Sunday, August 19, 2007

When the Weatherman is Right, He's Right

And I Hate It!

OK, it was cool but humid when I got up to feed. The sky was cloudy too, but it was not raining.

When I got back in, I just got distracted with the computer and some vacuuming and just kind of hanging out watching Sunday morning TV--something I never get to do during choir season.

Doodling around, I checked the weather on the Internet. The forecast called for rain to start at about 1 PM. Oops. It was just after and I looked out--no rain. Cool.

Put on my breeches and my Kneedit knee strap to try them for riding. They do seem to work because my knees hurt less when they're on, but I don't think I can get my tall boots on with them. I'd gotten a pair of men's Ariat paddock boots the last time Rick's Saddle Shop had its big tent sale, so I put them on...comfy and a good fit!!

Out I went--into the rain! Sure enough the forecast was right on, again. How do they do that.

I decided I'd ride anyway as it was more showery than really rainy. I saddled up Tucker, carried the whip, and left my spurs off.

Well, he was going all right, but I just couldn't get the impulsion I wanted. Not that I get it with the spurs all the time either as he has a tendancy to get nasty if I use them too strongly to ask for more. It was OK, but not great.

Then, in the canter, I tapped him on the shoulder.

Well! What an insult! He kicked out.

I yanked him up and gave him a good verbal tongue lashing for that.

Then I asked for "go" again and----Wow! It was lovely. The canter was expressive and up on both reins and the trot followed suit.

Apparently, there is a battle that needs to be won here somewhere. I did not hit him hard, and I didn't follow up with strong aids. Honestly, I just punished him with a short, sharp correction for the kick out, and gave him a lecture about such behavior. Then off he went.

Interesting. I will have to see how the lecture works next time. *G*

Anyhow, that ride ended on a perfectly wonderful note with great gaits and a super good feeling.

I lunged Chance for a short school and he was a super good boy too. What I was really pleased with was how he responded almost instantly to the canter command. He took both leads with quick ease and looked really good. Nice and sound, which is the most important part of it all now.

I would have lunged Toby too, but he made it abundantly clear he wanted no part of any work today. First he trotted around me in an escape circle and then, after snatching the treat, headed out to the pasture.

I won't quite adopt the PJ technique with him about his being worked, but at 17, he deserves to make a few decisions about his life. I do know he loves to go out on the trail, but right now, it's such a big project to put on all the fly gear, if it was going to rain, it just wasn't worth the effort.

Perhaps tomorrow. Perhaps not. We'll just have to wait to see what the weatherman says.

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