Everybody Under Saddle
I took Toby out on a hack in the woods to see if the bugs were gone. It was breezy, cloudy and on the verge of rain and, to my delight, bug free!! We only did a short hack as it is the first time I've ridden him since he was lame due to the abcess/stepped on shoe. He felt fine, so that's good, and he does like to loaf around on the trails out back.
I gave Tucker a very short school in the arena, testing the canter again. He is resisting, but I'm not sure what it's all about. When he kicked the fence rail on his own as I was asking for the right lead, he thought better of it all and gave me a series of very nice trot/canter/trot/canter transitions. He feels fine when he is cantering so it is one of several things: 1. some remaining soreness, 2. anticipation of pain that's not really there, 3. just general Tucker attitude. If he is still a little sore, there is not much more I can do at this point without x rays and a vet workup--kind of a financial strain at this point. And then what? Hock injections? Not keen on that...yet. I'll just give it some time.
After the school, I took him out for a short hack. The only glitch was then one I expected. My farmer next door had dropped a load of dirt along the edge of the woods. So, we had to pass the "dangerous dirt" in order to get out along the field. Oh, my! But, actually, Tucker was quite brave. He did spook, balk, and think about making an escape. But then, when I reassured him, he walked cautiously by and we were just fine for the rest of the ride. I made a big fuss over him when he finally did go for me, so perhaps he will think he's a big brave fellow from now on--at least about THAT dirt pile. *G*
Chance was really funny. I mounted up and he headed right for the gate out to the wood and when I tried to get him to go on around the arena for his short school, he stopped dead and didn't want to budge. It was quite clear he was determined to go out on a hack since the other two had. I convinced him that was not yet to be and gave him a little school. Again, I was pleased that in the canter he is really starting to offer a stretch into the bit with a lower, more relaxed head carriage. He is making definite progress.
After the school, I did take him out on a hack as well. He didn't even give the "dangerous dirt" a second look, except perhaps to see if there was any grass growing out of it to nibble on. We too had a nice little ride. There was an ATV rider out there, passing along one of the other trails and that got Chance a little excited. His head went up, and he jogged a few strides, then nearly tripped over a branch or two craning his neck to see where the guy had gone, but soon he settled right back down and we finished up in good style. He really is a good, steady fellow. His attitude is going to be great for me as a nice retirement horse.
I did some barn work afterwards and now my knees are protesting. I'll go to the grain store to get my feed tomorrow as I think I've done enough for one day.