Just a quick update - too much to do and not enough time.
Grace is now in the round pen. It took her a long time to decide to come out of the gate into the big world, but eventually she did. I led Tonka and she and John followed, and she walked right over to the round pen and in, without a long sticky spot at the gate. She is more relaxed in there, I think because she has a better view of what the other horses are doing.
Today we worked on leading on my right side. Her left side is her bad side, and she'd do anything to keep the other eye toward me if I let her lag behind me. It took a lot of doing to get her to move forward with me on that side next to her, but we made some great progress. It did stress her out more than most lessons, but I think it's good to have something be hard and then get through it. We made friends again when we were done.
Tonka had some time off due to my lack of time, and it wasn't a good thing. I didn't work him for 3 days after our long trail ride. Today I got him out and we didn't have a very good time. First of all, his saddle hurt him. I am really hoping that it's because Grace kicked him in the ribs the other day, not because the saddle really doesn't work. I'm going to give it some time but I think I'm going to have to get rid of my wonderful gorgeous saddle. He was grunting and jumping when I asked him to arc his body, and couldn't flex his neck around far at all. When I unsaddled him he had roughed up spots in the middle of the saddle, maybe toward the bottom of the bars. I think maybe it has too much rocker. The other day after our trail ride I noticed he was dry in the middle of the saddle all the way down where my leg would lie, and wet at either end.
So I didn't get to ride today. He's so spooky on his ALCar supplement and I was trying out new bits, so I was not going to ride bareback.
I picked up some used Myler bits for a great price the other day and today I tried a D ring comfort snaffle with hooks. Not a miracle cure for his constant chewing on the bit. Then I tried a short shanked Myler comfort snaffle with a copper roller. He fiddled with it quite a bit and was very keen on getting the shanks into his mouth so I tied him up and left him for a while. When I came back he was quiet, and he was pretty quiet on the lunge line, but I didn't ever ask him to do anything with the bit, there were no reins attached and he just carried it.
I asked him for a little work on the lunge line and he was clearly not having a good day so I took him for a short walk and put him away. When he tried to lope up the hill after I turned him loose he couldn't sustain more than a couple strides at the lope. That longish trail ride followed by no work was not good for him.
Time to go finish my chores for the day! Good night!