Done by Ten
I woke up a bit later today--around 7:15, but I roused myself and went out to the barn, determined to do something with the Boys. It was already feeling humid and was less pleasant by half than yesterday. The forecast promised a really hot day and the morning was not denying it.
Still, I went to collect a horse or three for a short lunge session. This time Chance did not run as far, so I got him first since Tucker had decided he was going to play hard to get. Please note: Neither Tucker nor Chance was hard to catch when I first got them and Tucker was always easy when PJ was still alive. Toby has always been bad about getting caught, even from 15 or 16 years ago. Sometimes he's fine, but at other times he runs off very clearly defying capture. At his worst, he will not even allow himself to be caught when I have a treat and will snatch the goodie and dive away. I will always get him in the end, but he is very elusive. Unfortunately, with horses, it's "monkey see, monkey do," and both Tucker and Chance have learned Toby's bad habit. I am relatively sure with a little work I can straighten them out, but as long as the wily chestnut is herd boss around here, they will keep re-learning his techniques. *sigh*
At any rate, I added a little one foot high jump to the lungeing pattern, and had each horse jump over it five times in each direction as part of the workout. Of the three, Chance is by far the most relaxed. I'm not sure if he ever would be a good jumper, but perhaps his casual approach is merely proof that he thinks jumping is so easy he doesn't have to make any effort. The curious thing is that he is actually loses impulsion over the fence. So, he takes off from a nice little canter and lands in a nice little trot. I don't get the feeling he'd be a runaway on a course. *lol*
Tucker still shows the most potential as at least a hunter jumper. He has naturally nice, soft impulsion into the fence, a relaxed jump and a quite canter off. He tends to like to go clean, and rarely miscalculates a good take off stride on his own. When I have jumped him under saddle, even with the little schooling he has, he takes a nice forward contact on the rein, pulling gently towards the fence, and then offers a nice jump.
Toby would be the open jumper with lots of enthusiasm and a clearly athletic jump. He can pop you right out of the saddle if he has to make an effort as he uses his back quite a bit. I've lunged him over some decent sized fences in the past and he had no trouble at all. He will, however take off a bit after a fence and gets strong about it. Then, of course, with him, there is the unexpected spook at new things, so of the three, he would be the one that would need the most schooling and exposure to all kinds of obstacles.
All that being said, I really have no intention of doing much jumping at all anymore. Those of you who have followed my blog know I was once an eventer and rode both hunters and jumpers for years. Now, all I really want is for my horses to know how to jump. It offers a good extra physical exercise for them and it assures me that should we run into something on the trail that we can't get around we can go over. Besides, every once in a while it's fun to pop over something just to add some variety to a schooling session.
After lungeing, cleaning stalls and feeding, I decided to try out my newly repaired riding mower--the bigger one. When I got home yesterday from visiting Stacie and my friend Jacquie who's here NJ on a trip in from Las Vegas, the mower was in the back yard, returned from the repair shop.
I spent about two hours or so, mowing the weeds in the paddock and the pasture. It was, at times, a bit of challenge, even for this mower. I finally developed a technique for getting through the thicker stuff and did perhaps half of the mowing I really need to do. The morning stayed under cloud cover until around 10 AM or so and that's just about when I decided to call it quits and come in for breakfast.
I figure I'll go for a swim later in the day to cool off.
Meanwhile, the Boys have been worked, the chores are done, and it's not even noon yet!