But At Least It Was Cool
I was up a bit after 6 AM and headed out to ride. It really was lovely and cool. My arena is shaded up until around 10 AM this time of year, so I was also able to ride in the shade.
Tucker was up first and I put the flash noseband on. At first it was fairly loose, but he set his jaw, so I got off and tightened it. Well, you would have thought I'd shod him in concrete slabs.
He simply would not go forward or anywhere. He just stood rock solid and refused to move. Kick, tap with whip (not really a hit as he would surely have bucked) and he took two steps and stopped again. Then again, and again, and again. To say that adding the flash strap was a dismal failure is perhaps an understatement. It was a total washout.
I got off again, took the flash strap off and remounted. Stuck, but then, he decided he would at least make and effort and he finally moved off. Eventually, with the attachment off, we had a pretty successful session. Nice trot, good canter, good half pass at the trot, some effort at half pass at the canter, and some decent attempts at flying change out of the counter canter. He did break at each attempt, but it was more of a scramble change rather than a total trot/canter change. We worked for close to 40 minutes and I called it a day.
Saddled Toby next and gave him a short workout. Mostly just the basics of trot and canter with some good counter canter and then half pass to flying change as the exciting part.
I worked Chance last as the sun was just beginning to touch the edge of the arena. Now, his right side is better than the left at the trot, with the shoulder placed correctly. When he goes on the left rein he tends to fall in with his shoulder, so now I need to work on that. However, his left canter is far more relaxed and balanced than the right. I worked the canter for a bit longer today and, at least on the left, he actually began to reach down into the bit. It was very inconsistent, but quite a good change.
The right canter was probably more correct as far as impulsion goes as it was more foreward. He does not quite have the same balance on the right as on the left, so he tends to rush a little--not scary or out of control, just faster--and he is not as comfortable about giving in to the bit. Still, he took the lead willingly and, even though he broke about three times, I was able to immediately get him back into the gait and the lead with absolutely no problem at all.
I was also quite pleased that Chance stood quietly for the fly spray--another handling issue we've been dealing with.
It was worth getting up early. The heat is coming back, though, so I don't know if the nights will cool off enough to make morning rides worth it, but I'll just have to wait and see.
Considering that I was done riding and feeding and was back in the house by about 9 AM, it was a well-spent morning.
Decided not to swim today as my knees were very sore and somewhat stiff. Hope the swimming is not going to be a problem with that.