Monday, February 18, 2008

Two Between the Raindrops

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.


  1. I love the feeling to "tired out" after a good workout. I usually sleep well ^-^

    FGosh that was a hell of workout for Tucker. Yep warming-up at the canter is not a bad idea.

    Weatherwise, it is very funny. around 13-15 midday under zero at night (obviously there are centigrade degrees ).

    It is very worrying that we do not have water ...

  2. you can have our weather if we can send you ours.....

  3. I'll keep mine thanks Claire -it's been glorious here for a week or more.


  4. caroline, there's no need to brag ;-)....