Tom Moss is an older guy, a lifelong horseman with those archetypical hands that speak to a lifetime of soothing nervous animals and long hours spent at the sun. After a long career at the track, he has an intangible shadow of mystery about him: he's a guy who's clearly seen some stuff and had some experiences. Tom Moss is our equine dentist.
And Tom Moss is a magic man.
Ringo felt like a new horse after having his teeth done yesterday. Tom works without power tools or heavy sedation (though Ringo, being the nervous and head shy creature that he is, did require a little jab), and managed to give Ringo a brand new mouth in 20 minutes of work.
I should rewind a little bit. Ringo has been doing fine recently, but has definitely been feeling a little more squirrelly than usual in the left rein. It was always something I could work through, but I felt like I had to ride with kid gloves on all the time, especially to the left, or else I would get a dramatic display of locking up and tense behavior.
But yesterday, after Mr. Moss smoothed out what were apparently some pretty epic hooks on the left side of his mouth, Ringo went around happy as a clam (and I could ride with kid gloves on anyway, since he wasn't the slightest bit strong). We had some of the best relaxed canter work I've ever felt on him, and successfully worked through our 3- and 4-tempis in both directions (though we still definitely can't do them well enough on the first, second, or third try to feel comfortable about doing them on command in a test yet!) What a great feeling :)
(Ray basking in his awesomeness after a great ride)