Too Nice Not to Ride
The footing in the ring was really good, depsite the mud puddles.
So, after I cleaned the stalls, I saddled Tucker up and worked him a bit.
Again, I concentrated on getting him to stretch out into the bit so his back muscles would lengthen and stretch out. With the better footing he was more consistent, but Toby and Chance kept frolicking about and that would excite him a little.
Now, mind you "excite" meant that Tucker would raise his head rather then keep it in the lower, relaxed frame. He only offered one little quick step when Chance bolted past the gate, but otherwise, I would give him high marks for not overreacting to the silliness going on around him.
I put him into a first level frame for a bit and got a lovely trot. Then, I tried some canter--walk--canter transitions. Again, it was better left to right than right to left. He just doesn't balance as well on the right lead and when I ask for the downward he tends to fall into a trot instead of balancing into a walk. However, since I haven't tried this exercise in a while, I certainly can't complain. By the end of the session he almost had it. I definitely need to refine the half halt before the downward and that will help a lot.
Once we'd worked in the frame, I let him stretch out again and this time he was far more ready, willing and able to just "hang" out there where I wanted him to be.
I would have taken Toby out for a quiet hack in the woods, but when I showed him the bridle, he headed the other way, so it was pretty clear he wasn't interested.
It was just as well. By the time I finished feeding I was beat. I am not over my cold, so taking it easy was probably a good idea.
There may be a storm headed our way tomorrow night. If so, that's the end of the good footing for a while again.
Glad I took advantage today, even if it did wear me out for the time being.