Sunday, October 7, 2012

GOOD baby!!!!!

Danny boy was GREAT today :) I'm so proud of the little pipsqueak! I'll be honest... I haven't done much with him lately. He's just been... a horse. But today I decided to do a bit of work with him. Partly because I had time and partly because he made it blatantly clear he was bored and wanted to play! 

First he got groomed and then he wore a bridle for about 10 minutes. He chewed the whole time, but didn't really do anything else. It's Roany's old bridle... it is cob sized and it fits him everywhere except the noseband. That barely fits! I'm not really sure why... I don't feel like he has a big nose???? Oh well. Then I put his new Chifney bit in... (or is it Chutney?? Why can't I remember that?!). It's the ring/bit thing they use for stallions and racehorses. I didn't have the crownpiece for it so I didn't make him wear it, just put it in his mouth. He did not like that much better than his bit. But you know, at least this way I can have some control when he gets bouncy. 

 hee hee.... Goofy boy!

Then I put his regular halter on and we did some in hand work. He's a bit off from where he stepped on his heel bulb and it's now sloughing, but he was good. We did the "you stay at my shoulder no matter what" game.... I sped up, he followed. I slowed down, he followed. I halted, he halted. I turned left, he turned left and I turned right, and he stopped and let me turn around him. We even did a few little short trots and he behaved!! (Without the chifney... hee hee... he's trying to prove he doesn't need it, I guess!). No turning at the trot yet... baby steps again! 

So then... I took him to the round pen and did two circles each direction of "lunging" on the lead line. Just at the walk. I was aiming to get him to respond to my body position and also to learn to respond to voice commands. He was good so I took the lead off and tried it with him loose. At first he bounced up and came at me - wanting to play! Not menacingly. I growled at him and chased him back and then made him back up. Even though it was play.. I am NOT a play friend. So then he went left and then right with my body positioning and then I got brave and asked for the trot. :) He was pretty darn good!! He took a few canter strides at first, but then trotted and then walked when I asked. I did each direction for less than a circle really. Then I asked him to halt by squaring my shoulders and he did. Then I looked at him and he lowered his head and licked his lips. Then I turned to the side and he walked up to me!!! YAY!! So he got TONS of praise and then dinner. 

I'm just so proud of him. And a little bit of me too. Maybe, just maybe, I can create a nice solid citizen of a horse.  

Oh, and then after dinner we were snuggling... waiting on Roany to finish eating. And I started scratching the insides of his ears, like how Fleck likes it. He was enjoying it. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

So long sweet summer

Dan and Fleck and I hit the trails again today. Dan was REALLY good! I swear, sometimes I think he speaks English. We started out in the XC field and Lucy was driving around. He was good but started to get a bit cheeky, being out in the open field. I told him to behave himself so that Lucy would continue to let me bring him. And he settled down and behaved. Then we hit the woods and he was so much better than last time. He only chewed on his lead rope a few times and when I pulled it out of his mouth.. he got the hang of it and quit trying. And he stopped and planted... and after about 10 seconds, he yielded to pressure and carried on. He tried it a handful more times, and each time, the planting lasted less and less time. By the middle of the ride, he would move on as soon as the lead started to get taut. AND... we crossed four creeks with only a plant at the first one. And that was farther back, not even at the creek. So whoo hooo! Progress!! I don't think he's scared.... I think he's stubborn. Ha!! Imagine that!! But he's smart too and figured out that it's not working, so why bother.

Then I was giggling at him and Fleck because anytime Dan got a smidge ahead of Fleck's barrel, Fleck would whip back with her GRRRR face and snarl at Dan. Hee hee... I couldn't help it.. .it was funny. Even though Danny really didn't deserve it today. I don't think he chewed on Fleck once!

So we did a smidge of trotting but Fleck's other hind shoe became loose, so... we walked the rest of the way. I told Dan he needed to pay attention to the scenery because one day it would be just me and him and he had to be on the look out so he could protect me like Fleck does. And Darn if he didn't... he seriously started looking around. He almost even spooked at the waterfall! And not that I want him spooky... but I think he focuses on just Fleck and it doesn't dawn on him to pay attention. To the point that when it's just him and I... I get the feeling the trails are going to suddenly be scary because he didn't pay enough attention when we are out ponying. We'll see though.... who knows!

Anyways... after our trail ride I did a little bit of in hand work. He was decent... especially considering it's been awhile. He is really good about staying with me at the walk, but once we start trotting, he still gets carried away. But he was better... I stuck to a nice slow jog and he did pretty good... aside from the sudden blow to my thigh. I honestly don't know where it came from... not sure if it was aimed at me or I was just in the way of a "dance move".... ??? It didn't hurt bad, but he got backed up halfway across the ring... and through the water puddle I might add. :) Which, earlier he had walked through without skirting around it, so yay.

So we finished on a good note, he loaded right up and home we went. It was a good day!