Another Estimate on the Way
Since the broken tree is far too big for me to handle, I am still waiting for the professionals with their big chain saws and chippers. Last night the tree service I have used before called and their rep will be coming out this evening to give me an estimate. I am keeping my fingers crossed that his is reasonable.
I also submitted an estimate request to 8 firms through an Internet service. The website assured me they would all make contact "immediately." So far, one has called and I have no email messages from anyone.
I rode Tucker through First Level Test 4 last night just to see how it went and he was fine. Aside from being somewhat strong to the bit as I hadn't really warmed him up a lot, he was very obedient and, I think he remembered much of the test himself. It has a few changes from the last version we rode, but enough of it is similar. He knew when the canter lengthenings were coming and kind of started them on his own. As well he was very "into" the leg yields.
When I got off, I found out that I had accidently fastened his noseband over the bit on the right instead of under it. That might account for some of his resistance as the bit was not working properly. Overall, though, it was a good start.
I had a phone call from the women who owns the stable where my trainer give his lessons. He has not been down in months and her boarders are really concerned about not getting any training. As a result, she is looking into finding another instructor. She called me because she is going to see a lesson tonight and wanted someone with her who could help judge what was going on. I think I know who the trainer is, but since she didn't know his name, I will not make comment at this point. If it is who I think, I expect he will be very good, but my fear is that he will also be very expensive.
When lessons start costing upwards from $100 a shot, it gets pretty darn hard to take more than perhaps one a month. I am springing for that kind of money for Patrice Edwards already, but her clinics have been infrequent. Around here, the trouble is that trainers know they can get the clientele to pay high prices, so those of us who just don't have the dollars to spend are out of luck if we want more than the occasional lesson.
I am generally fine on my own, but Tucker is a bit tricky and at the moment I am not quite sure how he should be going to be working to his potential. I really would like to work for a while on a regular basis with someone who can really help me figure out exactly how to get him going well enough to pass the Second Level "bump." If we do that, I'll be fine again until we get to 4th Level--presuming I can still teach him flying changes on my own. Everything else is fine once I get him to carry himself better on his hind end instead of seeking to balance himself on his forehand/and me as a crutch.
His conformation gives him naturally good balance even when he is on his front end, so it doesn't really affect many of the basic exercises. However for the canter/walk transisitions and flying changes, that balance needs to change. I just need some good exercises, methods, and the "feel" of how to get him more correct without constant rein corrections.
Ah, well. I have done it all before with PJ and Toby, so you think I'd have a handle on all this. The answers are somewhere in my head already. I just need someone good to pull them out.
Times like this I really miss Lockie Richards. He was a gem. RIP.