But now it has to dry out from a couple inches of rain. So Tucker spent the day turned out in the arena. He seemed OK about it as when I got home from some errands, he was basking in the sunshine.
After a chore or so indoors I headed out to ride around 2 PM. It was sunny and warmish and the arena had dried out quite a bit already. Still have the puddles, but the rest of the footing was quite good.
Tucker started off in reverse mode. Not, apparently because of any physical issues, but rather because he was totally convinced there was some kind of monster lurking in the woods. I suspect that while I was away there might actually have been something out there. People walking? Deer? Turkeys? Another horse and rider? Savage horse devouring bugaboos held back only by the fencing??
Anyhow, it took a good five minutes to travers the track along the woods with lots of high headed stops, attempts to spin, and lots of sideways evasions. Finally, I got really aggravated and growled at him, adding an angry shout that he'd better get his you know what in gear...and he did. While he still was a little uncertain passing the gate to the woods trail about two more times, after that, there wasn't a single issue. No balks, no nasty ears, and some pretty darn good work.
I did some half pass at the trot and tried a little at canter--going right still better than going left--and did quite a bit of counter canter. I added some lead changes through one trot stride and a couple of canter/walk/canter tours which we still need to work on. He is definitely feeling stronger and more confident on that hock. I still have two adequan shots to go, so it all looks pretty positive.
Rode Chance next and went through the usual frustration of trying to get his body, shoulder, neck and head all in the right shape on the turns. He falls in on the shoulder, in on the hind end, out with his head, out with the shoulder--etc. Typical of a young horse who just hasn't had enough training yet. I worked him in circles to the right and left, trying with every weight, leg and rein aid to shape him correctly. The hardest part is keeping him focused on his work when he wants to head out the gate for a hack in the woods. He wants to go that way, and I want him to go this way and never the twain shall meet. *G* It was still a good session with a good bit of cooperation on Chance's part at the end.
Toby made it clear he did not want to be ridden. He had followed Chance and me into the barn aisle, so I locked the stall gates and trapped him. We played keep away for a minute or so until he realized there was no way out and let me put his bridle on.
For a reluctant schoolboy he surely did work nicely. His trot was springy and forward and his canter was nice and bouncy. We did one line of three three tempis and one line of three two tempis, and he was...shall I say it....practically perfect. Then I finished up by taking him for a hack around the pasture to relax.
The best part of the day was being outside as 5 PM approached and passed while the sun was still lighting the sky! Longer days make the winter more bearable, but today, with the temp near 50F, it really did feel as if spring was not still more than a month off.