Another Beautiful Day
After going out to breakfast with some good friends, I came home, took a short catnap and then headed out to the barn.
I'd intended to do some light arena work but the lure of the trail was too much, especially when Toby stuck out his head for the lead rope first. Not much to say after that, as he and I had a nice jaunt through the woods.
Then I took Chance out, and we too had a nice little hack through the forest.
Then I took Tucker out, and we took the "Tucker Trail" for another nice ride. This time, though, I trotted him for about 25 yards or so along the edge of the woods. He was bouncy but fine.
The rest of the trail, he was still just a little bouncy, on his toes, but not at all spooky or scary. So I figured when we got back home, I'd do just a few minutes of arena work at the trot and canter.
Uh huh. I should have known. The trot was a little rushy, but I wasn't asking him to go in a frame, so that was not too surprising. And, he did spook at the gate to the woods a few times. Then, I dared to ask for canter.
Well, bring on the bronc. Nothing quite to unseat me, but definitely a "boing the back" kick up the heels in protest bounce up and down in place canter thingy that hardly resembled a canter at all. I corrected him sharply, asked again and got the same response.
OK, something may well have been bothering him, but sometimes willful disobedience needs to be corrected. I had no intention of cantering him long, nor of doing any real work, but the protest on his part needed to be dealt with. So I brought him into a bit of a frame and asked again, this time getting a fairly decent canter. We went about halfway around on the left lead and then I switched to the right lead through the trot. That direction was better. Again we went about halfway around, I switched back to the left for about eight more strides and called it quits.
If it was something physical, I did not stress him about it, but at the same time, he does need to understand that throwing a tantrum, particularly one that could be dangerous for me, is not the solution. At the moment, I'm not too sure what the problem was, but I hope I get a chance to ride him a bit tomorrow to see if something really is bothering him. More than likely, it's his hocks, unless he tweaked something in his back. The trot felt even, so it only shows up at the canter.
We'll figure it out. We always do. It's just a matter of establishing a reasonable form of communication between the two of us.