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. :)