Three For A Ride
The footing is drying out, but it's a slow go.
I rode Toby on the trail, hacking back to see how the flooding is. Despite all the claims to the contrary, the so-called infiltration basin has done little to improve things. Frankly, I think the basin has failed to infiltrate the water it was supposed to and the wooded area is flooded almost as much as it was before that basin was built. I have work to do yet on this issue, so I have to do some homework, write some letters, and make some waves.
Toby is always so good when we go back there. I guess by now he knows I am surveying the situation and is remarkably patient about my just kind of scouting around from his back.
Tucker was next, in the arena. Becuase the footing still had some slippery spots, I was rather conservative in the work. I concentrated on my own position for the bulk of the ride. But I did some long half-halts in the trot to get him to do some half-steps, some of the work before piaffe. After a little confusion on his part the first time, he got the concept really quickly and slowed his trot way down to some short rhythmic steps for the next three times. I quit that and went to the canter. This time, to get the half halt, I did the slight quarter pirouette move, using a good outside rein and, in step, he dropped to a walk. Then we were able to pick up the canter on the new lead, finally getting the consistent simple change I need for second level work. Then I hacked him out in the pasture for about five minutes, went back in the arena and finished up with some trot/halt/stand/trots on the center line. Good boy #2.
Good boy #3 was Chance who, after trying to go out the gate to the woods a time or two--nothing serious, just an obvious bend in that direction--settled into some pretty good trot work. My main goal with him still is to get him to soften to the bit and bend his body correctly. It still is far from perfect, but the improvement is clear and each ride is getting noticeably better. So, that ride was a success too.
I fed the little herd, got the tractor out and hitched up the drag so I could drag the arena. Yeek! I almost got stuck trying to get up the hill in the paddock by the barn as the mud was so slippery. The tractor has four wheel drive and was using every ounce of energy to keep going. Worse, it was sliding to one side, which got a little scary. However, I finally made it and gave the arena a nice grooming, mixing whatever base was stirred up by the horses in with the sand, leveling everything. This will help dry it out and, if it freezes again over the weekend, perhaps afford me some footing good enough for at least a little riding.
I left the ring from the far end where the ground was drier and made it back to the front area where the equipment stays just fine. Whew! I was more than a little worried there.
Now, if the weather just cooperates for the rest of the weekend, I will be a happy camper.
Update on Stacie and Lucky: Stacie has an appointment to take Lucky to see a vet who is a master of acupunture and Chinese herbal medicine. He was featured on TV for some of his amazing cures of animals other vets had given up on. She got a referral from a super acupuncture/chiropractic vet we have both used. You may be able to link to the TV feature on Dr. Wen here: http://video.msn.com/video.aspx/?mkt=en-us&brand=msnbc&vid=ffdb3726-da55-45be-85c3-df0ce635d001&wa=wsignin1.0