Saturday, June 30, 2012

Water water everywhere

More baby torture today.... :)

We had another "lesson" with Auntie Beth. We hauled to Peri's house and he hauled all by himself. Loaded right up and hauled great. Although I will admit to hearing little sad baby neighs the whole way there.
Once we got to Peri's, we did the in hand work. Danny is smart and remembered it and we had a decent trot triangle. I just have to remember to trot faster! We also worked on the basics of lunging. The very basics! Then Peri set up the sprinkler in the middle of her ring. It's the type that sprinkles out in a circle. So... Dan had to look at that for a bit. He was really good about going through it and letting it hit him. But then, it came up from behind and kinda scared him. Oops!!! He pretty much ran Auntie Beth over. So... we had to go back to respect and in hand stuff. Which is a lot harder to concentrate on when you have scary sprinklers coming at you. But he got it.

So then we headed home and Danny rested up. Later that afternoon it was awfully hot, so I turned the hose on and... Poor Daniel got more water torture. But he actually seemed to enjoy it. :) Not quite as much as Fleck, but he was getting it.

So... we're making progress. I'm really hoping that by the time we get to the FEH show, he'll be used to going to new places and won't be quite so amped up. But amped up enough to show off his pretty self. :)

Looking forward to it.... It's not too far away!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More trail fun

So..... since that's mostly what we've been doing... as it's really all we can do.... More trail adventures :)

Today we went to the horse park with Christina, Sham and May, and Kelli and Arwyn. The boys were a bit full of themselves starting out... perhaps they were trying to impress the ladies?!?  But not horrible at all.
And best of all... Fleck was FORWARD and only just barely lame :) YAY!!! Made my day.
But anyways... Daniel loaded up first by himself with no coaxing required. There was a big QH show at the horse park so there was much commotion and he didn't mind. He called out to the other horses a fair amount, but was calm and chill. He also crossed the "creek" well too. I say "Creek" because it was more of a mud puddle, but still. Success.

So after our ride he went to the cross ties and got a bath and flirted with May and Arwyn over the bar. I say flirted, but I don't think he's quite there yet. More of a "hey lets be friends" type thing. At least I think! He also didn't mind when the giant tractor carrying a HUGE stack of shavings drove by. He's gonna be bombproof hard core!

Later on we worked in hand some and then I wrapped his leg. Poor kiddo... I guess maybe 5 days ago he came in with a cut and a hugely swollen leg. Sigh.. of course, the same damn leg. He's been on SMZs, but it's still quite poofy, though no longer hot. So.. tonight I dmso/nitrofurazone sweated it. He's not thrilled about his wrap, but he behaved.

Tomorrow we have another "lesson". I'm hoping the activity will help decrease some of the swelling too. At least he's happy and sound and otherwise normal. I'm guessing it's just cellulitis, but darn these spotted boys and their sensitive legs!

OH, and did I mention the other day he wore a bridle for a few minutes? nom nom nom....

More fun tomorrow!

Your daily AWWWWWW....some!

Super thanks to my friend for capturing this moment!! This one is going to be framed :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Splish Splash

So... Danny had another adventure today. We hauled for a trail ride with friends. He was fine with the other two horses and even made friends with Saint. The great dane pup that was almost as big as him didn't bother him either. :)

We enjoyed the trails and only had one little issue... our first creek crossing!!! Uh oh!!! It took a good 20 minutes and me getting off Fleck and putting the other horses on the other side of the creek and down the trail to get him over it. But then.. he was fine. Crossed back over it twice with minimal fuss and then crossed two other creeks like they were no big deal. What a smart smart baby!!!! Perhaps a bit stubborn initially, but once he got it, he got it.

Then we went to the lake and he was curious and ventured three feet it. He even watched the other horses paw and splash in it and started pawing too. Then he saw Fleck splashing with his nose and copied him. Awwww :)

Then we finished up and he loaded up in the trailer first with no fuss!

Another great adventure :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Baby Brain OVERDRIVE!!!!

And baby does AWESOME!!!!!

So... Danny grew up some today and proved how wonderful he is. :) I decided that I would take him to my trainers for a lesson for us both. That way I could be sure I wasn't going to ruin him and not get hurt too. Not that he was being vicious, but I wanted to make sure I was doing things right and not going to make things worse. Because let's face it.. he's a teenage(?) boy. So...Peri needed a jump lesson so we decided we'd go together.

Well first he got another trim and he was most excellent for Kip. No fussing, fidgeting, biting, or anything. Just chewed on the lead rope and was playing with it. So then just as we finished, Peri pulled up. Danny walked right onto the trailer with Sunny and was like "Hey dude, what's up?". He hauled great and was calm and chill when we arrived at Wishing Tree a little over an hour later. Oh, and we even made a pit stop at chick-fil-a and he hung out quietly in the trailer.

So we arrive at Wishing Tree and it's off to "school". Beth spent the first 20 minutes teaching him about body language. Basically he had to learn that humans have a personal space bubble and he needs to stay out of it. He tends to crowd people. Then he had to learn that squared shoulders facing him mean stand and when those shoulders come towards you, you back up. So after he got the hang of it... which I will admit, took about 20 minutes really, but you can't blame him because I haven't taught him that so it was new. So anyways, then it was my turn. It took me some getting used to, but I caught on a little quicker than Dan. ha ha! But he was really good for me too!! I was a little worried he'd test me, and he did a little, but very quickly caught on to the "game" and was fantastic.

Basically... he needs to stay out of my bubble unless invited in. I invite him in by turning my shoulders parallel with him. He can then come to me but must stay beside and slightly behind me. Then he gets snuggles. When I square my shoulders perpendicular to him, he must stand and stay still. When I step towards him, he should back up. And when I'm happy with him backing up and want to let him know he's done, I can take a step back. Then we worked on him standing while I walk around him. As long as I remain squared to him, he has to stand. We also worked on yielding to pressure... when I tap him with the whip on his shoulder or hind end, he should step away from me. Forward doesn't matter.. it's not what I want, but not a bad thing, but he must step out and away. That's a little harder for him, especially on the right side. So we both got the hang of it with only a little bit of miscommunication.

Then we worked on our triangle. We walked and then trotted. And wow!!! What a difference! He wasn't crowding me, no rearing, no putting his head in towards me, and he stayed with me. He didn't run ahead. It was great!!! FEH here we come!!! We have a chance. It was actually quite cool too because I could almost half halt him just by starting to square my shoulders but not. Just neat stuff. I just need to run faster! Hee hee..Show off that trot!

I really think this will be such a huge help with us. He really wants to learn and was really smart about it.

Afterwards he got a sponge bath and hung out in the roundpen while Sunny had his lesson. Then Sunny got hosed off and he watched so we decided to try the hose with him. Well, doing it in the washrack was not a good idea. He was scared and got into my personal space! So we decided to go outside and Beth and I stood in the middle and basically sprayed the hose near him and just let him circle us. Eventually we got the spray on his feet, then his chest, and finally all over and he settled down and stopped circling. Within 15 minutes he realized it felt good and got his first true hosing! :) Yay!!

He loaded right up for the ride home and hauled like a champ!
And then to make my day even better.. Flecky came screaming and galloping up when we got home. He even bucked and cavorted around. YAY!!!

So yep.. BIG day for Danny.. I think he's going to sleep well tonight. But he surpassed my expectations. I have big hopes for him. :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Water Trough Toys

AHA!!! I found out exactly what is happening to my water buckets!!!
Danny strikes again!

But he's so cute how can you not laugh??

Oh Daniel......

Danny and I had to have words... Naughty words!

Ahem.... Daniel (notice I called him Daniel, not Danny or Dan... that's his naughty full name!) has been getting into trouble lately! But... I can't blame him. I've been working so much and so worried about Fleck, he's been ignored really. And he's bored, so he gets sneaky!

But luckily he's still a really good baby. And the naughtyness all stems from bored little boy.. not viciousness or badness.

So the first funny incident was when I went to feed the other night. I had a REALLY bad day already... and was hoping the horses would cheer me up. Ha! I walked into his stall as he did and as he turned to get to his feed tub, his butt came towards me and essentially ran into me. Then Danny realized that I was at his butt, so the turd started backing up and essentially squished me between the wall and his butt!! And kept pushing, but it was just so slow and soft it was funny. It was kinda like... hey, let's see what happens?! I was sorta suprised and had the feed in my hand so I couldn't even really poke him. I just flailed a bit and laughed. Luckily he didn't really squish me and moved off within a few seconds. Goofy!

So then the next naughty incident is a little bit scarier! I'm hoping I did the right thing. We tied up to the trailer and got groomed and then I rode Fleck so I let him back out. When I came back with Fleck it was Danny's turn, so I recaught him and then led him to the front field via the driveway. So he had to leave the herd. And he did well with that. The grassy snacks helped ;) Then luckily Fleck and Roany came down to the other side of the driveway so he had company without really having company. We worked on in hand stuff and he was going great at the walk. Although he keeps grabbing the lead rope in his mouth, right at the snap part. Which means I don't really want to use that to control him because it's in his mouth. But... sometimes he didn't leave me a choice! So anyways, then we progress on to trotting in hand. And he starts out okay but then starts to crowd me. I haven't figured out how to poke him with the whip to keep him off me yet, but we were figuring it out. Or I was using my hand. Well then he would get excited and start to canter and somehow, everytime he did and I stopped him, he'd turn into me and then go up on his hind feet. That boy is TALL! So... I don't have a long enough whip to smack him with so I just shake the lead rope and yell. And he comes down and we carry on. Well.. he got to the point where he was doing this repeatedly and it was starting to get a little scary as he managed to paw my arm once. Barely grazed me but still. And that was the time too that the rope got tangled so I had to let go. So I'm screaming bloody murder now. Trying to put the fear of God into him that this is BAD NO NO! Because yelling is my only way of punishing him at this point. So then he takes off and gallops a little lap. Then walks right up to me. We carry on again and then I notice him snaking his head towards me. He's quite funny... You can see that he's trying to play and trying to judge whether it's okay. So then he nips me and he gets the smack down. So then everytime he snakes his head towards me, I smack him! Trying to avoid his head but aiming for his neck, but I will admit to occasionally getting him on the muzzle. It hurts! So.. then he starts thinking... and I realize that if I give him more play in the lead rope and wave my hand a bit, maybe he'll back off and stay in HIS space. It works :) And I could see the wheels turning in his head.... "hmm, perhaps I'm not supposed to bite her... or rear...".

So I'm HOPING that I'm doing this right and not going to ruin him. I don't want him head shy or fearful, but he also can't be rearing and pawing and biting!! That's not allowed. And we have the FEH show in August, so he's got to be able to trot in hand. I'd LOVE to do it myself and certainly don't want poor Anke to have to deal with the rugrat if he can't behave himself. So... fingers crossed I'll do it right and fix this bad habit.

Then he behaved himself and the big horses were heading back up the house and I didn't want to get into that argument,so we finished. (As an aside... just after Danny reared up and pawed me... Roany wandered away. Fleck started to follow but I yelled to him and asked him to stay so that Danny didn't kill me... because if they left I figured Danny would get upset on top of already being in trouble from me... and darn if Fleck didn't plant himself there for about ten more minutes!!). But I made him WALK politely with some halts in between back to the barn where the big horses were. And he did :)

So... I'm thinking he's going to be tough in the sense that he'll want to be naughty and playful, but easy because he seems to be a quick learner. And none of his behavior was nasty.. it was more play or silly baby boy seeing what was allowed and what wasn't. Why on earth they think slapping human heads would be allowed... is beyond me ;) ha ha!

Hope we both survive this!