"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy," Hamlet, I,v.
Strange things can happen when training horses.
I rode Toby first on the trail and then worked him in the ring for a while. Chance and Tucker were hanging out in there too, so I could only use half the area. I trotted a bit then got Toby cantering and told Tucker to watch. We showed him 4 flying changes and all the while I kept telling him to watch as that was the next thing he needed to learn how to do. He really did seem interested.
I saddled Tuck up next and set up a simple little jump of about 1' on the centerline going the long way, just to give us something interesting to do. After some trot work, we jumped the jump and I realized my timing was terrible. I haven't jumped in so long, my eye, never good to begin with, is totally out of pratice. I dismounted added some poles on the ground a stride away on either side, remounted and tried again. Thank goodness for timing poles. We were now in sync.
I rode for about 20 minutes mixing things up with the jumps, shoulder ins, leg yields, haunches in, half passes, and some canter work with trot changes. Then, I decided, "Why not?" and started a figure 8 pattern on the left lead. As I neared the center line, I started a very slight half pass move to finish the circle before the change of direction, asked for a change of lead and gave Tuck a tap on the hind end with the whip. FLYING CHANGE!!! It wasn't pretty, but it was definitely there!!! I let him walk, praised him mightily, thought about it, and decided to make one more try, this time from right to left.
Started the figure 8 on the right circle. Towards the centerline I made a slight halfpass movement to the right, then changed the bend and tapped him with the whip. FLYING CHANGE!!! I was thrilled!!
I brought him to a walk, dismounted and practically scared the wits out of him with my hugs and pats telling him what a good boy he was!
Toby had been watching all this from outside the ring and seemd quite intent on the activities.
Was something going on between the two horses? Did I just find the right combination of aids?
Or could it be both bits of magic were working together?
Stranger things have happened. All I know is I am excited as can be. If we can conquer the changes now, the biggest hurdle to moving up the levels is gone. Once he learns to do a change easily the tempis will come quickly. Everything else he needs to do is already halfway there.
Of course, we still need to master going up and on the bit in the elevated frame, but that too is on the way.
Chance report. There is a decidedly big sore/drain hole at the bulb of his heel in the coronary band The abscess did not form in the white line but was caused by a deep sole bruise about 3/4"-1" in from the white line. I guess it tracked up and out, which is good. He is still very mildly lame but really looks a lot happier and is far more enthusiastic about froliking with the big boys. I'm guessing now the darn thing was brewing from the beginning of the month when I first noticed he was a little off. So, right now, we are talking 3 weeks before it finally blew out. Lucky with this one as the problem Tucker had went on all summer.
I am soaking the foot, then wrapping it with drawing salve (Icthamol), a layer of cotton batting, vet wrap and then another layer of duct tape. I seems to last for a while before the bottom wears out. Not the perfect solution, and something like an easy boot might keep it protected all day, but I think this will be fine.
I'm looking forward to riding him again.