Tucker Has A Shoe!
The farrier came early this afternoon to put Tucker's shoe back on. Good thing too as Tuck was getting chafed by the boot. It is a good fit, but I guess that's one of the problems with wearing boots all the time.
At any rate, that finally allowed me to ride him a little. Aside from a little nasty moment on a canter depart from the walk, he was a good boy. I challenged him with a little zig zag at the trot half pass. He managed quite well. He still has to develop more cross over if he is ever to learn the upper level movement, but for a baby zig and then a zag he did admirably.
Since Toby decided to come into the barn when I was grooming Tucker after his ride, I captured him and gave him a short lunging session. With just a halter and lunge line, he is as close to perfect as a horse can be--nice and forward, stretchy and round. What a good boy.
With daylight fading, I decided to ride Chance a little bit. He was nicely forward as well, and offered a good round stretchy frame with very little work on my part. So, I decided to try a little canter. For the very first time, with minimal effort on my part, he took the right lead and cantered a full circle with his head down on the bit!! Then, I changed rein, asked for the left lead and again, he cantered with his head down!! This is a first! I think if the whole ride lasted more than 5 minutes, I'd be exaggerating, but with those results I halted, dismounted, and then gave him a huge cuddle to tell him how wonderful he was. Essentially, he is now working in a good little training level frame at all three gaits.
Considering how erratic my training schedule has been over the last year, I am quite pleased with Chance's progress and delighted that Tucker is really confirmed in all he's learned so far. I past years, I would have moved both horses along a lot faster but I honestly don't have the ambition any more. I'm not sure why, but I am very mellow about what I accomplish with the Boys. If I show, that's fine. If I don't that's fine too. I am just enjoying the process of teaching them new things and discovering how well they learn.
Here's hoping the weather holds so I can go out on hacks tomorrow.