Tucker and Chance Work Out
What a strange day weatherwise. I went to the chiropractor in the late morning because my neck was out and a headache on the way. I'd left the Boys with their sheets on, but as I drove to the doctor, I was already regretting that. The temperature kept rising and when the clouds cleared, the sun brought it up to close to 70F! When I got back home all three horses were sweaty under their jackets, so I took them off for the day.
Ate some lunch and as I finished, the clouds returned along with a pretty good rain shower. Then is stopped raining and I went out with my short sleeved T shirt under my jacket. About ten minutes after I brought Chance in to saddle him up, my jacket was off because I was hot. The sun was back out. I took Chance into the ring, mounted up, and in another five minutes I was thinking the jacket might feel pretty good.
But then I began riding in earnest and it was fine. I concentrated on two things--getting Chance to drop his head to the bit, especially on the right rein, and getting him to go forward. He is lazy, but not obnoxious about it, so I think if I just make it clear to him that he needs to move out some more, he should be fine. I did take some persuading with taps of the whip, but he finally offered some good trot. Then I sat and asked for canter. He struck right off on both leads with not much more than a canter aid from me. Keeping him in the gait was another issue altogether, but again, I think it's a bit challenging for his balance at this point, so I didn't make to much of an issue of it. And, with the added rain, there were some slippery places in the arena and I didn't want to take too many chances. We did manage two sets of canter on each lead for about 3/4 of the way around the arena. We finished up with some nice trot and called it a day.
I brought Tucker in next, and the sun came back out. Was it his charming personality?
We had a super school, despite his occasional effort to skip over the mud puddles in the arena. He was relatively forward--he doesn't quite give as much when the footing is really wet--and nicely accepting of half halts and all my aids. I did do something a little different which was to trot a little first and then do a fairly long warm-up in the canter. Sometimes this is a really good approach for a Thoroughbred and I was thinking that perhaps he would loosen up better in canter than trot. (Remember, Thoroughbred are bred to gallop, so that is often their best gait)
I think it helped. He felt much more forward in his trot work. I will try it again the next time I school to see if it is a good approach. For what it's worth, Tucker gave me shoulder ins, leg yields, half passes, canter/walk/canter transitions, canter/halt/canter, canter/reinback/canter, canter/trot, and lots of bending in both directions without a single protest. I was quite pleased.
As I finished up, it started to rain again, so since I was tired out, I decided to give Toby the day off.
I spent about another hour in the tack room setting up the new saddle rack I'd bought a while ago. It does hold four saddles when fully assembled, but unless I do some reorganizing, I only have enough clearance under the light fixture for three. I am, at the moment, a little overstocked with my Ansurs. I will probably sell the jumping model as I simply do not ride in it. I have had very few demos where people are interested in it, so I really don't need it. That would still leave me with three saddles, but if I ever need to take all three horses out at the same time, I guess that's just about right. I use my old Classic nearly every day, on every horse, but when Stacie comes to ride, I put her in the Carlton as it is more like a conventional saddle. At any rate, the new rack is just perfect.
The work is not completely done. Hopefully, as the week progresses I will do a little each day and figure out what the best organizational set up is.
So, a busy day ends and I am tired out.