Three for Three
After a quick shopping trip to Lowe's to get the lime for the pasture, I went out to ride.
Tucker was first and I worked really hard on trying to sit according to the rules. At first, he was reluctant to move off at all, almost as if he couldn't figure out how to carry me.
Finally we walked off and I did all the little maneuvers I was supposed to do to check out my postion. Not bad, but I am not 100% sure it was totally correct.
Finally, I asked for the trot and got...nothing. If Tuck was confused at the walk, the transition totally baffled him. I thought it out, asked a few more times and finally got that slow, balanced trot I had at the clinic.
Obviously, I need a few more lessons to cement the concept into my brain and body, but Tuck seemed to be willing to trot slowly without dragging my hand down when he dropped his head.
Then we tried the canter. Again, I asked for slow and balanced. Tucker has a super canter to start off with, so it wasn't much of a challenge to get him to go that way. The downwards were not as good as I'd like, so that is something I yet need to figure out, but all in all, he was pretty willing to respond as I asked.
The big surprise was that after about a half hour, when I took him back in, he was lathered between his hind legs, a sure sign that he had been working his back end. Interesting.
Chance drew the second spot and my goal with him was to work on getting him to lower his head, and to bend correctly. I started on the left rein this time and was pleasantly surprised at his willingness to reach down into a little frame. It wasn't steady, but it was there. The bend to the left was a bit of an issue. He wants to fall inward on his left shoulder instead of stepping to his outside shoulder with his left hind leg. This is not a problem on the right rein, so I worked twice the time on the left, just concentrating on getting him to yield.
The big trick still is for me not to fall to the outside seatbone which pushes him inside when I want is body to go to the outside. It was a bit tricky, but at the end I got a nice twenty meter circle on the left rein with correct bend and good head position all the way round. That's when I quit.
To my surprise, when I went out to ask Toby if he wanted to go for a ride, he put his head into the bridle. In short order we were out in the woods for a nice little hack. I heard a minibike or ATV engine rev out there, but fortunately none showed up. I let him graze along the field on the way back and he was a happy camper.
Though it was a bit cloudy much of the day, the weather was delightful--perfect for spring. Here's hoping it and I get into the groove and get some good riding in.
In the meantime....I have to mow the lawn very soon!!