Or Enough of Anything Else
Heat went off in the house this morning or last night. Woke up at 3 AM to a cold room. Went downstairs to find the furnace needed water, but the darn valve didn't seem to be working. Crawled back into bed with a sigh, sure I'd have to call the repairman, then woke up again with a start. I'd forgotten that the valve was sticky. Went back downstairs and sure enough, a little extra muscle and the water filled the boiler. The heat came on with a vengeance. I went back to bed to toss and turn for the next three hours until the alarm rang. Bummer.
My cats' licenses were due for renewal by today, so at the last minute I took DJ and Buddy to the vet for their required rabies shots last night. That left me to go to the Township Municipal Building this afternoon after school to renew the licenses. But I also had an appointment with the solar energy guy at 4:30. Rushed out of school, only to pass my house to find the solar guy there at 3:55 instead. Pulled in and told him I had to go run an errand, and told him where to find a Dunkin Donuts store.
Renewed the licenses and got back home by about 4:20 or so and spent the next hour discussing the potential installation of solar energy panels on the barn roof. Still have to figure out the financing, but that is another problem to solve.
Then, at last, I had a chance to ride. But it was after 5:30 and growing dark. The lovely warm day had already fled and the arena footing was getting harder.
I saddled up Tucker and started off on the bit. He protested for a brief bit and then walked off. Stopped, walked off, and finally decided it was possible to move when I told him too. There was another little hesitation and flattened ears at the first trot depart, but after that he was just fine. I did a good number of trot half halt to walk to trot moves with no problems at all and the canter departs were solid as well. He did break in the canter once in each direction, but I wasn't really pushing the gait as the footing was "iffy" in places. Later, though, when I really committed to the canter, he was fine.
I ended the session with two half passes at the trot in each direction and, by George!, I think he's got it! Not perfect yet, but definite half passes and no fuss on either rein.
Then, I decided to do some halt, reinback, trot exercises. Well, apparently, Tucker has forgotten how to back under saddle OR he has chosen not to. (Gabriel did "correct" his balking by backing him a few times, so he may be angry about doing it now.) I managed several sets with reluctant steps back, none too smooth, with some really good trot departs afterwards. Then I finished up with two centerline halts with a trot off and called it a night under saddle. I did do some remedial work backing him from the ground, just to reinforce my voice command as it is always a big help under saddle.
We are still not at 100% cooperation, but there is definite and consistent improvement, so I am quite satisfied for now.
I took Toby out for a lunging session afterwards, and, as always, he was almost perfect. I am seeing more energy from him now as well and the hint of some muscle filling in behind his withers. I doubt he will ever again be as muscled as he was when he was competing, but if I keep working him each week, he should tone up nicely. I do have to realize he is 18 now and is just not going to be the slck, round, muscular boy he once was.
I didn't work Chance. I simply ran out of time since I had choir rehearsal tonight.
There are just never enough hours in the day to fit everything in. *sigh*