Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tucker at Work

On a Humid Morning

I was out at about 7 AM to ride. Hate to say it, but while it was still moderately cool, the humidity was miserable.

It was Tucker's turn again as when I ride, I alternate between Chance and him.

Not much to report except that it's quite clear Tucker half passes better to the right than the left. This is interesting because for my other horses it was usually the opposite. Which means I have either learned to ride to the right better, or Tucker is just naturally more inclined to go right laterally OR his right hind leg needs some strengthening so it can step over.

Regardless, the left half passes are more shallow and, when I try it at canter, he continually breaks to trot when we try the left half pass.

No biggie. It's just something to work on a little at a time.

Besides, my main focus for the ride was just maintaining forward energy, no matter what we were doing. Tucker kind of has a "trickle down" gait. It starts off just fine, but if I do not constantly remind him, he gradually loses his forward energy.

Nagging him stride after stride is not acceptable, so I just sensitized myself to feel the first moments of losing energy and gave him a quick tap with either my leg or the whip, depending on the moment. The other strategy was to do an upward transition--from walk to trot, or trot to canter. The trot/canter transitions are usually pretty energizing, especially on a Thoroughbred. Born and bred to gallop, canter often makes the TB's trot improve and it can be an excellent warm up gait.

We finished up riding a self-invented test which was kind of a combo of exercises from training, first, and second levels. It just put everything together and required me to ride the exercises without correcting or redoing anything that might have gone wrong. When you are schooling, the tendency is to repeat a movement if it isn't right, but in a test at a competition, you can't do that. So I always feels it's a good idea to simply ride a set of exercises no matter what happens now and then so I know how to ride through and cope in a real test.

Once again, aside from the left half pass it went pretty well. One movement I was particularly pleased with was walk pirouette. I can feel both hind legs keeping a pretty good "march" rhythm as we go around, so that might actually mean a good pirouette.

After my ride I took a break in the house--air conditioned--figuring I'd go for my swim around 3 PM.  I'm not all that keen about going to the pool too early in the afternoon as I get sunburned pretty quickly. If I wait until the later afternoon sun, it's better.

But despite plans, at just around 3:00 the sky darkened threateningly. The weather forecast had predicted thunderstorms much later, but I guess nature did not read the reports. Sure enough, thunder started to rumble on the western horizon.  I was sure the pool would close.

I waited for an hour or so, then suited up under clear skies and headed over to the pool, but they had decided not to take any chances with the forecast and had closed for the rest of the evening. Phooey!

Home again, I changed into my walking shoes and headed out to the tree farm. There was a lovely breeze and I took about a 35 minute walk in the evening air. The sun was still out, but the passing storm had cooled things off enough to make it quite pleasant.

The walk didn't quite make up for the swim, but the extra exertion of really riding Tucker in the morning as well as doing a few extra barn chores may have made up for it.

All in all, it wasn't a perfect day at Follywoods, but it was more than good.

And, oh yes, my well has been repaired. I am now back on house water instead of barn water with a garden hose. Even better, the final cost was under the estimate I was given

One more small win for the wallet.

1 comment:

  1. Glad your well is working again, that's a big plus. Sounds like good work with Tucker. I like your idea of doing tests and just continuing on when something goes wrong instead of drilling until it's right.