Saturday, March 30, 2013

But back to super star!

So... Danny was good today again! I put a D ring in his mouth with his new Micklem bridle and he mouthed it a bit but then pretty much ignored it afterwards. We went long linging again but I attached the lines to the bridle's side rings, not the bit. That way I was still pulling on his halter, not on the bit. He did well today!!! Not really wanting to go forward or quickly but he was much less reluctant and took much less convincing. And he's really getting the hang of turning. We went back and forth and over the freshly redug draining ditch. He was great. 

So then I took the lunge stuff off and just had the micklem bridle and bit.. with the lead attached to the noseband, not the bit. We did some trotting in hand. Danny's goofy... He was really good although he spent the first few strides trying to grab the lead in his mouth. Once he got it in, he was content to trot along side quite politely. Turning is still a work in progress, but he's soooooo much better than he was last year. Yay!!! I really am digging the micklem for him. At least for now anyways. I'm hoping I can use it at the FEH shows. Or at least a bit. It's funny though how he doesn't chew on the bit... although I only have a metal one. I need to buy him a rubber chewy one. Or maybe I don't???? 

Anyways... he was a good kid today. Poor Fleck felt left out though and was following us around. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

And there it is....

I have a feeling this is how it's going to go for Dan. Start out awesome... then when he's done it once and knows the drill.. that's when the antics begin. ;) But he's still a pretty good kid. 
It poured the last two nights but I went ahead and did some work. We started out in the round pen and lunged both ways, just at the walk. He got the halt down, so I put on the long ines and off we went. He was NOT forward today. So I tried to encourage it with the whip.. .nothing. Encouraged again a little harder... nothing... encouraged again and.. maybe a bit too much this time as he kicked out at me! Twerp! He's got good aim! He managed to get the whip but nothing else. Fine...he went forward though :) So then we just kept going and headed out of the round pen. He was pretty darn good but a little hesitant to go forward. But we managed, even without the whip. He's getting the hang of steering too! We even managed to go down to the right front pasture even leaving the herd!!! Of course the herd followed us after a bit, but still. I was very proud of him for being brave and leading the way. :) But then, when we tried to leave and go back to the barn, leaving the herd in the pasture... he said nope! Then we had a baby meltdown. He walked through the gate, stopped, and said nope... backed right back into the gate and tried to turn and run. I held my ground and after about a 5 minute fight (I say fight, but I mean, nope.. you will yield to my long line pressure and eventually go where I want), he gave in and went forward happily. We then went over two logs and I was nice and called Fleck and Roany back up near us. Then we figure 8'ed around two trees and had a nice halt and were done.

So... while there is a bit of "NO" in there... it's nice that he pretty much has his tantrum and then says fine and goes back to good boy. :) 


Thursday, March 21, 2013


Forwarning... total baby brag!!!!

I'm so proud of my little squirt! He just cracks me up. He is PERFECT!!! He's rowdy, goofy, funny, and a bit silly... but I love him. 

So... this morning I put all of my guys in their stalls after breakfast because Christina and I were getting baby lessons and she was bringing May over to use the round pen. So.. my three went in stalls and Christina and May went first. May was great!!! She was very well behaved for being in a new place and did very well with her first attempt at long lining. 

So then it was Dan's turn. I told Christina she could put May in Dan's stall and... Fleck was hilarious! May just stood there... and Fleck would half rear up and squeal!! Repeatedly.. the nuzzle her, rear and squeal, then bite at her, then rear and squeal! It was just sillyness. 

Anyways... We warmed Dan up with some lunging and given the antics of Uncle Fleck... he was pretty darn good. But he was silly. And maybe I'm just a biased Momma, but... he was just being silly and showing off. Nothing nasty or disrespectful, just... getting some energy out. And then....oh WOW!!!! He had this bouncy floating fancy trot!!! Super dressage diva trot!!! It was awesome. So we let him show off a little bit more and then we did some work. He ignored a lot of my downward transitions but wasn't horrible. Just didn't want to walk. But we made progress. Then we put the long lines on him and I showed Beth how we did. He wasn't as forward as May and took a bit more encouraging to walk on, but did well. I ended up with the whip again to tap him along. Beth said to use the whip in the middle/top of his hiney for forward and to use it on the left side to turn right and the right side to turn left. So he yields away from the pressure. So in essence, I'm almost teaching him leg aids too. And if I don't have the whip, rather than jiggle the reins to walk on... slap them on his sides by waving them. 

So... she was so impressed she opened the gates and we went out into the pasture! hee hee... It took some cajoling to get him to go up the hill away from the barn but once we got him going, he was pretty good. So we did some obstacle courses around the trees, figure 8'ing them and circling back around, etc. We did some halting. The first one took quite a bit but then he got it. And then we headed back to the barn, where he was much more forward! But he halted politely and we were done! Such a good baby!!! He got snuggles and cookies and then he was free to go. I'm so proud of him!!!

Beth said to do the pasture stuff for a bit and I could even put a bit in his mouth but still attach the lines to the halter. She said in about a month or two.. when I didn't have to use but a smidge of pressure to turn/halt/back up/etc... then we could try it at Ashland or someplace new. Wheeee!!! More fun! And she said that this was good because it taught them to be brave and go forward without having a lead horse. 

And then.. one more brag... this afternoon I brought home a trailer full of hay. The horses were all in the way and pestering me so I opened the gate to the front field so I could unload the hay peacefully. Roany went charging off and Fleck saw and took off too. Danny was snooping on the other side of the trailer and didn't notice. When he did, the two big ones were already down the path, so of course, Dan took off the wrong way. He went to the other gate, which was closed. So... I walked over there and went to open it for him. He took a 4 second snuggle with me before he galloped off. AWWWWWWW

Have I mentioned that I LOVE THIS KID!!!!??

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Smart, but Sassy!!!

Daniel got in trouble today!!!!! Hee hee... You know it's bad when I call him Daniel! ;) We're having a lesson with Beth tomorrow so I figured I better get him back in a learning mind set. Good thing I did because he was in a play mindset! I took him to the trailer which was parked in the front yard and groomed him. He was behaved for that. Then I walked him onto the driveway to measure him while I still had Peri's measuring stick. Holy smokes!!! 15.3 and a half at the butt and wither! And still not quite 2. Okay... I'm VERY happy with 16.2 to 17 hands, but after that... stop growing please! I'm thinking that's exactly where he'll end up though, so... fingers crossed he doesn't have another big growth spurt before he turns two! 

So then I decided to lunge him in the front field so that I could trot him over some ground poles. I made the mistake of taking the dogs out with me. We got started and he was fresh and Emma was chasing him so he kept pouncing on her. And then trying to bolt off. So I finally got her tied to the fence and went back to him. It took a LONG time for him to quit being so rambunctious but he would listen. And I was able to keep him from getting loose every time so he never won. He settled down and would lick and chew and then try again, but each time he went longer between tries. Finally he calmed down and was listening and we worked on the transitions and commands. Then we moved over to the other side of the field and trotted over two ground poles. He's getting it!!! He got lots of praise when he was good, because of course.. when we moved to the other side he got rowdy again. 

But it does seem to be more of playfulness than true nastyness or lack of work ethic. He's just trying to see how much he can get away with. And he's smart and enough of a people pleaser that he figures it out. Of course I could be biased, but... I think he's going to be phenomenal! :) 

So we did some more work on transitions to end on a good note after the trot poles and headed back in. I let him graze in the front yard as a reward while he dried off. We both got a little sweaty. 

So we'll see how tomorrow goes. He's usually much better in the round pen so I sort of purposefully pushed his buttons today. I think the plan for tomorrow is to work on long linging/ground driving some more. Yay! Maybe eventually I can get him steering with a bit and can take him and ground drive him out at Ashland! He's just still a little bit too strong for me without the chifney and since the chifney rubs him, I don't want to use that. And I don't want to give him the opportunity to realize he's bigger and stronger than me and get away. So... we haven't done much ponying. Though today I realized how much I LOVE rope halters! So perhaps we'll try again and bring the chifney along just in case. 

I do love this kid though!!! I have a feeling he's going to be phenomenal!! And a ton of fun... but lots of excitement :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Long Lining Success

I think I may have the smartest baby ever!!!! So like I said.. no work with Dan in awhile, because of work, weather, etc. So since Fleck pulled a shoe and I didn't want to risk riding him and making him lame for Pine Top... it was Danny day!

We groomed... Ugh, the hair! He is definitely shedding out! And then we went to the round pen and practiced our lunging and our transitions. Not so good with the downwards this time. Doh! And he certainly had some moments of naughty! Mostly just feeling good and being silly. So we got some good work accomplished and even did a few jumps! He would jump it the first time, then stop to try to eat it. No... jump, go, jump! ha ha! So then we did some work where I walk beside and behind him rather than true lunging and he got a little naughty, so we did a short bit of cantering on the lunge! Egads.. not my idea, but he wouldn't come down for a lap or two. So anyways, he did pretty good with the precursor to long lining so I went ahead and ran the lines on both side through the surcingle and stood behind him.

 Walk on... tap with the whip.. and he did!! We did about 10 minutes of walking and turning and even halting! Turning is not fine tuned yet, but he was really getting the hang of it! I'm so proud of him. 

Then I untacked him and he trotted over the jump with me again. Then he had fun playing with everything on the ground... his halter, the whip, the saddle pad. Goofy!!

I love this kid! 

Oh, and as an aside.... The other day when I brought Fleck back home, Dan came up to the trailer so I gave him a cookie. Well, then I left and heard Danny pawing on the trailer step bar. I came flying around the corner of the trailer swinging my lunch box at him, hoping to scare him and teach him not to paw the trailer. That's not exactly what happened.... Ha! He looked at me... and said "Well, where are my cookies?"! ha! Flinging lunch boxes are apparently not scary. So.... I guess he's pretty spook proof!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Just a quick brag

So... today is in the middle of my 200 hrs of work in 3 weeks stint, so poor Dan hasn't had much work. BUT... this morning as I was leaving for work I noticed him having fun in the front pasture. Hee hee... He was doing his morning laps. It was hilarious. And then tonight, he came up to say hi when I got home. Emma was trying her hardest to get him to play with her. She was chasing him, running at him, barking at him, etc... and he just ignored her. Like a good good pony!

So yeah... I heart him!!!