Well, Better, Anyhow
Rode Tucker for short schooling session. I had given him a gram of bute in the morning.
He was, however, being a little bit more nasty about my leg on him even as I was trotting. Pain or not, there really wasn't an excuse for kicking out even when I was trying to use my leg to turn him.
"Shades of Caroline," I hopped off and gave him a talking to on the ground with a few taps of my whip and a verbal thrashing about how that was not acceptable. (Mind you, the kick outs were just short of a pretty good buck.)
He was rather surprised by the lecture and changed his whole attitude when I got back on. The trot attitude improved. Then I asked for left lead canter. He was pretty cooperative so I tried the cross the diagonal, change leads tactic and sure enough, got the right lead. I kept him on it for a reasonable amount of time, brought him back to the trot and asked for one more canter depart. When he responded reasonably well, I went back on the left rein and repeated the exercises.
Interestingly enough, Tucker was perfectly willing to half pass at the trot both right and left with no real issues.
Some of his nastiness is caused by pain, but there is also the "I'm just gonna get away with something and bully you," attitude he's always had. I am walking a fine line between pushing him too hard if his hocks hurt, and demanding the respect from him I am trying to offer in return. "OK, your hock hurts. Just tell me. Don't shout at me and don't threaten to hurt me because of it."
Chance was a temperament relief.
On the other hand, he is still a challenge to get down and round. While the trot is so much better, he is still stiff to the right, and hollow to the left. I have to work the right rein constantly and never do quite get him to step into the left hand. It will come, as it has with every horse I have trained, but in the meantime, it's hard work trying to fix it.
But he is very willing to work and takes both leads with ease. The left lead is more balanced and he will drop his head a little into it. The right lead is more of a challenge and he still uses his head for balance. We'll get there. It just takes time.
I lunged Toby for about a minute. He is still definitely sore on his front foot where he lost the shoe. His lameness is slight and only when he's going to the left, when that foot is on the inside. He stepped on the toe clip with the outside of the left front, so it makes sense that when he is circling left the outside of his left foot is taking most of the impact. This was identical to how Tucker reacted after he stepped on his shoe. As long as the lameness progresses as it is now, we should be fine. But it's going to take a few more days.
I did a little mane trimming/pulling on everyone, so now they don't quite look like field orphans.