So Here's What I Have Decided
I will be talking to Tucker again tomorrow night.
Here is what we are going to do. I rode him tonight and he was very obedient to the leg and accepting of the whip. I made many half-halts and corrections and he accepted them all willingly.
For now, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I have my final show of the season on September 23, a bit less than a month from now. Rather than distrupt our working pattern before then, we'll stick to trying to work out the issues together.
After the show, however, if there is not significant improvement, I will have someone ride him for me to reinforce and completely establish the concept of staying in front of the leg.
I intend to keep my schooling sessions short, or at least break up the work with rest breaks after about 10-15 minutes of strong "on the bit" and engagement. This, I hope, will help Tucker build up his strength and ability to carry himself.
I will use cavaletti as well to get him to understand about lifting and lengthening his stride. We did some trotting poles tonight as well, but I need to put them on the blocks so they don't roll if he kicks them.
I also thought it might be a good idea if Toby could help out by talking to Tucker to explain about how to go forward. He had a similar issue as a youngster and went off for training. Again, my lack of courage at riding through the ugly resistances was a factor, so perhaps if he tells Tucker about all that it might help.
So far, I've had two good rides here at home--day off yesterday due to social engagements, and day off Friday because my eye doctor said to just take is easy and not do much after he took that darn thorn out. By the way, my eye feels good and the red is almost gone.
I swam today and did 30 lengths of the pool. Tomorrow, Monday, Labor Day here, is the last day the pool is open, so I will go again for my final swim. After that, I am going to have to visit some of my friends and relatives who keep their pools open later if I want to cool off and exercise.
Summer has rushed by again. I'm going to miss the lazy days.