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. ;) 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

More dressage practice

So... first though.. I have a naughty baby story! On Friday it got super cold so I bundled up the ponies. Even though Dan and Roany have hair, because it was getting down to the 30's. So Danny got to wear his new county blanket. It's nice!! And so pretty. But it didn't have leg straps, so I was worried he'd shimmy out of it overnight. But I figured he had hair, so it wouldn't be the end of the world. Well... I woke up Saturday morning to freezing cold weather and Danny still snuggled in his fancy clothes. But then... I see Fleck! Poor freshly clipped Fleck..completely Naked!!!! Danny had pulled his clothes right off him!!! Flecky was PISSED!!! And cold! Poor guy.... Naughty Dan. So that night, they all got leg straps!

So yeah.. anyways, I took him and Fleck both to ride tonight. I was only on Dan for 30 minutes but he was super good. We practiced our test again and worked on the canter departs some. He was good but fussy with his face. He was bouncy too! Not bad or bucking or anything, but he kept bouncing up and almost felt lame her and there. But once he moved forward, instead of up!, he felt perfectly sound. Goofy boy. But he's making progress. :) :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dressage tests on a drunken baby octupus!

So... turns out baby horse CAN stay in the arena. :) Hee hee. We had a good lesson with Beth. We worked on a few things....  I need to remember to practice the stretchy walk. He did get it by the end. But it took a few tries. Of course that's my fault for not making the effort. Then Beth told me that I needed to keep the connection from now on. It's time to start making him aware of the connection - he doesn't have to be on the bit or even connected yet, but he needs to start to feel me at the end of the reins. And when he does, he fusses. So I need to remember to keep the connection even when he's fussing. When he settles, then I can soften but if I relax when he's flinging his head around, he'll learn that flinging gives him a reward. By the end, he was really doing pretty well with his head and I was doing a good job of keeping the connection and softening when he softened. So then we did a canter both directions and he picked up the lead both ways. Yay! But again, I need to remember to hold the connection a little bit in the transitions, even coming down. 

Then we ran through Intro Test B and C. We stayed in the ring and we did all the movements. We were awfully drunk coming down centerline. We drifted off the rail in the corners. We ran into the canters a bit. But we did it. :) So maybe we can survive Barlyn. Although I realize that riding through the test at Ashland is a whole different ball game than a test at a new place with wild animals next door in a show atmosphere!!! Eeeks.. maybe we won't be able to stay in the ring. :) 
I'm excited though. We'll see how it goes! I have a feeling Fleck might behave worse than Dan. ;)