Taking A Chance On A Ride
I rode Chance tonight. It was "spritzing" a bit of rain, but nothing serious. Kind of strange as the arena was still dry enough below the surface to kick up some dust. Dust in the rain created a strange visual effect, almost like a bit of a fog.
Anyhow, Chance was a really good boy. He still tosses his head now and then, both to "test" the bit and also to catch his balance, particularly in transitions. Nothing serious, just green horse stuff. If I am super careful to get him round before a transition and then take a very insistent contact to the rein, I can get him to keep his head down, but it's almost as if I have to support him into the gait.
The nice thing is that it feels as if he changes gait from behind instead of dropping onto his forehand. His trot was good, although as time went on, he lost some energy. Part of it is losing his initial excitement and the rest is a combination of being a bit lazy and getting tired.
I did quite a bit of cantering to build up his stamina and he is getting better and better about stretching for the bit. He takes both leads easily but the right is still a little less balanced, so he tends to rush now and then. Again, no bit deal as he never feels as if he out of control.
After a bit of a break I decided to finish up with some figure eights, focusing on keeping him down and roundish on the change of rein. Then, after trotting the pattern, I tried to canter it. Normally, he is fairly good taking the canter off a cue. He's not quite sharp enough to do it at an arena marker, but he will go in a stride or three. This time, he just didn't canter when I asked. I had to work to get the gait for nearly half the twenty meter circle on each lead.
I get the feeling that by then he was pretty tired. Good kid though, as he never really quits trying.
Tucker is locked in his stall until he gets reshod. He doesn't seem the least concerned. When I went out to ride, Toby and Chance were way out of sight in the pasture, and Tucker was not in the least concerned. When I had to keep Toby in the last time, he was frantic every time the other horses disappeared from sight. I'm glad it's not an issue now for Tuck.
It is raining more now. I hope it doesn't rain enough to make more mud. It was actually getting kind of nice to have decent footing in nearly all the paddock areas.