Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dressage saddle?

I went for a quick ride on Dan because I had a horrible headache and thought I might puke. But I really really wanted to ride him. I had borrowed a dressage saddle from a friend to see if it would work for him. And it's nice! Really nice. Dan and I had a good ride. But he was so fussy in the bridle. However, I figured out that I was tightening up on the reins a lot because he was being so fussy, which was making him fussy. Sigh. So I lengthened them and he was much more solid. I still tried for a connection, but it was on a longer rein. That seemed to make him happy. :) We didn't do too much and then we just went for a quick little hack after. But it was good to be on him.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Full Gallop Farm: Our second show outing!

Danny boy...oh danny boy. ;) I took both boys to Full Gallop for their schooling show. Dan hauled the 2.5 hours great and I got them settled in their stalls. I decided to go ahead and hop on both boys for a quick hack before dark. Dan did pretty well. He was a little excited but we had a decent ride. Meanwhile though Fleck had torn down his stall - kicked apart one board and pulled two halfway off. Jeesh! So then Dan was a good boy while I rode Fleck. I got them settled for the night and tucked in and then it was off to bed. 

Sunday was a bit of a rushed day with all that was going on. I took them both for a quick walk and even threw them in the paddock for a 10 minute romp. I rode Fleck first so Dan had to stay in his stall all day. And other than calling for Fleck, he seemed to handle it well. Finally it was his turn. I ended up rushing because I watched a friend go instead of getting Dan ready. I didn't quite think I would need as much time as I did. So I got on and headed over to the dressage rings. I didn't even have time to do any in hand work. The dressage rings were across the pastures in the neighbors farm so it was a good distance away. We trotted some of the way and all was going well until we got to the paddocks just before the dressage rings. Then it was a sudden stop, shoulder drop, and turn and bolt. I managed to keep him under wraps and got into the warm up area. He was quite naughty... the ring steward even asked me "are you sure you want to do this?"! hee hee. Not really! But I went ahead and headed out to the rings. There was only three horses out there, including us. They were waiting on test forms so I had a little extra time luckily. He was still being silly... occasionally squirting off towards the barns. But it wasn't anything super bad. The one girl went in and did her test and started to leave. I asked her to stay and she said she had to leave. The other girls friends said she would stay. Bless them!! They were super nice. She had a lovely test and then it was my turn. Dan was still being feisty. We had some good laughs at him and then in we went. I told the judge not to be alarmed, but I was just going to get it done. :) 

Intro B went okay. He cantered in both of our trot circles and our centerlines were quite wiggly and squirmy. He didn't halt very well, although perhaps I didn't prepare him propely. He's quite responsive to my seat and I think I got my handsy than I should have. But you know, we survived. I asked if I was okay to go ahead and do Intro Test C and the judge and my new friend agreed. So we went back in.
 Intro Test B
Intro C was a little better. We got both of our canter leads and we were a little less fussy. He did canter down centerline the second time. Doh! But not too shabby.
 Intro Test C
Point is... we accomplished it. It was a big step for him. Lots of wind, only one horse for company, he spent the night being stalled.... So props to the kid for getting through it. :)

Big boy Trails!

Danny and Fleck and I headed to the mountains for a trail ride adventure! We met up with Lisa at Fausett Farms in Dahlonega. Lisa rode Fleck and I rode Dan. It was a great place to ride. There was water, a wash rack, and great parking. The trails were nice too. Great views and nice wide trails for most of the way. Lots and lots of hills though. Steep hills!! And multiple paths with multiple distances. There was even a spot with a paddock for the horses and picnic tables and a lake. Super cool!! It only took about 2 hours to get there and that was with some construction traffic. 

Dan did great! He behaved himself and was a good sport about the hills. He was breathing hard!! But he did well and got a second wind and tried to throw in the occasional buck. :) Such a trooper!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Thank goodness!!! Danaroo feels better!

Great news!! Fleck and I came home from Pine Top to a very sound and VERY Spunky Danny! There was a giant hole in his coronary band where he had blown the abscess out. So phew!! So glad that's all it was. He was very glad that it blew too. 
Danny feels BETTER!!! 
So today he got to go to Ashland for a ride to prep for tomorrow. :) He was a good boy but a little fussy. I think I may have gotten a bit heavy in the rein connection, but I was trying to work on getting a connection. Sigh. I hope I do right by him. We worked on our leg yields and he wasn't too bad even at the trot. We worked on the right lead canter again too and poor guy. He really was trying the other day. It took a few tries but he got it again today. I learned a very important lesson today on him though. He's really bad about bulging out that right rib cage. Especially coming down the long side. I was getting frustrated because when he's bent against me, it makes it very hard to get him to pick up his right lead. Well.... turns out... he's bulding against my right leg because I have NO RIGHT SEAT BONE! Argh... Once I sat down on my right seat bone, he bent around my right leg and was so much better. Yay!!! Poor kid... He's not even really trained and yet here he is, already responding to my seat aids. 

The pressure is on! Now I really need to learn how to ride. 
So then we went for a trail ride because he worked hard. It was such a beautiful day too. I wanted to let him play in the lake. So off we went and he was great. We had to chase the geese away but he got to play in the lake and splashed. Then on the way home I let him canter up the hill on "Four Terraces". And oh my.... that canter!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that canter!!! It took a little bit to get him back down to the trot, but... I wasn't trying too hard. :) He actually comes down to the trot better when I start posting than when I use the reins. 

Love this kid!!! Tomorrow should be a fun day too. I'm hauling both boys to the mountains to trail ride with Lisa. She'll ride Fleck and I'll ride Dan. :) 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Boo boo

Oh sadness!!!

Danaroo is lame. :( Super lame. :( I'm hoping and praying that it's an abscess. I took him and Fleck to Ashland on Tuesday and rode Fleck first. I pulled Dan out and got on. It's been about a week again. Sigh, poor kid. And he was a bit sassy because there was a lot going on at Ashland being that it was a holiday week. He reared up a bit and we did a little bit of in hand work before I got on. Then I got on and he was pretty good but a bit sassy. There was people jumping in the jump ring and he could catch glimpses of them. At one point he let out a really loud alarm snort/blow thing and the people by the trailers stopped and looked. And then he bucked. ;) hee hee. Silly baby.

I managed to get him working and he was good. We did some trotting and worked on our lateral work. It was probably his best leg yields at the trot ever! So then we took a breather and I asked for the right lead canter. He was running but wouldn't pick it up and would scramble into the left lead. We tried about 3 times and then I took him left and let him canter. Then we tried going to the right again and he still wouldn't get it. After he ran into the left lead I brought him down to a trot and then I felt a lameness. I swear I didn't feel it before, but he was being sort of naughty so sometimes it's hard to tell because legs are going everywhere! Hmmm.... I trotted him a bit more and didn't really feel it. So then I walked some and then picked up the trot again and now I could feel it. I brought him back down to the walk and now I could even feel it at the walk. Weird....

So I got off and lunged him and going to the right he was super lame and super short strided. Good grief! So we went home and figured I'd see how he was in the morning. While I was feeding Fleck chased him down the hill and he scrambled and then he was REALLY lame. Dangit Fleck. :( Poor dude. So he got some bute. I was thinking it may have been a pulled muscle from playing in the mud. ??? It was just weird that it got so bad so quickly. And he didn't do anything under saddle that would make me think he'd hurt himself. There wasn't any slipping or even spins.

So then the next morning he was still pretty lame and really hesitant to walk up the hill. It's hard to tell if it's up high or in his foot. I didn't feel any heat or notice any swelling. Boo.....
The next morning I picked up his foot and picked it out and smelled something horrible. Like abscess! Yay!! But I only got a whiff and never found a spot. I put on a pad with iodine and wrapped his foot. He was holding it way up high and waving it around for about 5 minutes before he put it down. So now I'm hoping it's an abscess and he's sore in his foot and not a pulled muscle up high. Poor little dude... He's so owie but he still wants to play.

And the poor kid. He really was trying to get that right lead canter. Bless his little heart. I hope he feels better soon. If not, we'll go see Dr. Brown on Monday if we can.

New Clothes

 In green... because he's Irish. :) (Although Cindy Thaxton made my day by saying that he needed the blue blanket because it had the dressage horse on it. She said I was selling him short!). :) :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Grand prix moves! ;)

Danny was a great kid today!!! He hasn't been ridden since Barlyn so he's had a full week off. It's cold. Well, 50 degrees but it feels much colder and is brisk and gloomy out. I met up with a friend and we went for a nice hack. He started out good but I could feel him on his tippy toes. He threw in a teeny little buck or two but nothing major. We got past Halfshire and crossed the creek and then trotted some. He was really good but my friends horse was grumpy about being behind, so I let them lead. Unfortunately it was bad timing. ;) It was right at the part of the trail that is like ski moguls. So traversing that while Danny was pulling his head down and bucking and then leaping wasn't ideal!!! But I managed. And as usual, he's always just half hearted with it. So I made her let me lead again and he settled down. Then when the trail was more level I let her go in the lead again. And her pony is slow!!!! But Dan was good and settled down and was pretty darn good. We even did a short little stint of canter. She commented on how good he was!
So then she went up for her lesson and I rode Dan over to the cross country field to say hi to Kelly and Julie. Lucy was in her little car and was driving along the edge of the treeline slowly. It was rather wild animal like.... Dan freaked a bit. Not bad enough that anything happened, but he was scared and tried to bolt a few times. Then he pranced a bit. Then he backed up really fast but was underneath himself. Then he pranced. And then I managed to get over to Kelly who laughed at us and said he was fancy. :) So I didn't want to bother Julie's lesson so I carried on and he settled into a nice trot to go back to the trailers.

After my lesson on Fleck I told Kelly I wanted to ride Dan in a lesson next time and she said "okay, so bring your grand prix horse and Fleck and we'll play"! ha ha.. She laughed and said that he was seriously doing moves she had never seen before. hee hee...

I'm so proud of him. And he's soooo much fun to ride!! I'm trying VERY hard to take it slow. But he was thrilled to be out today too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dressage Debut!!!

Dannaroo!!! Such a good kid. :) 
We had our dressage debut. His first under saddle show! And he was actually better than I expected. :) Don't get me wrong... we had issues, but it was better than I expected. :) I bathed him on Wednesday and despite coming home and while still damp, rolling in the mud.... he stayed clean enough. He loaded and hauled fine and was alert but not stupid once we got to Barlyn. I tacked him up and as I went to put his bridle on an aged mare came galloping up in the pasture. So Dan grew an inch and was dancing but I managed to get him settled and get his bridle on. I did a teeny bit of in hand work and hopped up. I decided to ride him up by the ring rather than warming him up down by the trailers and then having to get him resettled up by the rings again. So we headed up. 
Hee hee. He was really UP! He was a bit overwhelmed with the sights but managed to keep it together. Mostly. ;) The first 10 minutes made me wish I had my safety vest on and I was a little worried we were going to be kicked out for safety reasons. But, he settled down once I could get his feet moving and he wasn't too bad after that. Phew!

We worked on transitions and just staying together and not running people over. ;) Then it was our turn. I took him in the ring and he was looky but not too bad. When they rang the bell I was awfully far away so I got a little rushed. Then some kids were running in the woods and Dan spooked. I think technically we should have been eliminated for not getting into the arena in time, but it was okay since it was a schooling show. I managed to get him in and start down center line. We halted.. and then tracked the wrong way. Doh!! Geometry isn't as important as staying on him. ;) Ha! And then, as I turned the wrong way, he stepped on the chain and pulled it off the post. So he bolted a few steps. I eventually got him back to the rail and the judge blew the whistle. Barb reset the chain and gave us both a few minutes to breath. So we started up again and he and I were both a little more relaxed. It wasn't pretty and he certainly wasn't soft or showing off his beautiful gaits. I realized that I had way too tight of reins and was trying to soften. But, he did everything he was supposed to and he even went back in the corner where the chain "ate" him without spooking. We finished... and everyone clapped. Hee hee. We survived!! We accomplished our goals... finished a whole test and stayed in the ring and I didn't come off. Success!! We scored a 54 and change. Doh! But that put us in 5th place out of 6. :) Yay!!! Not last!!

Our next test was pretty quickly after so I went back to the warm up area. I was thinking that cantering was highly optimistic, but.... there was no one else there, so... we cantered! And that really helped. He settled down a good bit and I got some nice work. 
 So back in the ring we went. I was a little more relaxed and so way he. I managed to pilot him more correctly and I thought we had a fairly decent test. He got both his leads on the first try. :) Yay! Good baby horse. Although I started my trots too early and halted at X instead of G. Doh. But that's okay. He did good. And we finished in 6th out of 7, so again, not last!!! :) I think we scored a 55 and change this time. Definitely didn't score well on submission. ;)
                                                                    Intro Test C

Then to make the poor kid deal with even more.... I made him stand around for a few tests so I could cheer on some friends. He was great though!!! He just hung out and made friends. Then he stood tied at the trailer while I got our tests and ribbons. Such a good calm baby!!! I'm so proud of him.
I swear he doesn't feel that big!! But I don't think I'm that much of a midget. ;) Anyways, we might do the Full Gallop Schooling Show in December. After that, he gets off til the Spring. Other than an occasional trail ride probably. He gets so bored! ;)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Trails for a break

So since Daniel has been a good boy and done dressage for three rides in a row, I figured we'd go for a little trail ride. Even though those three rides were spaced out and I wouldn't get another chance to ride him again before his dressage debut...I figured it was worth it. 

Well... Notice I called him Daniel?! He was a wild man! I rode Fleck first and then got on him and we headed out alone. He's normally pretty good alone but he was a bit hyper today! We did come up on two of those fox squirrels and one brave little bugger didn't move until we were literally on top of him. Danny could have kissed him. But Dan was brave too and the squirrel finally moved off. But then Danny wanted to go!! So we did a little trotting and cantering. Apparently his top speed at the canter was 18.5 mph! He was having fun. And I will admit that I was too!

 But then we came upon another horse and he got all excited. She was not friendly so they behaved well enough for a little bit and then Dan started to get antsy. So we headed on our way and then he was all mad and dancy! We were prancing and dancing and cantering in place. He was good though. He got up and down and bouncy but didn't take off with me. Though when I let him trot, he decided to canter, and then his canter got big. But he did come back pretty quickly.

We managed to settle down enough to get back to the trailers at the walk and together but he was a handful and still wanting to go. I ended up riding him for 3.5 miles and almost an hour. Egads little boy... We're supposed to still be taking it easy!!

I'm really thinking this show may not be so fun for me. ;)