On the Wheelbarrow...
....with it full of manure and soggy stall shavings.
Why do wheelbarrow tires always go flat? So, there it sits totally immobilized in the aisle of the barn...full. OK, off I go to find a new tire, and I did! A solid rubber one guaranteed to never go flat! Still, the problem is getting it on the barrow. That will wait until later. Instead, I cleaned the stalls using the tractor.
And I dragged the ring. Kelly came over for her dressage lesson. She had a slow twist snaffle on her horse..another illegal bit. I fit Toby's bridle for him and she rode the tests. I won't say her horse spent a lot of the ride "on the bit" but he is obedient, and moves beautifully, so if she is good and accurate in her tests she should do pretty well.
She did test 1 fine but just couldn't get a handle on the pattern of test 2. I finally saddled up Tucker and rode it so she could see the pattern as sometimes that helps. I hope she has someone read for her at the show so she doesn't go off course. When a horse isn't quite correct on the bit, riding the test accurately and error free is essential to a good score.
Tucker was a doll as a demo horse. How nice to just be able to throw the saddle on, mount up and ride without issue. After Kelly left, I did some more serious schooling, with a fair bit of canter working on both transisitons and counter canter. Each time things get a little better about the canter/walks, but we have a ways to go before he will be ready to show them in competition.
Tuck also has a little habit that keeps reminding me exactly how to ride. If I use my hand too strongly in a downward, he will stop, flatten his ears and absolutely refuse to go forward. Wiggling legs, kicking, etc. do nothing. You can feel him hunching his back and threatening to buck too. After a few times of that, I began focusing on exactly what I have to do, and it is essentially to ride him off my seat keeping my hand soft, especially if I at all feel him dropping behind.
It's good for me as a rider, but a bit disconcerting as it is easy to make a mistake, and the results are pretty dramatic. I think I will talk some of this over with Chris tomorrow morning and definitely with Patrice. I need to hone my skills a bit.
Shelley and George, her husband came just around 4, but I had already decided riding one horse was enough for the day and the shoulder--which did feel just fine while I rode, by the way. We went out to dinner for my birthday, and had a super time with good conversation. Shelley is going to Florida tomorrow to visit some family, so we did end the evening early.
I came home and crashed into a nap--shoulder by then sore in the muscles.
Up early for a 7:30 AM lesson with Chris. 'T'will be interesting.