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!!!!??