Managed to Ride
Everyone. I hadn't exactly planned that, but once I got started, I couldn't stop.
Tucker was first. By and large he was pretty good with only one balk, easily corrected. However, as I rode I could feel him lose impulsion now and then kind of like a car with engine trouble. He would be nice and bouncy and forward for a while and then lose energy, being a little less willing to go forward.
He is not at all unsound, so the hock issue doesn't bother him that way. He just sometimes finds it hard to use himself with full effort.
But, I also had him well on the bit and working towards some serious engagement. I challenged him with a little bit of half pass at the trot and canter. We had just begun working to the half pass from leg yields, so I don't expect too much. The trot effort was pretty good in both directions, but in the canter, he was easy to ride half pass right, but "stalled out" in the half pass to the left. I guess moving his right hind leg left and under put more strain on that hock and made him uncomfortable. While he lost the canter stride, he didn't quit altogether, so that's good.
He had his second shot of Adequan today as well. It's s series of 7 injections at four day intervals. I am pleased to report he didn't even notice when I put the needle in. My vet gave me two needles for each shot. One short one to draw the Adequan out of the bottle and a longer one to use exclusively on Tucker. He says that putting the needle through the rubber membrane on the medicine bottle dulls it a lot and he's found using a brand new needle for the injection itself is much kinder to the horse. I'm for that, especially since Tucker really didn't mind at all.
Toby was lovely as ever. I did a fair bit of cantering, just to help increase his stamina for his lesson on Saturday with Stacie--Gabriel is coming. He simply felt good. There is just no other way to describe it. He is so easy to ride I just kind of sit there and let things happen.
Then, I saddled up Chance.
He is the reason for my post's title. He was an absolute angel. He did not throw his head once and for the most part actually offered to go on the bit in a nice long frame. He didn't drop behind the contact or get too low either. And, he was relatively easy to steer both to the left and to the RIGHT. He kept a nice forward trot and felt so good that--had I wanted to take the risk--I would have felt perfectly confident asking him to canter.
But I didn't. The plan is to spend the better part of a month with him in the long lines, learning to respond to the aids and learn to carry himself. I will still ride him, but the bulk of the training will be in the lines.
He will be five in the Spring and is more than ready to learn to really work. The nonsense of last night really hasn't much of an excuse as he has been lunged and lined for quite a while now. The trouble is that his training has been interrupted by two foot problems and that strange hind end lameness which stopped him for the summer.
I've never been quite this far behind in training with a youngster before. But, after riding him tonight, the progress he's made over the last few weeks with the long lining focus is really good, so I figure he will be well on his way in short order.
We will just have to work our way through the typical 4-5 year old tantrums as he tries to test out his strength and will.
Sound familiar, anyone??? *G*