Plan B Succeeds
After doing some hefty barn work, I decided to ride. The weather was gorgeous!
I saddled up Chance with the plan in mind of repeating the basic exercises from the other day. I was going to work on a little shoulder-in and some leg yield at the walk, then go through the basic walk-trot-canter routine.
I mounted up, turned around and there was the snoopervisory committee of Tucker and Toby in the center of the arena. Now, mind you, although the gate was closed, the fence is down at the far end. Usually the Boys just stand at the closed gate and watch, not bothering to wander inside the fence to bother me. Not today.
Plan B materialized quickly. That meant I decided to take Chance out for a nice hack in the woods. He was quite pleased about that as arena schooling is not exactly his favorite pastime. Out we went, along the long trail, heading all the way out to the end of the woods. To get there, we had to pass the evil red fire truck! Chance hardly gave it a second glance. He was a super boy. We mostly walked, with a few little sections of trot up some of the little hills, but since I hadn't been out that way for months, I wasn't sure of the footing or tree falls we might meet. The trail was actually pretty clear, so it turned into a nice overall ride.
When I got back, I ushered Toby and Tucker back to the barn, snagged Tucker, and saddled him up for his session. This time the snoopervisers decided to stay on the other side of the fence, so I was able to school just fine.
I started off with some lateral work at the walk, as I'd planned to do with Chance. To be honest, Tucker was, at first, a bit confused. I hardly ever school shoulder-in, leg yield, or half pass at the walk, so he was not sure I really meant it. He fussed just a little when I asked for the first trot transition, but from then on, he was great.
We did some plain old trot for a while and then repeated the lateral exercises on each rein. His half-pass is not yet completely confirmed, but he did a good job responding to my aids. Then we did some canter.
Once again, the departs were soft and fluid. He was very willing to strike off with a minimum of leg from me.
I went back to walk, worked on some pirouettes--the left is better than the right. And finished up with perfectly lovely canter departs on each lead from the walk coming out of the pirouette. The nice thing about that exercise is that the pirouette puts Tucker on to his hind end and the depart almost immediately afterwards is a bit more uphill.
All in all, two good rides, even if the plan went slightly astray.