Shoulda Ridden Earlier
I waited a bit too long this morning to ride, so by the time I went out, it was getting kind of warm out there--upper 80's. But the humidity is still down, so I figured working in the heat would do some conditioning for us both...or trice.
I rode Tucker first and he is still working well even with a week off due to the heat. As a matter of fact, he tried to do some flying changes right from the start. He didn't quite get it, but the mere fact that he offered is a big step. His trot work, shoulder in, haunches in, half pass and all is making really good progress as he is getting rounder and rounder and activating his hind end more and more willingly.
The canter is also improving as he is finding his balance better and better. The simple changes are more solid as well which is another big accomplishment. All these things are signs that Tucker is transferring his weight to his hind end and learning better how to correctly engage. We did several sessions of counter canter, and while the left is better, the right lead is also getting stronger.
Even though it was getting hotter, I saddled up Chance. He's lost a little of the steadiness we'd had in his last ride, but he is not throwing his head around at all. I kept the overall ride short but incorporated a good selection of training exercises including a number of canter departs on each lead. When I was training Tucker, I used a "hiss" to give a vocal cue for canter. It is an aid I can resort to in the show ring as only the horse can hear it. Each time I wanted Chance to canter, I used that "hiss" and soon we had a nice prompt depart. The nice thing is that nearly every time, he took the correct lead with only about one misstep on the right rein.
I finished up with some trot/halt/trot transitions and called it a day.
If I decide to work Toby, it will be later when evening cools things off again.