Finally a lovely break in the weather. So, I headed out to ride Tucker. He seemed pleased to be caught even though all three of them were in the farthest corner of the pasture.
I started off with a good session of walk. I tried some walk pirouettes on each hand and Tuck seemed to manage them quite well. But I do need a ground person to check to see if he is correctly stepping with his hind feel instead of simply spinning on one. Pirouettes are a little tricky to get just right, but I am pleased with Tucker's willingness to turn on his hind end.
We moved up to trot. It felt nice and bouncy, with a fairly slow tempo, and a nice round frame. I worked from ten meter circles to leg yield, to shoulder in and then some good half pass.
Then I asked for canter. Things started off well, but I had decided to focus on counter canter to build Tuck's balance. That's where the "ooops" comes in. Tuck has forgotten how to counter canter. With typical Thoroughbred quickness, he has decided I must want some kind of lead change whenever I change direction. He is really trying to please, but at the same time has "switched off" my aids and is simply trying to do something he thinks is right.
The rest of the session was not the prettiest ride I've ever managed. Tuck kept throwing in lead changes--sometimes semi-flying ones--and I just kept trying to ride one circuit of the arena on each counter lead. After about fifteen minutes of schooling, we finally managed to keep each lead, I gave him a pat and quit for the night.
Actually, there is nothing surprising about this as it is one of the problems that can happen when you start to school the changes. That's one of the reasons the counter canter should be well established. Tucker's is...or at least it was....guess we just need to work on it again. *G* What does surprise me is how quickly Tucker figured out the concept of the lead changes and managed to come up with his "attempt to overplease evasion by anticipating" solution to the training challenge. He is as smart as Russell was, if not smarter, and that is quite a compliment to his intelligence. The smart ones are hard to train, but I love it.
I longlined Toby to finish off the evening. The mosquitoes were on the move and hungry. I'm sure I don't need to say it again, but Toby was a star on the lines, despite the bugs. He is such a pleasure to work on the lines it made a perfect ending to the day.