Warm Enough for Shirtsleeves
What a shame I have to work all day! Teaching teenagers just doesn't compare to the fun of teaching horses.
Well, unless the horse is an opinionated, sensitive Thoroughbred who will not accept a too strong aid. I shouldn't complain. Tucker has improved so much since I first began working him. Then, if I applied my leg in anything resembling a kick he would rocket launch up in the air. Now, he kind of snarls, naps a bit and then, when I apologize, gets on with it.
We have been working on those canter/trot transitions, heading towards perfecting the canter/walk/canter transistions required in second level. His balance on the downwards is a bit better on the left than on the right, but there is improvement each time out. He is a very clever horse. Once he figures out what I want and how to do it, he will find a way to accomodate so I will hardly need to give any aids at all. When I do a lengthened canter on the long side, all I have to do is sit a little more strongly at the corner and he comes right back. It's one way of using the Thoroughbred's sharpness to advantage.
I nearly panicked a judge right out the booth one time on PJ. He had a huge canter extension and to her, it looked as if he was going to fly right out the end of the ring. Instead, when I got to the corner marker, I just sat up and he collected back. Used to do the same thing with Russell in the hunter classes when they asked for a hand gallop and then a halt. I never had to pull him up, I just sat up, and he sat down in a dead stop.
Toby is super at the transistions too. And, he is a joy to lunge. I just gave him a light work tonight and had fun "kissing" him on and "chirping" him back in the trot and canter. As happy as he was with the praise for a job well done, getting a carrot was even better.
It was dark by the time I saddled Chance up, so I used the lights. That caused a very black horse and rider shadow to track with us around the ring. I think he found that a little disturbing, but certainly not worth a spook. So far, his biggest reaction has been a little eyeballing and a slight bend away from the scary thing. If this attitude keeps up, he'll be a master trail horse before the winter is over.
I just walked him this time as he was a little unsure out there. With the bats flying around--must be warm enough for bugs--and the shadows, I decided to play it safe. I did some rein work teaching him to give to the bit. We're still a long way from perfecting that as to do it right takes a lot more time and patience I have yet devoted to the project. Still, we're making some progress.
Chance likes his carrots too, as does Tucker. Right now, they are a requirement after every work session. I guess I'll be keeping the carrot growers happy.