Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Huh! Danny was the "good" one today. ;)

He really is a good kid! I rode both boys today and almost fell off Fleck. Because of squirrels. Meanwhile... I got on Dan and didn't have any issues with him. ;) Go figure. 

I worked on my straightness and thus hopefully Dan's straightness. And it seemed to work. He was really good. And he got both leads on the first try again. :) We mostly worked at the walk and trot but then finished with a canter both way. He is also not as fussy in the bridle now either. Yay!

Maybe we can do Barlyn next weekend. :) 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Windy day = not that bad of a baby

So... Dan has had quite a few days off. We've been taking it easy this summer with him, while focusing on Fleck.  Besides, he's 3. No rush! So he's just been chilling. However, that's boring for him!! He wants to play! So I've been trying to get him out and about, but it's been hard with work and such.
I finally had some time to take both boys out and lo and behold, it's a cold windy day. Well, cold and windy compared to what it has been! But still fairly brisk out. Poor Peri agreed to meet me and since Fleck and I needed to do some ring work and she wanted to trail ride, and I wanted to do some trails with company with Dan, I decided to take him out. Poor Peri. :) Luckily, her truck wouldn't start so I was able to get Dan tacked up and give him a quick little ride in the ring before she got there. Danny was actually pretty darn good!! For as icky as it was and as much time off as he'd had, he was good. Sure, he was forward and he put in a few little bucks and spins. But he really wasn't bad at all. And after a 15 minute walk and trot in the ring, I felt confident enough to let him have a little canter both ways. He picked up both leads on the first try!!! So after that, he was settled and we were ready to go grab Peri.
Lately we've been riding by ourselves because... that's just how it's worked out. He's gotten really good by himself. However, it seems like he's naughtier when we go with other people because he wants to play with them. So I was glad for the chance to ride with Peri. I didn't need to worry though as he was great! He didn't get mad being in the back and he was still good in the front. In fact, at one point, something spooked them and they both simultaneously dropped a shoulder and ducked. But then they both stood still and then walked off like nothing happened. It was great. He's such a cool cucumber. :) We had a lovely ride and he was great!

Such a smart cookie! And of course, he stood on the trailer like a champ while I rode Fleck. He's like "trailer?! I thought this was my home... it has hay. I'm happy!". :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Taking a breather

Danny has been a bit on the back burner lately. Partly on purpose (he's only 3!) and partly because of the rest of life. So we've done some ring work but mostly nice long trail rides. And I'm trying hard to not do too much on them. We try to stick to mostly walking. But I will admit that both of us really like to trot and canter. So we do some of that too! Man... his canter is so lovely! It's so hard to reel him in when it's so comfortable and pleasant. :)

Riding at home

Me??? Is it my turn?!!! YAY!!!
Silly Dan. I ended up having to split up the boys rides today because of chiro cases, so I decided that rather than haul to Ashland twice, I would ride Dan at home. I was just a smidge hesitant about it because of what had happened to Christina. (She had fallen off her baby while riding at home alone and had a severe concussion! She spent three days in the hospital). I was home alone and even if I texted Mike, he was in Atlanta, so a good ways away. But I figured I'd try him out and see how he was. So I got him all tacked up and headed down behind the barn to the ring. He was great until we got to the ring. His friends were up top. He wasn't bad, but I could tell he was starting to wonder where they were. Luckily at this point, good ol' Fleck came moseying down wondering what we were up to. I told him "Great! You stay here and keep up company"! And darned if he didn't. He walked up to Danny and gave him the evil eye... "You be careful with my Momma kid!" I could almost see him doing the fingers to his eyes and then to Dan thing... "I'm watching you kid!" he hee.
And no worries. Dan was pretty darn good. Every once in a while, he'd throw that shoulder out in the corner heading back to the barn and try to leave. But either he's really not good at it, or he's only trying half heartedly, because he never got more than a step or two out before I'd catch him and put him back to work. We got some good work and worked a little bit on the canter even. We did some spiraling in and out work and our leg yields too. That one direction is still harder. I even made him walk over the cavaletti's.
After our "ring work", I decided to walk through the woods to the front field to let him chill out. We started off and as we crossed the creek, I called for Fleck. He came trotting up and then let the way to the front field. :) (Have I mentioned I love that guy!?).
We had a fun little walk through the woods and in the fields and then we walked back to the barn and untacked. Yay! No excitement. He's such a good baby.





Growing up

 Wait a minute!!! When did the baby horse get so big!!??

We went to Beth's for a lesson and we worked on our leg yields today. We started off and he was a bit excited. We were warming up and circling the ring and he was being good but I could tell that there was some excitement coming. Beth just asked "Has he stopped bucking then?" when he leapt out! Hee hee. He really has gone quite a few rides without bucking, but I could feel it coming. But he's a good kid (or a lousy bucker) and they were easy. We put him to work and he settled quite nicely. We started off with the spiral in and out game and I had to focus on riding both sides of his body. He had to spiral in and out evenly, not falling in or out. It's harder than it sounds! Especially when he has his moments of feeling like I'm riding an octopus!
Then we did some leg yielding work. I bragged about how good he was and then of course we had issues. He's really good at only a step or two at a time, but when we tried to do centerline to quarterline, it was tougher. Especially going to the left. That's really hard for him. So we worked on it and I had to focus on keeping him straight, and using his hind end. Beth said I could even use the whip to tap his hind end over to help him understand what I was asking. Then we did a tiny bit of canter too. After I finished, we did some in hand leg yield work. Beth showed me how to use the rail to help him figure it out. He definitely has a harder time coordinating his body that way. Guess he may need an adjustment too. :) He was a good boy though and kept trying. :) We're making progress. He's going to be such a nice horse if I can manage to not screw him up!

Hacking and working in the ring

Awww... Danny loves his dogs. They love to play! It drives me bonkers because I worry, but they love chasing each other. Danny will run laps in the morning while I'm getting feed ready... with the dogs hot on his heals. It's great exercise for all. He's so careful about not getting them too. :) Good baby horse!

Lately I've been doing a bit of ring work and then a bit of hacking. :) Danny's really coming along nicely. We're getting better at getting the proper lead at the canter and can even make a full circle now. Our upward and downward transitions are more balanced. And we're working on square halts every time too.
He's a trail riding machine! Nothing really fazes him and he's so brave. The hardest part is telling him to keep it minimal and not canter every where. Which is hard, because his canter is so nice! :)

And we are WALKING

I've been making an effort to have Dan WALK on the trails. He likes to go and go and go, so we've been making an effort to make it a walk trial. Today at least. ;) Maybe I'm part of the problem. But we walked only today and he behaved.



Cause it was hot

Dan was a good boy so after I rode Fleck, I took them both down to the lake to play. Dan had a blast as always.

Hee hee.. What a goober!

FEH 2014: 3rd Place

My beautiful baby!!!
I decided to let the professional handler run him this year. It was hard... I'm very possessive. ;) But I thought it would be good for him and good for me. And I'm glad I did. He was a brat for his braiding, but considering his age and experience, he was fine. He hauled by himself great and was a good boy at the farm. We hung out with the other babies and... he's big!! We got lots of compliments on him and his behavior too!
Then it was our turn. I handed him off and stood back to watch. He was pretty good at first in the conformation part where he had to stand still. For a bit. Then he got bored and started to dance and leap up a bit. Doh! Anke did great with him and got him settled. They started off at the walk and he was a bit fresh. I was cringing when she went to start the trot because I knew what was coming. hee hee... And yep, he cantered. But she was able to get him settled and by the time he hit the third stretch of the triangle...... WOW!!! It was impressive! He floated!

I was giggling because you could hear the crown cringing and tsking while he was being bratty, but then... you heard their jaws drop when he hit that last stretch of the triangle. They went from "tsk tsk" to "!! Look at that!"!! It was awesome!! Such a proud mommy. :) I even had a few people comment after telling me how lovely he was. Some lady (who I'm going to pretend was a fancy dressage lady, but she very well could have been) ask me what my plans with him were. When I told her eventing, she  said "you should consider dressage!". Yay! :) He really was impressive. When I got him back from Anke, I apologized for his behavior. She laughed and said she liked him. She said they show better a little on edge and she was pleased with him. :)
We ended up in third place. We even won money!!! He was a little better behaved in the ring with his ribbon too. I'm so proud of this kid!! I cannot wait til we can really get to work and see how he blossoms!

Here's the video... listen for the sounds of the dropping jaws. ;) You can hear it. ;)

Danny's FEH video
And here's the slow motion version of that trot!!! Yummy
That trot!