Monday, September 20, 2010

Hello, Tucker!

Yesterday, I brought home a horse. No, not the one I wasted hours and hours shopping for, but a very nice free lease. Which means I get to borrow him for a few months. When that time is up, I either need to buy him, send him home, or help the woman who owns him to sell him. For now, he is exactly what I need.

Though I am in love with a beautiful three-year-old stallion who lives in Florida...

Anyway, it was a marathon to bring Tucker home. Got up, let our dogs out, got dressed, fed the dogs, brought them inside, then went out to the garage and fed the dogs I am taking care of for a friend, let them out, then crated them again. After that was done, Mr Wonderful and I walked to the barn, fed my ponies, turned them out, and loaded ourselves into the truck to head North.

Luckily, I was smart enough to hook the truck and trailer up the night before. Sometimes the brain works well.

We drove three hours to my mother's farm in Vermont and loaded up my small collection of homemade and hand-me-down jumps. They did fill the back of the truck and the jump poles (look out Gil I have more! Ha ha ha!) stuck up about eighteen inches over the truck roof making the whole ensemble a bit hillybillyish. Some of those poles are heavy! I'm not sure that was what Mr. W. had in mind for his day off, but, after all, he does want to marry me, shouldn't he know by now what my idea of fun is?

Poor man.

All loaded up, we filled the gas tank, grabbed some snacks and soda, and were on our way back South. Another forty-five minutes later, we pulled into where we were picking up Tucker. His owner was waiting with a mixture of happiness and sorrow. We wrapped Tucker for the ride. He knew something was up, but stood quietly and followed me out to the waiting trailer with his ears pricked. His owner led him onto the trailer. He went on with little fuss and started to paw when we took too long to say goodbye.
While we cooed and put voices to Tucker's antics- "Aw, he really wants to go," or "See, he's really nervous about the trailer," Tucker himself was probably thinking about grass or rolling in the shavings that padded the trailer floor. Who knows?

I think humans try to attach too many of our own feelings to our pets and especially horses. I'm not sure if this is related to the estrogen levels in most horse people, or if it is a wish to relate more closely to such a noble creature. And to a ridiculous degree- I know people that hire "pet psychics' or animal communicators to help them better understand their animals. I've never gone that far, but I've been tempted. Haven't I, Gil??? But guilty as charged on the rest.

The reality is, that Tucker didn't have much of a say in the matter. He was coming home with me, so we loaded him up and away we went. He seemed pretty content for the ride. He didn't paw or jump around- and yes, you can feel it when they do- 1200 pounds can make trailers do some funky things. When I stopped to check on him about halfway home, he was eating hay, looking around, and pretty relaxed. Phew. It may be misguided, but I do want Tucker to like me.

Three hours and change after Tucker placed hoof on trailer ramp, we arrived home. Ahhh...

Oh crap, we didn't do stalls this morning. And we still have to unload, unhitch, and the dogs have been cooped up all day.

Whose bright idea was this? Oh, yeah. Mine.

We got it done. And pretty quickly. Though backing the trailer into its new home was a bit of a chore. I backed it through a gate, past my truck, which I should have moved, tried not to hit the apple tree or take out my buckets of flowers, avoided crashing into the garage or the sheep barn and pushed it around a 90 degree corner into its spot.

Mr. W. tried to offer advice and I tried not to be testy. It's a fault within me that whenever I am concentrating really hard on a task, I hate commentary. Even if it is helpful. If I am backing up the trailer through a maze, unless I am about to crash, silence is golden. Unless, of course, you want to do it yourself. He just laughed at that.

I was more annoyed that I could't get the trailer parked straight. And that I repeatedly claimed that my truck and trailer wouldn't fit in that spot. No way, no how. Right. They fit with room to spare. Again, he laughed.

We got the back of the truck unloaded, put the truck away, gave the horses one last pat, let both sets of dogs out, and finally got to eat dinner. Amazingly, Mr. W. is still speaking to me. In fact, he seemed to have enjoyed the whole expedition.

Now, I have one more stall to do, but I couldn't be happier. I have a horse who is perfect for what I need. No bucking, no breathing issues, no crazy baggage. Tucker is a sweet boy who likes to jump, doesn't spook, and is simply a really nice horse.

The one drawback is that I don't have an excuse to horse-shop. Sigh.

Guess I'll have to move on to wedding dresses...

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