Sunday, March 15, 2009

Late Evening Ride

Why So Long?

Don't quite know what took me so long to get around to riding, but it did.

Actually after church I went out with the choir group to have lunch, and then I went to the feed store to get feed. That took up the bulk of the early afternoon.

I hadn't slept well last night, so I was kind of tired and took a short nap. When I woke up, it was about time to feed the Boys and I still had to unload the grain. Then I had to swap vehicles from the truck to the car to unload the alfalfa cubes I bought yesterday. Then I fed.

I waited about an hour, went out to spread a bit of grass seed, and finally worked my way out to the barn for some horsing around.

Chance and I went out on a nice little hack. Every time I ride that kid I love him even more. He has a nice enthusiastic attitude about hacking without being silly and he is very comfortable. In the arena he still has a lot to learn, but his gaits are getting stronger as he learns to use his back. He is just so level headed and cooperative, I have a feeling as time goes by we are going to develop a super relationship. He is a real sweetie.

I rode Tucker next in the arena for a quick school. I had no plan when I got on, and not much of one after I started except to get him really forward off my aids. Then I did some canter work with trot changes over a pole in the center of the arena. Tuck is still giving me a bit of an attitude on the canter departs--at least the first ones until we get a few. I am wondering if perhaps he is having an ulcer issue again as he seems particularly sensitive on his right side. I think I may try a course of ulcer medication to see if it improves his attitude.

I did get some nice work from him, however, once he decided I was not going to put up with any of his nonsense. Some of the trot work was really nice and his right half pass was excellent. The left still needs some schooling. Every horse I have ever owned has had one strong side in learning the half pass and usually it's to the left. Tuck seems to be better to the right.

I worked a little at it by starting off in a leg yield to establish the left lateral movement off my leg and then changed the bend. The other option is to simply begin a diagonal across the arena and then add the leg to make it a lateral move. That establishes the bend first and the lateral afterwards. Sometimes it's worth trying several different tactics to conquer a training problem.

I am lucky to have worked with dozens of trainers from all countries during my riding career, so I usually have a pretty good "bag of tricks" to try when I have an issue. I wish I'd kept better notes over the years of all the things I've learned because I'm sure I've forgotten a lot more than I remember.

Meantime, any progress is good, so I'm pretty happy. And, Tuck is far from being fit, so every effort on his part to do what I ask is positive.


  1. "I wish I'd kept better notes over the years of all the things I've learned because I'm sure I've forgotten a lot more than I remember."

    it'll come back to you when you need it (probably in the dead of night when you can't sleep again... LOL)

  2. Two things I noted from your (as usual interesting) post - how important it is to fix any physical issues (like ulcers) before addressing training issues; and, if a particular aid/approach isn't working, trying something different until the horse understands. It took me a long time to "get" both these issues.

  3. I'm happy to hear you got some rides in last night. It was such a beautiful day. I'm sure you haven't forgotten anything and if and when you need to pull something out of your bag of tricks it will be right there for you.