Thursday, May 22, 2008

Three Before the Thunder

I Love My Boys

It was raining when I drove home from school, but when I got home the sun was out. The carpentry teacher from school who is going to build my run-in came shortly thereafter to look over the job specs and the lay of the land. He was a bit taken aback by the leaping and galloping horses since I'd let Tucker out to play---the ground had dried out during the day from really bad mud in the AM. I guess they are pretty impressive and kind of scary when you are not used to it.

Rain threatened again after he left, but I decided to ride. I started with Chance, rushing a bit to tack him up as thunder rolled on the distant western horizon--usually the sure sign a storm is on the way. I put him in a single jointed full cheek snaffle at Patrice's suggestion and he went just fine in it. More and more, each time I ride, he is seeking the bit and keeping his head down in a little young horse frame. I wasn't going to canter, as there were a number of water puddles in the ring and he didn't want to get his feet wet, but in the end he felt so good I did anyhow. We had a little trouble getting the right lead, but no big deal. The right lead canter is now much slower and far more balanced than it was two weeks ago. The left lead is really nice. I am thinking another week of work and he will really steady up. By the time I was done with him, he had worked up a nice little sweat in the suddenly returned sunshine.

I plucked Tucker from the paddock next and he actually seemed quite pleased to be working. He was nice and forward and sound, but there is a little stiffness on the left side. I suspect the two weeks of limping cost him some of his suppleness. I didn't ask for too much except a long reined trot with lots of circles and changes of hand. Then I cantered. Again, the left lead--the side with the hoof issue--was not quite as supple or balanced as the right until we did a bit of work. I am going to be generous with him for the next 5 or 6 rides since I do think the lameness compromised some of the muscling he's been developing. I'll need to work on getting him even again.

Risking the impending rain which seemed to be coming back again, I took Toby out on a nice hack in the woods. He really had a nice forward, energetic walk and wanted to go. There aren't too many places to move out, though, so we stayed in the walk until he decided to canter up a little hill and along the trail on his own. He trotted a little later as well, but I had to pull him up so I didn't lose my leg on one of the trees we needed to wind around. The wood roads would be nice for some faster work if it weren't so muddy and wet. It really does get slippery.

It chilled off half way through the ride, and at the end, began raining, so when we got home, I put waterproof sheets on everyone. Then, it seemed to be ready to rain even more. I put Tucker back in his pen and went to do some quick grocery shopping. When I got home the sun was back out, so I put Tuck out for a few more hours. If the forecast holds for tomorrow, he will have to stay in again. I feel bad, but at this point I just can't risk his hoof/shoes in the mud.

Like Caroline, I didn't have anything too exciting or groundbreaking happen, but I enjoyed every stride. I have three good horses to ride.

1 comment:

  1. What a great time you had :-)

    "single jointed full cheek snaffle"

    That's what I have Zippy in. And Jazz the same but with a French link. They are great for steering young horses with an open rein.