And How I Managed to Ride All Three
Where shall I begin?
I rode Toby first tonight. It had cooled off considerably, but was a little more humid than it had been during the day as another storm had come through.
Aside from his habit of twisting his jaw against the bit on the right, he was a lovely ride. I did a good session of trot including the trotting poles. He misjudged them a few times, so I made sure I ended up setting him to them correctly on each hand to finish up. I rode a nice set of canter, counter canter, true canter to flying chance on each hand, took a break and then popped over the little jump. He was best at that when I rode him into my hand to balance him. The nice thing was that he didn't charge into the fence or charge off afterwards. Granted, it was only about 1' high, but I did ask him to jump so there was every opportunity for him to get rambunctious as he often does when jumping.
Tucker had been keeping a close eye on us as I rode, so I collected him second. What can I say? He is really shaping up as a dressage mount. We did some shoulder in, leg yield, half pass and lengthening at the trot. The lengthenings are his greatest weakness with his short back and close coupling, but at the end of the ride he did offer a pretty good one, so I was pleased. In the canter I was able to keep the counter lead on both reins with only one break of gait. I'll do that for another week at least before going back to the attempts at flying change. Anticipating the changes has messed up his canter, so it does need some good remedial work. When he thought I was heading him for the little jump, he perked up so I jumped him over it three times in each direction to finish up with something fun.
Chance was quite pleased to be caught. I only rode him for about 10 or 15 minutes, but honestly, that was all he needed. He was wonderful! His head stayed down in all three gaits--a little unsteadily still at the canter--and for all in all, he really does seem to have the concept.
So, how did I manage all this on graduation night? Well, I was excused from my assignment due to the potential danger from the student who threatened me. The teachers' association reps (my union) had followed up on the nasty scene from Friday, quite concerned that the administration had not handled any of it well. The student had screamed out some pretty strong threats and nothing had really been done to deal with it. Despite her behavior, she was going to be participating in the graduation ceremony. (Students who fail a class may still walk but not receive their diplomas until they make up the course in summer school.)
We all agreed, including my principal, that it would be better if I didn't have to see her tonight. Maybe it was better for my blood pressure. Not sure, but I think the "deal" she made with the assistant principal to make up my course during the summer at her convenience may be in jeopardy as well since the principal (the building boss) wasn't pleased to hear a compromise had been worked out.
Meanwhile, back at the barn, the fox visited again, prowling along the edge of the ring near the woods gate. I talked to him and instead of spooking, he stopped, listened for a moment and then slipped off back into the forest. While I'm sure he's up to no good with my neighbor's fowl, I have to admit he is kind of cute.
I wouldn't mind if he'd visit IN my barn to do some ratting for me. When I went to water the horses this morning, I turned on the hose and NOTHING. First I thought there was a kink, but when I found none, I was totally confused. Then I notices water under my feet where the hose runs under the mats near Toby's stall door. I pulled up the mat, and there was a gusher!! Apparently, one of the rats had decided to chew two sizable holes in my plastic/nylon hose. Yeech!! I took a chance and wrapped the hose with some duct tape. Whoopee! That stuff will save the world one day. It worked perfectly. Good thing. The rest of the hose is in really good shape and I'd hate to have to replace it.
All I can say is RATS!