Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trails again

So nothing too exciting but Dan and I had another fun trail ride with Fleck. We met up with Christina and Sham. Dan was pretty good. His new game is to take the lead rope in his teeth and pull back. Argh... so I had to rip it through his teeth a few times so I could get some leverage. But otherwise he was good and wasn't too goofy. We went to the lake again and he splashed around a bit. Then him and Sham were sniffing and starting playing with each other. It was cute... Sham would grab his lower lip and hold on... and Dan would grab Sham's bridle and shake. Then when we got back to the trailers and Sham and Dan tried to play again, Fleck got all big brother protective. :) Cute!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Splish Splash....

We had another fun trail ride! Dan behaved himself very well. We went with Arwyn and Kelli. We did about an hour of trails and Dan was pretty good. Fleck only had to get after him a few times. Then we went to the cross country field and hung out in the water while Kelli and Arwyn played. Dan was good about getting in and out and going up the bank. Going down the bank was a little tougher. He stopped and planted and said "nope" at first, but then after some careful consideration and some prompting by me... he said okay. It was so cute.. he hunkered down like he was going to launch.. and then calmly walked off the edge. Hee hee.. He got lots of praise and was so proud of himself. Then Kelli let me hop on Arwyn and both boys behaved themselves while Kelli held them. Dan just grazed and didn't pull away or get too nosy. And I had a blast on Arwyn. Then we went back to the trailer and Kelli took off her saddle for a swim. I left Fleck's saddle on... just in case Dan decided to try to pull me off!

The boys had a blast in the water. Dan is learning how to splash and play and seems very comfy in there. We then headed home and rinsed off. Dan loaded right back up and hauled great.

It was a most fun day!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dan meets kiddos

So... the other day my friend brought her kids over for some pony time. We let them feed the horses and even ride Fleck. But I was so proud of Dan!! I was a little worried so we were being super careful but Dan was great!!! He didnt' spook at the kids, didn't try to hurt the kids.. He just wanted to smell them! hee hee... (although they apparently did not appreciate that!)

He was even really good about taking cookies from them. They did the typical kid thing of holding it out and then pulling back as that giant nose came at them. But Danny didn't get greedy or nippy. He was such a good boy.

I'm so proud of him!!!

Smart Cookie

So.... we are back to work with Danaroo and he's got a new game :) It's called "stay with me and you get cookies... move too far ahead or behind and you get whacked with a lead rope". hee hee.... But really... if he stays by my shoulder... whether I speed up, slow down, turn, turn into him, stop, or do whatever.. he needs to learn to stay by my shoulder and match my pace and direction. If he does... he gets cookies and pets. If he doesn't... like he gets ahead of me... he runs into a twirling lead rope. I don't smack him with it... but he walks into it and smacks himself. I like this game!!! Dan, not as much. Ha! But really, he's getting the hang of it. So far we're really good at the walk. I'm aiming to translate it to the trot. I think it may help things. And... quite frankly, he's QUITE good about cookies... despite being a baby boy and oh so mouthy. So far, he's allowed to be fed cookies because he's being very good about it. Once he starts getting nippy he gets cut off.

So we've been playing that new game.... and then the "touch it" game. I hold something up or point to something and tell him to touch it... if he touches it with his nose, he gets praise and/or a cookie. He likes that game!

So yep.. it's back to work. We've done some more trail rides too and added in a bit more trotting and some logs. He's having fun. He's even starting to look around and notice his surroundings more. Rather than just chewing on Fleck. That makes Fleck happier too!

So yep... not too much excitement. But a happy boy!

Oh, and the chickens are braver and out and about now, so Dan has learned about chickens... and presumably... Roosters!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Brain Surgery!

So.... I was awfully worried about Danny and his castration. He only had one descended testicle and he didn't wake up well from his anesthesia the last time. Now granted, he had two testicles at one point... and Dewey did the same thing but once he was sedated, it popped back down. So... I was highly optimistic that he would do the same. And I was hoping that because it would be a quicker surgery, he'd wake up well. But I figured I'd play it safe and do it at UGA. That way if he didn't drop the second one... he could go straight to surgery and would only have to wake up once.

I dropped him off Monday morning and he was scheduled for surgery Tuesday morning. I came home with the empty trailer and Fleck about had a fit. He was soooo mad at me! He came screaming down the driveway following the trailer. Then realized it was empty, neighed, looked at me, at the trailer, back at me, the trailer, back at me. It was so sad! He was like "what did you do?" "Where is he!??". Poor guy.

And I should have been more worried, but I just knew in my heart he was going to be fine. For better or worse I think Dan and I are meant to be in it for the long haul. At least I hope so. Most of the time anyways ;) Just kidding...

So Tuesday Fleck and I had our dressage lesson so I decided to take Fleck to UGA with me and watch Dan's surgery, then we could go lesson and then hopefully take Dan back home with us. And that's what we did!

Dan did GREAT!!! It couldn't have gone any better. He went down smoothly an Dr. Mueller was able to pop testicle number 2 right up there. The gelding was routine and quick. He woke up perfectly. He waved his head around a bit and laid back down. Then he got himself sternal and stood there for a good bit. Then one good heave and he was upright. Yay!!!! After about ten minutes we noticed he had found the anesthesia hose and was flinging it around the room!! Ha ha.. That's my Dan... now back to your room!

So Fleck and I went and had a good lesson and came back and got the little rug rat. Him and Fleck were so happy to be reunited. Dan did well afterwards and seems to be suffering no ill effects. I'm hoping the lack of testosterone will improve things.

Our second FEH show

So I let Dan have a week off after the FEH show at the ARK. We didn't really work on anything, but he still had to behave for the daily stuff. Well, that might have been a bad idea. I finally decided that since the second show was coming up quick... I should get back to work. Unfortunately real work got in the way. But we got to it... and Dan was a big ol' butthead!!! He just didn't want to cooperate and only wanted to play. Sigh... So we tried again the next day and made a bit more progress. But it wasn't looking good for the show. They did have a professional handler, and I struggled with the decision on whether to use the pro or do it myself. Part of me wanted to do it myself. That's the whole point right? I mean, I'm not showing him to sell him or even for his show record. It's the whole bonding experience. To get Dan out and about and exposed. BUT.... it might be nice to see if the pro could do a better job than me. I really went back and forth pretty much up until 2 minutes to "post"! I finally decided to just man up and do it myself because the whole reason for doing it was to have US do it together. Probably not a good idea. Oh well... I'm not sure it wouldn't have gone much better with the pro. He was just naughty. I mean, he wasn't horrid.. except during the actual Judged part. ha!


He was decent for his bath at 0-dark-thirty. He was decent hauling by himself and then with May. He was decent for his braids, which did NOT look good. Last time they were too long. This time they were too short and kept popping apart! Oh well. But then it started falling apart. I think that there are some things I could have done that would have made it better, but I'm not sure that they were options. They put us in stalls and pretty much told us to stay put until it was our turn. Which... I understand... you don't want a bunch of babies running around getting each other riled up. And last year, that was the case. But.. that meant that Dan was locked in a stall, freaking out about May leaving him, and then he had no "warm up". I think if I could have jogged him around a bit and loosened him up... he would have been more wild?!? hee hee.. I don't know. I think it would have helped May for sure.. maybe not Dan so much. But anyways, he was okay but screamed for May the whole time. He stood still for a few minutes then started dancing and knocking over flower pots. Argh. Then we really didn't even walk the triangle. He sorta jigged it. Then our attempts to trot the triangle resulted in him cantering and spinning around me in circles. We finally got a few strides of trot and gave up.  But then... little turd.... I walked him back to the stall and he walked, stopped, trotted, stopped all in hand BEAUTIFULLY down the lane to the barn and past the barn. Really baby horse? Really?! I honestly think it's not that he doesn't know what to do. It's that he just wants to show off. Only he plays instead of showing off that lovely trot of his.

Sigh... so we got last place. 6th out of 6. The funny thing is... he got better scores on his comformation from this judge, so had he cooperated, he probably would have done better. We ran into the judge as he was leaving and thanked him. He said that he would have scored Dan better but he didn't really ever walk or trot.. so he couldn't judge us. Then he said "You know, you really ought to practice with him.. so he knows what to expect". Really dude? I almost kicked him. Argh... Oh well....

I do think hormones may be playing a role, so...after he was so naughty at home that Thursday... I called UGA Friday morning and made an appointment for him to be gelded. Ha!!! Take that Danaroo!

But anyways.... I was a little frustrated... and I'll admit it... I had myself a little cry over it. Not sure why, but... I did. BUT... a friend made me laugh.. she said that Dan was practicing for his XC. I thought, you know... they did say Future EVENT HORSE... which means cantering and jumping and galloping... So Dan was showing it off!