Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sooooo much Chaos... AND Danny barely contributed!

Chaotic lesson.... one little uproar but then all good decisions. Really stepping up to the plate. Leg yielded on the rail then shoulder in on the other side.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Fun Continues!

Another fun day. The weather mostly held off again! Liz ended up riding at home instead of riding with us because she was afraid she was going to get rained on. But it still ended up being Me, Kelli, and Peri. The jumps were still set up from yesterday. Doh! My eyeball is so off. They were all between tadpole and beginner novice. Ha! Well, the one fence was a legitimate maxed out beginner novice, but the rest were under BN. Oh well. He was still good and was still getting more adjustable. :)
So anyways, Peri was feeling a bit nervous so we dropped the fences down to tadpole and amoeba level and took turns popping around them. Danny was super good today too. Me not so much. ;) I took a few fences to get my act together and messed us up, but Dan just kept trooping around. Gah... he's such a hunter!! Seriously.... he was like a metronome..... 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3.... But he was figuring out the cantering fences part and even moved up a hair and held a bit to get a better distance over some of them. Yay!!! Baby boy is growing up.

I'm so excited about showing him this Spring. Still not sure how we'll do out on XC. There's a little part of me that hopes he gets a bit more animated and really doesn't end up being a hunter. But I think we'll be okay. He loves to gallop! :) And he's still a ton of fun to ride.

Egads... get it together Momma!

Go Baby Boy!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Super Star

Danny was SUPER today!!

We went to Ashland and it was so nice to have a whole day to just ride. I forgot my watch and it didn't even matter. It was awesome. I met Kelli first and we rode together, me on Fleck and her on Arwyn. Then afterwards, I met Peri and George and we rode with Dan. I thought he might be a little bit of a stinker because he's been so bored, but he was great! 

We headed off for a nice walk trail ride. The rain has been unreal so it was so slick it really wasn't conducive to anything else. Especially not a gallop! Danny was a little light on his feet starting out and went up once but mostly just bounced in place for a few seconds every now and then. He started in the lead but towards the end, he got in the back. We crossed the creek and he wanted to say hi to L.E. so he hung back. Well then he was stuck back there. It was funny because you could tell he was getting grumpy because they weren't walking fast enough and he wasn't in front. Every time he'd throw in a little crow hop thing, L.E. would turn and shoot him a dirty look. Hee hee. But he behaved himself really. 

We finished up at the jump arena because I wanted to jump again while I still had the demo saddle. You know, just to make 100% sure... ;) And he was awesome!! The fences were all pretty low. Maybe beginner novice, maybe one or two at novice, but maybe not. Maybe they were closer to tadpole/BN. It's so hard to tell. They looked tiny on Fleck and I thought they'd be perfect for Dan but then when I was on Dan they looked a little bigger. ;) But he was PERFECT!! (So... I measured... the one vertical at the one stride was legitimately BN, the rest were tadpole to beginner novice. Doh! My eye is shrinking!! But still, he was great!)


Well, aside from tripping two strides before the ground pole (luckily just a ground pole) and almost face planting and then tripping two strides after a fence. ;) But really.. he was awesome!! He jumped around like a normal horse. He's getting adjustable even!! And he seemed like he was jumping like a normal horse and actually picking up his shoulders and knees. Yay!! So proud of the little guy. And... I LOVE that saddle. :) Yay! Going to order it on Tuesday when I take the demo one back to Cindy. 

So yep... It was a good day. :) 

Christmas Day!

 I mentioned it was a really wet and warm Christmas right?!? Ugh.

Merry Christmas Danaroo!

Thursday, December 24, 2015


So... Christmas Eve was really weird this year. It was storming. Like rolling thunder and near continuous lightning. Crazyness! You can hear it in the video.  Danny's goofy

Which means it was wet. And we didn't get to ride. Sigh... Danny was so bored. So I gave him some of his Christmas presents early. As much as I'd thought he'd like them, he wasn't too impressed. Sigh... Punk! ;)

So I couldn't stand it and the rain finally let up, so I hopped on Fleck bareback and we went for a walk about. Of course Dan had to follow and try to make things interesting. ;) 

 And then he got Roany started in on the shenanigans. :) But I'm so glad that the old girl still has it! She put up quite the fuss. :)

Oh, and while on our walk about... we looked for the hood that Danny tore right off his blanket a week or so ago. We didn't find it. This was all we found. How on earth?!?!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

And He's Off!!!!!

 HOLY MOLY!! Danny has some go in there! The twit is not allowed to be behind my leg in the arena anymore. It... was.... AWESOME! And TERRIFYING! hee hee. So... let me back up.

We went for a quick hack because I knew my riding time would be limited with the holidays and weather coming up. And I was feeling a little lazy and didn't have company but really wanted to try out the conquest on him again. So.... we got to Ashland and it was insanely crowded. And finally chilly and breezy. I ended up riding Dan first since it was so crazy busy and especially in the jump areas. Probably a good move as it was crowded enough that Fleck and I ran into multiple people and all the rings were booked. 

By the time I got on Dan it had settled down immensely and Dan was great. Even with the weather he behaved himself very well. There were no antics! So we headed out to the woods. There was a small group in the XC field so we just carried on. Dan was great but I could tell he was ready to do more. I had put the wonder bit in just in case. I actually really like that bit with him. At least in the field. He feels like he wants to go into it but respects it. So he was very politely asking if he could go faster but not pulling or yanking on me. I made him behave for a little bit since we had just started and he did. We had a very polite but big trot and a very polite small canter. So then we did a little bit of a bigger canter along the three creek path on the sandy side. He was having fun but I didn't let him get too big because we ran out of time and footing. I told him once we crossed the creek and as long as he behaved til the hill, he could go all out up the hill. 

So I let him. I said "okay" and he rocketed up the hill! It was intense! I don't know how we made it up the hill so quick. It felt like it took all of 6 strides before we hit the top and then I let him go down the path almost as fast as he wanted. I still didn't let him all out because ....well, he was flying already. Seriously... it was like riding Man-o-War! He was asking but listening. And we were flying!! It was soooooo much fun and just a little bit terrifying! I got him back fairly easily as we hit the end of the straight and flat path. Thank goodness we didn't come up on anyone like Fleck and I did. hee hee. He had fun too!

So then we behaved ourselves back to the arena's. Ann was doing a lesson so I couldn't go in the jump ring so I did a quick short little hack in the dressage arena. And lazy potato head was back. Jeeesh. I guess he just wants to be a racehorse, steeplechaser, or hunt horse. ;) 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Grid Day

Danny is LEARNING!!!

Today was a fun day. We played with Peri and Kelli and kept up with them. :) Peri had set up two exercises. One was ground poles on a circle... so 3 on each quarter and then a small vertical on the fourth quarter. The goal was to canter them in an even number of strides and then also to use your ground pole as a guide for getting your distances. Or at least that was my purpose to them. It was a great exercise for Danny. And it clued me in too. He's starting to understand but I can't take my leg off to shorten the canter or I just cause him to trot. So we never quite really nailed it, but we got better.

Then she set up a grid. It was a one stride, one stride, two stride, bounce grid. Or something very similar. The striding was set a little bit so it was tight, then slightly long, then very tight. And the very tight was only 8 feet. We started with mostly ground poles but did have the bounce up. And.... you guessed it! Danny jumped the 8 foot bounce like it was an oxer the first time through. Oops! I ended up stretching the 8 foot bounce out a little as it just wasn't fair to ask Dan to figure it out yet. And Peri mentioned afterwards that perhaps Stephen did stretch it out a bit. Who knows?! But for Dan's sake we did. Because it was even pretty darn tight for Tess. So we did it again and he figured out to bounce it. We set up a few more fences in there and then went through again and then raised it a bit and went through again. And then we all quit with that as they were good. :)
Grids for the Danimal
But the exciting part was that Dan was learning! He was starting to really think and process going through rather than just flinging himself through. Yay!! Go baby!

So then we headed to the lake as a reward. Because yes... it is still 74 degrees in mid December! Dan had a blast. Tess did too. At one point Tess either lost her balance or tried to barrel into Dan to kick him... because she came flying into him butt first. Dan was a little clueless, but... it was all good.

Good day!

Dressage lesson

Danny had himself a big ol' Irish temper tantrum today. :) We started out great. I took him on a little hack around the farm and we saw the bridge out behind the barn. Dan walked right over it without even blinking. Then we headed to the arena and he was actually being pretty good. But Cindy noticed that our leg yields to the left were not quite working well. He wouldn't get his hind end over. Turns out, more specifically, he wouldn't adduct the left hind laterally to pull his hips over to the left. So Cindy had us leg yield on a circle at the canter. 
Going to the left was easier than going to the right. Going to the right he was happy to spiral in but when I asked him to spiral out he said NOPE. That was hard work so he quit. He broke to the trot. Then when I tried to get him to pick the canter back up and move that outside hind laterally, he had a meltdown! He went into a bucking, trotting, kicking spazz out. I finally got him back under control but it was still tough to get him to spiral out. So.. homework!

Sunday Hack

Today was a lazy hack. Peri and George ended up joining us so we kept it to a sedate walk. Or tried anyways. I got tacked up a little too early so Dan was ready to go while we were waiting on George and Peri. I thought if I worked him in the rings while I waited on them we'd be fine but the rings were full. And they were doing lessons so I didn't want to interrupt. So I did some work in the parking lot. And that didn't quite pan out. Dan went straight up twice. So... he got a little bit of a spanking and back to work we went. 

He was still a little up at that point and George and Peri were ready so we headed up to the jump arena and I just made Dan walk/trot/canter briefly. He just needed to get his legs moving. Then he was fine.

So then we had a very pleasant trail ride. :) No pictures, but I did do some photo editing. 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Beth Jump Lesson


Jumping bean

more jumps
Started wild... settled quickly over trot poles. THen jumped. Learning.... trying different things every time. Finally He's GOT THIS! Like a rolex horse. ;) Holy scope. :)


Saddle testing

nice hack

trying out the conquest. JUmped a few in stadium and then hopped over a few in the field.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dressage Tantrums

Dan was in a MOOD today!! I knew it was coming. He went up a few times and danced on our short hack about the farm before going into the arena for our lesson. He was pretty good once we got in and got started on our lesson though. We got a decent big trot and worked on our connection. Then Cindy had me do spiral in and spiral out at the canter. Oh man... That was hard work!! Dan threw a hissy fit and said NO! But I won... I always win. So far anyways. ;) 

So we picked up the canter and started spiraling in. It was hard to not let him fall, but if I thought about riding half pass, it helped. I'm not sure why thinking Half Pass, without the weight aids, helps me with the canter. But it does, so.. I do it. So then when I asked for the spiral in, but maintaining the canter, Dan realized it was hard and quit. But then I couldn't get him to pick up the canter. He kept trying to cross canter or pick up the wrong lead. Smarty pants... But nope, you still have to work. He put in some good bucks too. One of them almost got me off. But I persisted and we got it. :)

Lots of hard work, but it was good stuff. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Jumping Lesson

What a beautiful day in December! We headed to Silverthorn for a jump lesson with Kelly. He was MUCH better behaved today than the last time we were there. :) I was actually quite impressed with how good he was. I rode Fleck first and then got on Dan. They were doing a birthday party and giving pony rides in the jump ring. I got ready a bit early and headed into the ring. I was a little afraid that he would run down a kid or spook the pony with his antics. (Ha! I'm teasing... I know he wouldn't run down a kid). But he was good. I made him do "crouching tiger" a few times before I got on and he was quite distracted but behaved. So I got on and he walked and trotted and cantered like a big horse with no antics. He wasn't even spooky about the potential of the goats to reappear. And then at one point the kids were all running in the fields and he didn't even give them a second glance. Just one glance and he carried on. :) I'm such a proud mommy!

 So we started with our flat work and Kelly had me do a fun figure 8 leg yield exercise. We came across the diagonal and as we changed the diagonal, I asked for a leg yield back to the "rail". The same when we came around again. It was a good exercise to get him into the outside rein. Good exercise for any pony.

So then we started jumping. We just did a grid today to work on getting him to rock back and use his haunches and pick up the front end. He started the day off really not picking up his shoulders and just lolloping over. 
The beginning

So we started to up the fence height in an effort to get him to pick his knees up, and also worked on slowing him down so he had to rock back. And... it worked. He started to get it. I'm most pleased that he seemed to learn as the lesson went on. He would go to fast (translate... I would let him go to fast or encourage it) and knock a rail or hit it. Then when we'd slow down he would pick himself up better. It was good stuff and encouraging.
The end

So our homework is one stride grids weekly. With bounce poles. AND... generous one strides. There's no need to compress him yet. He can take the long one strides while he's learning. :)

Such a good kid today. And... we got invited to hound walk :) YAY! Ha.. I don't think we were invited last lesson, when he was so naughty!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday Fun

Today was a fun day! I finally had time to ride both boys. I hopped on Dan first and we started in the arena because he was a little bit up. Plus, I wanted to make sure we didn't need a "Shock and Awe" refresher. We didn't really. :) We had some nice work and got all our canter leads and got quarter line serpentines with no lead changes!! Both directions. Yay! We didn't stay in the arena long. There was trails to hit!

We headed out to the XC field and decided to pop over a few little things. I walked him into the water, up the bank and then down the bank and let him have a drink. He went in just fine. Then we trotted through the water and jumped the log a few strides out of the water. Then we headed over to the log stacks and jumped the little baby coop and roll top in a row. He was good and we trotted the first and then trotted the second. We then turned around to canter them and as he got near one, he realized his striding was off, so he broke to the trot to jump it. Smart kid! He's getting it.
We then headed towards the lake for a nice hack. We did some trotting and walking and of course, some cantering. :)

And then we found ourselves back in the XC field. Elizabeth was out there coaching a few people so we said hi and Dan savored the "oohs and aahs". It was a great opportunity to see how he was. Although had he been awful, I would have felt bad for messing up the other girls. But luckily he was really good. He didn't get rowdy or wild or anything. We left their group and he happily trotted off and then jumped the log up the hill. Although we did take that one REALLY long. Doh! I then circled back to the other side of the ditches and he jumped the log over there and then walked the BN ditch. Then I made him walk the novice ditch. And of course he was fine. We watched one of my clients jump a few jumps and do the water and Dan behaved while she was cantering past. :) Then we trotted the BN ditch and cantered the log up the hill again. He was super polite cantering up the hill even. Then as we were heading in, I decided that I would take advantage of the people being there and jump him over the BN red coop. They were all standing and talking so I figured we wouldn't interfere. And we trotted it, but he trotted right up to it and jumped it beautifully and cantered politely off. YAY! We'll quit with that. :)