Really Nice Day
Warm, sunny, low humidity, and a breeze. Still summer, but summer as I wish it would be.
Rode Tucker first in the arena. One benefit of the dust is, I suppose, that it does discourage the flies. Still, I had him dressed in the Bug Armor, which helped as well. He did take me towards the gate to the woods after I mounted, so I promised him we'd try a hack after we worked.
I spent the bulk of the workout on a longish rein, just trotting. Interestingly enough when I rode to the left, posting on the correct diagonal, Tuck had a very, very slight limp. When I changed my posting diagonal, he was even. That does tend to support the idea that his right hind leg is sore--probably the stifle. And, as we continued, that went away as if he warmed up out of it.
We only had one nappy moment when I put him on the bit, asking for a fairly collected frame. I had to keep telling him he could do it, and indeed, he did. It wasn't as off the hind end as he can be, but it was fine at this point. I rode walk, trot, and canter on both reins, then went back to the long frame and just trotted for another 15 minutes. Then we did go out for the hack.
I had used a good dose of fly spray, but halfway through the ride, some of the deer flies started bothering him and he kicked up a few times. To be perfectly honest, that scares me because the kick will easily escalate to a buck and I know I cannot sit more than one on him. Fortunately, he listened to my corrections and we made it home just fine.
I'd bought some "Mosquito Halt" spray at the tent sale. I used this on Toby as a test case and took him out for a hack. Hardly a twitch!! Apparently, not only the mosquitoes are repeled by the stuff, but the deer flies don't like it either. We had a lovely, quiet ride through the shady, delightful forest.
Then I saddled up Chance. I rode him in the arena for a bit. He was very forward and although he still does carry his head up and "about" in the canter, there is improvement. The trot is getting better and better into a nice little frame and I'm sure the canter will not be far behind.
Chance and I followed up with a hack as well. I'd used the mosquito spray on him too and had the same results. I am hoping that if I use it on Tucker next time, we too can have a really nice ride instead of just a good one.
To think, one bottle of spray can make all the difference in the world. Good stuff for "skeeters."