We May Have A Rider
For Tucker, that is. A trainer in the area who knows Gabriel has a husband who rides all kinds of track horses. That means he is essentially fearless. That is all Tucker needs.
However, I will wait to call him until after I "talk" with Tucker via my communicator. Both Gabriel and I suspect some of the issues might be soreness. The work we are doing now really makes Tuck work off his hind end, and he may be having some muscle or joint pain. In most cases, there are ways to fix that, as long as there is nothing actually going "wrong" in the joint. (Caroline well knows about that with Tetley.) On the up side, Tucker never takes any lame or even "iffy" strides so it just could be the same kind of soreness Toby was prone too. Also on the up side is the fact that Tucker is built with good balance already so using his back end and elevating the front does not go against his nature.
Still, the concept of the correct reaction to the leg and driving aids is still something he really needs to understand, so having someone ride him for me to make that point is a definite good idea regardless.
Meanwhile, I took Toby for the lesson today. There was a plus and a minus to that. The minus is that we really didn't make any kind of horse training progress as he does nearly every exercise up to Intermediare 1 already. The plus was that I was able to work on my aids for all the exercises. Gabriel was very complimetary of my riding, which was nice, and, of course, Toby was even more deserving of compliments. We worked in a medium frame, not lower level, but not up to FEI level either. The shoulder-ins and haunches-in were a cinch as was the half pass at the trot.
I had to laugh during the canter work. Gabriel had me do a half pass from the centerline to the wall and as soon as we hit the track, Toby did a flying change. It was about the only real error of the ride, so we did a repeat of that exercise asking him to keep the counter lead until I asked for the change. Toby is so quick to the aids I really have to be careful to make myself very clear about what I want.
Again, he earned some good words for his flying changes as they were clean and nice and bouncy. It was fun to ride him in a lesson and do some more complex work.
But, I must remember it was not always that way with him either. When he was a youngster, he ended up spending a few weeks with my trainer learning to behave and respond correctly to the aids. As good as he is now, was a bad as he was then. It puts things with Tucker into perspective and makes it possible for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have never really trained an "easy" horse. Maybe Chancypants will be the one at last.