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!