An Evening Ride
I went out at about 9 PM to ride. It was cooler, but certainly not much drier as far as the humidity goes. But there were no flies and the mosquitoes did seem to leave us alone--perhaps more intrigued by the arena lights.
I rode Tucker with forward in mind. He started out with a perfectly lovely trot and kept that up each time I asked for trotting. Getting the canter on a longish rein with minimal contact did pose a bit of an issue as he, at first, just tried to trot faster, ignoring my canter aid. I slowed him back down and made sure my body and my aids were saying canter, and got a rather sluggish depart. It took a few more times before the canter departs got more prompt, but they did improve, so I just took it as a lack of practice. Again, please note, this was canter departs without any kind of setup, just a leg/seat aid. I then did a series of trot canter transistions on each rein to further sharpen him up.
I decided to work on the bit in the second/third level frame for just a few times around the arena because Tuck has not been really ridden in well over a week again. But as soon as I collected the rein--shutdown. A little coaxing on my part only made him strike out with his front foot. So, I hopped off, lunged him around me a few times, and climbed back on at the mounting block. That did the trick because he moved right off in the frame and gave me some decent effort on both reins and trot and canter for several times around the arena. Problem solved for another ride.
I just lunged Chance after that as I was sweaty and hot despite the cool temps. I didn't bother rigging up the long lines, so it was just an exercise session for him rather than actual training. I must say as far as ground work goes, Chance has really improved. When I first got him, it was all I could do to get him to go around me on a circle on both reins. He'd spin around instead of going right and then he'd run off on the left rein. He'd also, once he was on the right rein, nearly pull me over yanking to the outside on one side of the circle. Now, it's a piece of cake to get him to walk, trot and canter on command on a nice circle on each rein.
So, a bit of work done on a muggy night. It was a little disorienting out there under the lights. These are replacements from the original ones that kept blowing out and they throw a very white light. It is not bright around the whole arena, but certainly enough light to ride by. Still it was a little strange at first--not quite sure why except that I haven't done it in a long while. I definitely prefer the daylight, but with the weather and the flies I might just resort to nighttime riding for the duration.
Hey, at least I don't have to get up for work in the morning! *G*