Thursday, October 08, 2009

Windy Wednesday and Mellow Thursday

What a Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday was horrible. We had heavy winds, so bad it was hard to even walk outside, let along work a horse. The Boys were either sheltering in the shed, or the barn or running around the paddock like madmen. Fortunately shoes seemed to stay on and the wind did dry up the mud. I guess there is a plus to everything.

Today the weather's mood had shifted completely. I was warm, though not hot, and quiet.

I have been giving Tucker a dose of bute for three days now, so I decided to see how he looked on the lunge. He was still not 100% sound going to the right, but looked fine going left. I worked him a little bit to see what happened, and he actually got better the more he moved. I cannot feel a pulse in his foot, nor do I feel any heat, so whatever is bothering him does not seem to have any outward symptoms except his being slightly "off." After our little lunging session , I took him for a short hand walk through the woods and he seemed to enjoy himself, especially when he was able to grab a few snacks of tree leaves on the way back.

Then I saddled up Chance. The plan was a short school in the arena and then a nice hack in the woods.

My plan, not Chance's. What a card! I mounted just fine, started off around the arena as he fussed with his head trying to decide whether or not to give to the bit and then we reached the gate to the woods.

Dead stop. Lean towards gate. Refuse to move forward. Nap, nap, nap.....

OK Muriel and Claire, I have the opposite problem, apparently about the arena. Teena and Molly do not want to go out and Chance does not want to "stay in." Fortunately for me, Chance does not seem to throw temper tantrums, but simply plants his feet in ignores my leg.

Gee. does that sound familiar? Think he's been talking to Tucker?

I gave him a swat behind with my hand and sulkily, he walked on. We made a few walking circuits of the arena with attempted "run out/stops" at the gate and then he seemed to resign himself to the fact that we were not going on a hack after all.

Considering that I haven't actually schooled him in the arena under saddle for about a week, at least, he was really quite good. He reached into the bit at the trot, nearly stayed there for the canter departs--which were nice and prompt off my leg cue--and, with a little effort on my part stayed kind of stretchy into the bit in the canter itself. The left lead is still better balanced with a little more quickness on the right, but the improvement is considerable.

I think he would benefit from some more long lining, but he is so much fun out hacking that I hate to miss out on taking him out when the weather is so good for it. Perhaps if I stick to this routine of a short school and then a hack, I will actually get him trained.

Trouble is, both of us seem to enjoy the trails too much. *G*


  1. Anonymous6:54 PM

    Glad you got some of our nice weather today - we've got rainy and dreary today, and probably tomorrow, with a hard frost expected Saturday night - which is good because that means we'll be back out to pastures on Sunday.

    Maisie used to do the "balk at the gate" routine a lot - she hates arena work - but it's gotten better over time.

  2. Hmmm, must be something in the air. Spider was sluggish in the arena, too. Of course, I did it backwards and took him for a hack first. I guess I should probably make the trail ride a reward instead.

  3. Maybe Chance was reading your mind and knew you really wanted to go on the trails too.
    Glad your tucker seems to be on the mend.

  4. oh pehaps warm-hom up with a short hack, an intense work in the school then a short hack to cool-off.
    Or simply work while hacking you can use edges for shoulder-in etc ... fallen tree log for cavaletti.
    Schooling outside is fun, because it really stimulates your imagination!

  5. Muriel, that's a good idea which I usually use, but Chance, right now, just needs to learn to work himself down onto the bit with some more consistency. Unfortunately, while I can to lateral work out on the trails, I can't do some of the exercises he needs as I have to have better footing and a wide open space.

    However, next time I go out, I will remember your suggestions and try some "log" work to add to the adventure.

  6. school whilst hacking?

    i reckon since you've got a horse you can hack out, hack him out ... he'll learn just as much and you'll both enjoy the process...

  7. I hear that about the trails...I have neglected all sort of arena riding this summer, knowing all too well the rains are on their way.

  8. Ali's a Chance he just cant see the point of going around in circles when there's a big wide world out there to explore,I like it and tend to agree with him at times myself:))