Friday, July 03, 2009

Evening Ride

Half and Half

Never presume the horse's brain works with any kind of human logic at all. I took Tucker into the arena to ride and saw the water tub had some water in it. (This is the "in the arena" water tub for when I have to lock the horses away from the barn. ) Because it had mosquito breeding potential, I tipped the water out and then stood the tub up against the fence on its long side. Tucker was with me the whole time as I had him tacked up and was getting ready to mount up.

Well, it wasn't quite Moby Tub, but it was a decided object of doom. For nearly the entire ride, Tucker was trying to spook at that tub. If I headed across the diagonal toward it, he tried to veer away. If I passed it on the long side he tried to do a curvy line away from it or, he tried to stop in an attempt to spook backwards. While it was relatively easy to fix, I have to admit his behavior was baffling. Then again, he is a horse and, as I said, logic is not his strong suit.

The bulk of my schooling session was quite good otherwise. As I've been doing, I just kept demanding forward, no matter what. I did like how he lifted himself into his canter, and for the most part his trot was well engaged. I did start working a little more seriously on developing his half pass. He moves easily to the right, but not quite as well to the left. This interests me, as on all the other horses I've trained, I could always ride the left half-pass more easily than the right. So, either I have changed or Tucker is a little more right flexible or both. He did offer a few protests to my driving aids, but for the most part, he was a good boy.

I took Chance out next. Ugh! He was very resistant to giving to the rein and once I began trotting, I figured out part of the reason. He was very "off" on his left hind tonight. This is the mysterious lameness that comes and goes. I had my vet check him out and he could not find anything wrong, but there is definitely some kind of issue. Usually, when Chance moves short on that one leg on the lunge, once I canter him, he trots out evenly. So, I cantered. That fixed the trot. But after a little more work, it came back again. Then, when I tried to canter on the right lead, he kept taking the left. I got him on the lead, cantered a bit, and then the trot was OK. Then I walked for a little while, started up the trot and it was bad again. If I posted on the right he was OK, but as soon as I switched to the left, he was irregular again.

I worked for a while longer, mostly at the walk trying to get him to yield to the bit, and then ended the session. My vet has suggested that perhaps getting him fit will help, so for now I am trying to work him through whatever's wrong.

If he doesn't improve over time, I may take him for some further testing. I certainly don't want to stress him if he has something seriously wrong. For now it's just a matter of seeing how things go. Strangely enough, this is the first sign of the problem since I started working him regularly. And, all along it's been like day sound, one day not, a bunch of days sound...and so on. The work doesn't seem to make it worse and sometimes the canter fixes it completely.

Guess I'll just keep going and to see what happens. So, tonight was half successful and half not.


  1. Ah - Things That Have Changed! When I turn our horses out in the morning, there are some that will notice any tiny change in the position of an object - and then there are others who don't care - both mares and geldings - must be a wiring difference.

  2. ah, the well known horse eating tub!

    odd about chance, as you sensible suggestions to make about it though.