The Wonderful Thing About Toby is He's the Only One!!
Ok, gorgeous day, at last, sunny an warmish. Election Day, so I needed to go vote, and on the way home I dropped off some bags of clothing in the Red Cross charity bins.
I decided to ride any horse that came my way, and to my surprise, Toby let me catch him almost at once. I guess he wanted some attention. I lured Chance and Tucker out to the pasture with some hay cubes and locked them out there so I could use the arena without being molested.
I decided to take Toby out for a hack in the woods. While he was standing on the crossties, he was whinnying and dancing around because his buddies were out of sight. I should have heeded the warning. We headed out and were about five minutes into the ride when the bouncy, whinnying prelude came to full head. What you must understand is that Toby has tossed me off before with his nonsense. He has an even bigger buck than Tucker and adds an athletic twist for good measure. He was lifting off even at a standstill and though I tried to circle him to settle him back down, I wasn't having any luck. I finally dismounted for my own safety's sake.
I led him the rest of the way, not letting him stop to nibble on anything all the way home. Once back, I mounted up in the arena and gave him a workout. It wasn't long, but I did a lot of circles and changes of direction, over and over. Then, I took him back out for the mini-loop trail just behind the barn and he was fine. All the frantic behavior had stopped, so I accomplished something.
I rode Chance next, with a moderate workout in the arena as a start. This for training, and also because he kept trying to go out the gate to the woods. I actually got some nice work from him, although he still can be difficult to get down on the bit with consistency. But he does feel quite nice when he's "there."
We went for a hack afterwards and this time, for the first time, I decided to take him around the cornfield. Nothing too dramatic, or so I thought. But, as if turned out, there were a number of "scary things" to negotiate--a big truck parked across the trail so we had to detour, some pipes, various farm equipment, traffic going by on the road, and a camper trailer. I am pleased to report that the worst Chance did when faced with these "things I have never seen before" was stop and stare until he was sure nothing was jumping out at him. Then he went on by.
A good horse by all accounts.
I finished up with Tucker, but by that time I was pretty worn out and my knees were hurting. I gave him a short school in the arena, pleased to find him quite willing to canter off the aid without any protests. I ended the session with some canter/trot one stride change/canter, once again starting the basics for the flying changes. I will definitely have to develop his canter more before I actually attempt to school them and I also need to be sure that whatever physical issues that have been bothering him in the hind end are resolved. If it is his hocks, I don't want to stress him unnecessarily.
Then I took him out for a mini hack on the trail loop behind the barn. I was heading back when I suddenly realized I wasn't wearing my helmet!! I had a winter head thingie on under my helmet when I rode the other two Boys, but something in it was rubbing, so I'd taken off my helmet when I was grooming Tuck and I'd forgotten to put it back on! Paranoia struck hard, and in about two more strides I dismounted and simply led him back the rest of the way.
I never want to be on a horse without my helmet and somehow I'd managed to ride Tucker the whole time without one. Thank heavens nothing happened. Id been lulled into a false sense of security by my head covering. Since I've been riding without anything under my helmet all season long, I simply felt something on my head and thought I was OK.
Mental note to self....DO NOT DO THAT AGAIN!!!