Since Tucker had been going so well for Paige and since I was in Wellington for the week, it was time for me to get to know Tucker 2.0 a bit in a flat lesson. Despite getting drenched and some sweet blisters, it was awesome. Paige had us working on things I haven't worked on since literally 1999 when I had my A/O jumper - spiraling in and out on a circle at the trot and canter and making square turns. There were some wonderful light moments where his canter was so elevated (and plenty of other moments where I pushed the button wrong). We worked on two poles set six strides apart and practiced doing the 5, the 6 and the 7... and Tucker knew how to do it! Perhaps more remarkably, he did do it when I asked. Previously this would have been doable but the 5 would have been flat and flying and the 7 would be a disengaged crawl. I didn't need to establish the stride length too far in advance and he stayed on his butt (except when, you know, I dropped my reins and took my legs off. The struggle is real).
We did a jumping lesson the next day which was equally educational though perhaps more frustrating, mostly because Tucker is really honest and a tryer and I am a non-committal sissy to the jumps. I have to say though, it was a much better feeling riding an engaged horse to a terrible distance!
My friend Theresa was also in town for the weekend, and we joined our wonderful hostess Trish and a host of other people for a fun night at the grand prix. Driving over in the golf cart and parking in a show ring is a quintessential WEF experience. Monty got Tuck some fancy new boots and me a new show shirt so we were all teed up for the week ahead. He also gave me a beta version (modeled by him) of his hand-woven palm helmet visor.
One of the many fun things about Wellington ("Camp Wellington" as Monty calls it, or "Disneyland for Horses" as my mom calls it) is many of the roads have equine-themed names - Appaloosa Trail, Equestrian Way, Draft Horse Lane, Halter Road, etc. Off of one of the side streets is Great Dane Lane. We stopped by to take a picture and we got to meet the resident dane, who was of course adorable and sweet and made me miss my own Zeus terribly.
Before anyone is too jealous of my excursions, please remember that I did still spend a good amount of time in front of my computer on MS just like in real life. The setting certainly couldn't be beat, however.