Today was a fun day. Peri and I hauled to Full Gallop to meet Danielle, Liz, and Devon to play on the XC course. I had to wake Dan up at 4:30 am and load him up at 5 am. We got to Full Gallop at 8:30 and were on by 9. It was hot, but not miserable. The high was 100 but there was a decent breeze. Dan was already sweaty from just the trailer ride. And so filthy! He was fine for tacking up but once I pulled him away from the trailer I could tell he was "game on". I did a bit of in hand work but he was still pretty animated. We all headed to the warm up field and Dan and I were last. Everyone got on and walked off but Dan stool pretty well at the mounting block. Once he walked off though, it was ... typical Danomite! Hee hee. He wasn't bad, but he wasn't good either. Very sproingy and bouncy. He managed to only do a few antics and nothing too major. I put him to work and we were doing okay. Then Danielle did a little hand gallop and suddenly Danny was passaging and piaffing. Hee hee. The boy is bouncy. We managed and then we got to canter some. I think he enjoyed being able to get out some energy. We took about 10 minutes and he was at least breathing and cooperating mostly. Everyone was ready so we headed out.
He was really good in the big field. We were able to stand and behave ourselves while some of them went off and jumped and we were able to go off and jump ourselves without any temper tantrums. We started over some tadpole stuff and he... wasn't great. He was super distracted and looking at the other bigger fences next to our fence. So we were wobbly. And the first few times we were...spazzy. :) Liz suggested that we walk it again. Smart!! So we did that. And I squeezed and he leapt. So then Peri reminded me that the walk was alternating leg squeezes. Yep... that worked better.
So then I got a little frustrated because he was very ADD and didn't seem to be figuring out the distances and was just taking off from wherever he got. Liz reminded me that he was 4 and just learning to jump. But I was frustrated because it didn't seem like I was helping him. So again, she reminded me that sometimes... you just have to let him figure it out on his own and give him time. So we walked it again and he actually started to get the hang of it. So then we came around and came back to the walk but I let him pick up the trot a few strides out and he jumped it fairly nice. So... maybe he was getting the hang of it. Money in the bank!
We went to the ditch and he was a little surprised that it didn't look like HIS ditch. So he looked, grazed, looked, and finally walked over it. We walked over it a few times and then I trotted. Dan.... he's such a goof. He went from la la la.. to YAY WE'RE JUMPING and launched it. Sigh. So back to the walk we went. And he walked it politely. Then we walked it again and he picked up a polite trot and trotted politely over. Smart boy. We did a few other jumps and he actually seemed to be figuring it out a little better. But I decided that it was much better for both of us to walk him up to them and let him pick up a trot or canter the last few strides. It gave him time to process and he wasn't quite as boisterous on the landing.
We went to the bank and he went right up and right down it no problem. We even did the beginner novice one. Then I decided to trot him up it. And in his defense, everyone else had started up the hill. Of course a few strides into it he broke into an exuberant canter and leapt up it. I managed to wrangle him back down. ;) And then we politely walked it and broke into a small trot just before. He just can't help himself.
We finished up at the water jump and Dan walked up the bank and then right back down the bank! INTO THE WATER!! :) Whooo hoo. Granted it was just puddley water, but still. I'm so proud of him. We did it about 8 times. Then we finished up with walking and breaking into the trot a few strides out from a BN coop. We trotted over it, landed in a canter and then cantered through the water.
Good baby boy!!
I decided that it's probably best to not rush him and let him figure it out in his own time so we won't do Cedar Ridge. He will do better to keep walking fences until he figures out his feet. But no rush. We've got plenty of time.
And then, poor guy, we had to adjust Rusty for Danielle, so he had to hang out at the trailer. He was happy and had his head stuck in his hay bag. Then we hauled to Kathryn's farm and adjusted her horse. She let us put Tess and Dan in stalls. And oh my!! Dan is just a goofball! He's so ADD. You would think that he would be tired after a full morning of XC schooling and hauling. But nope... he was pulling blankets off the rack outside of the stall, flinging the feed tub around, trying to tip the water buckets, chewing on the wood and doors, harassing the horse next to him, etc. Wow... he was non-stop. :) Such a goofy boy.
So then we headed home and he was all proud of himself. And Roany ran him down and Fleck was pouting and wouldn't talk to either of us. Doh... Poor guy.