And I Really Like the Saddle
I dropped my stirrups down two holes and it was much better. I am not exactly fit myself, so I wouldn't say we worked to maximum, but I did put in a pair of good rides.
Tucker was interesting. I worked him on the bit from the start, not demanding a really upper level frame, but definitely into the bit. He was rather strong, not a surprise, but his trot stayed nice and forward. However, when I asked for canter, I got the ears back, threaten to kick out effort. I snarled at him and he behaved himself. The left lead was nice and forward, but the right was a little crooked. I'd have to think perhaps either that hock is still a little issue, or he has some memory of it. I'll just see how things go. If he continues to protest, I guess I will have to invest in x-rays just to see what's going on.
Otherwise, I was really pleased with his overall trot work. And I did some shoulder-in, haunches-in, leg yield and half-pass which were all really good. Quite interesting as he did all the lateral work easily with complete understanding of what he was supposed to do. That's really cool as it proves he now has some real training under his girth.
I saddled up Chance for a bit of a school. Right from the start he was down and round and nice and forward. The only glitch in his opening work is his tendancy to cough a bit when he starts off. I don't know what that is all about. He doesn't do it all the time, but today, one of his big coughs caught me off guard and pulled me out of the saddle. (I blush. That should never happen. Shows how unfit I am.)
Chance definitely has the concept of reaching for the bit but he is still rather unsteady about it. He's kind of up and down, on and off, but never really quite up. And, the best part is that at the canter on both leads he generally stayed down without a lot of trouble. Again, it wasn't steady, but the gait was nice and forward, and it's well on the way to developing into some good work.
I did not ride Toby but hope to hack him out either tomorrow or Monday.
The saddle is well balanced and really does give me a good position.
Tomorrow, I do the saddle demo with a new client who has a lovely big Thoroughbred with a high wither. I will be very interested in seeing how the new saddle does and whether she likes it in comparison to the Carlton. (The used Ansur she was trialing.)
As I always say, we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.