Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday Danny!

Baby boy turns 4 today!!! Such a cutie pie :) I'm so proud of this little rug rat! He measuered 16.2 to 16.3 and a half, depending on how I was holding the stick. So he's not really a little squirt anymore. He's really turning into quite the superstar. I'm so lucky to have him. Despite his antics, he really is a GOOD kid with a bright future. I just hope I do right by him. 

He got some treats for breakfast and snuggles. And then we went for a short dressage ride. He was a good boy. I wanted to go for a long hack but I didn't have time. Besides, he got to celebrate yesterday really. :) 

And he rolled as soon as he got home. Wallowed I should say. He was filthy! But it's his birthday, so..

Last Day to be 3!

And oh what a day it was!! We celebrated and had a blast!!

We started with a nice long hack in the fields and woods and finished with a little bit of playing in the arena. Dan was pretty good and we had some nice upward canter transitions.

Dan behaved himself on our trail ride and we mostly took it easy, but we did some trotting. He was good. He behaved better than Arwyn. ;)
Then it was HOT, so we untacked and headed bareback to the lake.

Dnany got really into the splashing. Arwyn rolled. Dan did too but only once and he got up pretty quickly. We almost went for a swim too. He didn't but got almost deep enough.

This is where he rolled. Doh!
But it was a gloriously fun way to spend his last day as a 3 year old - being silly and goofy! Wheee!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beth Lesson

So... before my lesson with Beth, I ran into Joyceann and we were talking. Danny was apparently bored so he took the whip and was playing. Joyceann documented it. Hee hee. 

  Ewwww, look how slobbery the whip is!

After the antics, we got started and Beth basically said that we were going to start working on connection. It was time to grow up. So we got started and I told her that he felt like he was hanging on the right rein. She wanted to hop on and see what I meant. So she did. And he didn't give her any trouble. She said that he was fine. And NICE! But that she was riding him like an adult horse and not like he was still a baby. So...I will start riding him with a bit more expectations and a bit more of a connection. And I need to keep it steady.
So when we're tracking right, I need to hold the outside rein but give as needed. The inside rein needs to be an active connection. If he's hanging, drop him for a second but then ride the inside leg to outside rein connection and keep it active. 
When I'm tracking left, I need to again, hold the outside rein but keep an active inside rein with an active inside leg. If he twists his head, I need to be more active in my inside and outside reins. 
Then she wanted me to start holding the connection through the upwards. I can give softly and subtly as he goes into it, but I will need to start expecting more over time. As he gets stronger and more fit, he can hold himself better. She also said that while doing this, I need to not worry about the head or frame, but focus on the connection and keeping him in front of my leg. :) 

So yep... he can be quite fancy :) Now I just need to ride him like he is. :)  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Making Progress

Ha... Cindy said "what was he doing? Partying all night? He's a slug today".... Yeah, that might be because he ran away with me at 30 mph yesterday. ;)

We got some good work though.

We practiced the canter leads... on a circle, trot to canter to trot to canter. A full circle and a half of canter. I need to hold that outside rein a bit and block the shoulder with my knee so that he can't throw it to the outside, thus, only able to pick up the left lead. I also need to drop him on the right rein when he starts hanging.

We also worked on sitting trot. That's a whole lot of core! Dang! But he's getting quite nice in the bridle. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Naughty Boy

Oh Danimal.... Naughty Naughty boy. Actually, he was pretty darn good for MOST of the ride. But if you'll notice the max speed.... ahem....

We had quite the pleasing regular normal hack through the fields and woods. He behaved and was mostly settled. We did some trotting and cantering and cantered up the hill in the woods, but he was very rideable.

We had a good time playing in the lake afterwards too. And then we headed back to the barn and that's when it got a little bit hairy! We started out okay but as we got to the XC field part, he wanted to trot. So fine, I let him. Then he wanted to canter. Okay, we'll have a happy little canter. No problem, I'm game. Except it then turned into a gallop. Still, fair enough. I was happy he was taking the initiative and going for a gallop. So for a few strides I let him go. Then I thought better of it. He did it and didn't wait for me to ask. We were heading back to the trailer parking area. And he was getting really fast! And really long strided. So I decided to reel him in. Only he didn't want to and fought me. For about 8-15 strides I really couldn't get him back. I was thinking that we were going to go flying into the trailer parking area at full speed and that wouldn't be good. Especially since I knew Kelli was there getting ready to ride. Then I was worried that I wouldn't be able to turn him without him falling because he was going so fast! Eeeks. I did manage to get him slowed and turned and then stopped. Twit!

So then we worked in the field and Squirt learned that he could go up and down gaits and go to the left and right and in a circle and he didn't get to immediately go back to the trailers where Fleck was. It wasn't beautiful and there was certainly a drift up the hill towards the trailers, but he listened despite not wanting to. So... I win. Again! :) And we went really really fast! And that was a little scary, but... we managed to get it together. So yep... I win. :)