It's Been A Week
The School Board knows of my retirement. They have already accepted my resignation. So even if they do read this blog, it's OK. *G*
A chilly Spring day here with sunshine. I did sleep late, then I fed the Boys and decided to see if I could find an electronic keyboard at a reasonable price. I have a piano here, terribly out of tune, and I decided a keyboard would be good to both practice my vocal music and do a bit of music writing with the potential for recording me melodies. I ended up buying a Casio touch sensitive keyboard. I really liked the Casio with the weighted touch keys since it felt nearly identical to a piano, and had great piano sound, but it was several hundred dollars more expensive and I didn't want to spend too much.
I played with the Casio for a good part of the afternoon, and still haven't figured out how to get it to do things beyond basic playing, but for now that's fine. Learning to use its features will definitely keep me busy in the new spare time I am going to have.
That done, I suddenly realized the day was waning so I went out to the barn to do something with the Boys. To my surprise, Toby was no only by the barn, but he came over to me as if he actually wanted to do something. I gave him a nice grooming and saddled him up for a lovely little hack through the woods with a short trot along the field. He really did seem quite happy about it, so I was too!
As I was bringing Chance in, I heard the roar of engines and saw some minibikes blasting along the very field I had just ridden Toby in. These guys were really noisy. I decided on the coward's way and worked Chance in the arena instead.
I'd give him a B+ today. He has the concept of down and round, but really does take a hard hold on my right hand and then doesn't keep his frame steadily yet. And, for the first few times around he tends to pull towards the gate to the woods...telling me something??? *lol* But his canter!! What a nice, comfy and "learning to relax" gait he is developing. I noticed it when I was lungeing him, and now, under saddle, I can really feel it. I think cantering will be our favorite gait. I finished up with a very short little hack on the trail just out back, avoiding the main part of the woods altogether.
Good thing, because as I brought Tucker in, the mini-bikers were back racing around again. Had I been out there, I would have surely been on a spooked horse--the consequences dependent upon which horse.
I decided to long line Tucker, something I haven't done with him in a while. He started off with his lazy trot, overbending when I took up the contact, mostly because he wasn't going forward. I chased him a bit with minimal success, then pushed him up to canter. It took a bit of "energizing" with quite a few transitions before he really started using himself. Eventually, he gave me some good engagement in a good, collected frame. I didn't work him too long in the collection because he is still not fit enough for a lot of work, but little by little I will keep asking.
The one thing I have to keep on the alert for is a sign that the more collected work does not make his hocks sore. Again, I don't know if there are changes going on in his hocks or whether the work simply makes him sore as it did with Toby. When I had Toby x-rayed, he had no changes in his joints, depsite his soreness, so that could be what is going on with Tuck--or it might not. It's one of those "wait and see" kind of things.
From what my vet told me years ago, sore hocks are very common in dressage horses. I can still remember sitting with one of my vets at the Horse Park watching some of the upper level horses compete. Time and again when one came into the arena he would notice soreness somewhere. None of them were lame, but few were actually working up to full potential because of some physical soreness or other. The difference between those horses and mine is that mine "tell me" when they ache. Toby would kick out or buck, and Tuck stops.
I wonder if it is my "tuned in" mentality encouraging them to communicate to me or if it's just their nature?
Something more to ponder on the next rainy day.