddle, but we had another adventuresome day, as we went riding along the road in the country around our house. We went much farther than we have ever before, and Aly is more and more becoming a true west Texan horse.
On our ride along the country roads, we encountered four Brahma cows with their calves, HUGE cows and even though I warned Aly, they totally took him by surprise. Even though he didn’t run off, he did spook and jump sideways. Nothing that couldn’t be handled though- however after that, when he had calmed down after a mile or so, we went wandering down the oilfield lease road behind our property. Here Aly came within feet of his first pump-jack. Again, he was absolute ‘Mr. Detective’, completely checking it out by surveying every inch. Head held high, ears alert, he stood staring at it, his whole body as still and motionless as a statue, except for the twitching of his ears, as he heard me telling him he’d better get used to those huge black noisy things as he’d be seeing much more of them in his new home-state. Although he jumped again some as I turned him around and headed home, all in all, for how huge and noisy and foreign that mass of machinery was to him, I was very, very proud of him and thought we had accomplished so much for that long ride. Who would think the drama king I brought home will be turning into my leisure riding horse as well. It’s relaxing sometimes just to take a long straight ride like that. Even though it’s partly because he’s very alert and a bit tense, when we get out on the road, Aly sets himself into a very comfy almost bouncy walk that I like a lot. I hope to do that a few times a week, because I’m sure he’ll get to enjoy it more too and look forward to it.
I cannot believe I’m finally typing this (knock on wood) but I think Aly is finally cured of his fence-running. He still gets excited some when the neighbor-hood horses start whinnying or something, but nothing extraordinary; and I haven’t had to go out and make him stop any really wild behavior in more weeks than I can count now. He loves his pastures and gets along incredibly with the goats. Although they don’t exactly sniff noses all the time as he would like, they are hardly bothered by him next to them or their babies, which is quite phenomenal, considering his immense size compared to them.
I’ll be heading down to feed him his dinner here in a few minutes so I’ll send this off and attach some recent pictures of him as well. Hope all is going well with y’all.
See more photos!