I Ride Again
OK, so I have this rule that after I go for a chiropractic adjustment, I do not ride. Riding tends to undo some of the adjustment if things don't go perfectly during the ride.
But today, how could I do otherwise but ride? The temperature was in the 70's F, mostly cloudy, with a lovely, refreshing breeze. At times, if you weren't working out there, you might need a light jacket to feel comfortable. How could I pass up a day like that? Trouble is, I've passed up too many nice days during the Spring, so Summer just can't be ignored.
I rode Chance first. Like yesterday, I stuck to about 15-20 minutes. I walked a lot at first, circling right, then left, over and over, suppling him up a bit. Then we trotted. He feels fine on the right rein, but on the left, he is just a little uncomfortable, particularly on the turns. So, when I took the corners on the short side of the arena, I let him pick the trot pace. On the long sides, however, I had him move out with some decent impulsion. He was erratic at stretching into the rein contact, but not bad considering how little he's actually been ridden of late.
I finished up the ride with an approximation of a training level test. Walk trot and canter were just fine with the same erratic acceptance of the bit. But, if I did have the goal of showing him, I figure it would take less than a month of schooling to put in a pretty good quality test. The bigger question would be whether or not that little "skip" in the hind end on the left rein will go away as he gets fit. Time will tell.
Despite the fact that my own right leg felt "collapsible" when I dismounted--I've had some issues with the psoas muscle and some kind of other issue with the thigh muscle's tightening up--I decided I wouldn't stop with one. So I saddled up Tucker.
The ride was pretty much the same as yesterday with the added addition of a few instances of "attitude" on some transitions. If Tucker feels I have taken too much contact on the rein, instead of stepping into it and giving with his head, neck, and back, he will often protest and simply refuse to go forward at all. What I need to do then is unlock his resistance and get him into the gait I want. I might simply do an extra flexing or displace his hind end laterally, or even just give the rein entirely. Whichever method I use, I then get him into the frame in the new gait, do a downward transition and repeat the upward transition with the quality I wanted in the first place. He wasn't bad today, but he did question a couple times.
We ended the session with the same version of a training level test I'd done with Chance, but in Tucker's case, I actually rode it much like I might at a show in a nice working dressage frame. The only bad moment came on the left lead canter depart when he kicked out a little, but I think it might have been from the flies rather than in protest. But with Tucker, you never quite know for sure.
Two Boys ridden, I fed and then headed to the pool for and admittedly cool swim. The water is far from warm, but compared to the air, it felt pretty good. It wasn't too bad in the sun, but the one end of the pool was in the shade and when I got out it was a little shivery.
As usual, though, I felt wonderful after the swim. I always do. The exercise and refreshing feel of the water revitalizes me.
Shivering or not, it was a good end to the day.