Danny was such a smart boy today!!! He retained a lot more of yesterdays lesson than I expected. I only had to remind him with the whip once or twice... Nope! Leg means go. You are not an irish potato! And I was quite proud of how well behaved he was too. I didn't have to lunge first or anything.
We got to Beths' and I was a little worried about how he would do in the jump field but figured I'd give it a shot. He seemed even keeled this week. Our come to Jesus meetings seemed to be sticking. ;) He walked politely all the way down to the jump field and then we warmed up by walking, trotting and even cantering. No antics! He was curious about the woods and kept drifting that way but wasn't spooky or that pushy.
Beth set up a grid, starting with ground poles. We trotted in and cantered out, which was great. He got rewarded for forward and that's how the lines were set anyways. Then she set up an X and he was great. I had to half halt and hold a bit to get him to stick to the trot going into it. And it really helped to think about slowing him down about 2 mph going into the grid. He typically landed in the canter and took the poles well. I noticed he was drifting right so I had to correct that. We built it up to the ground poles, crossrail bounce to another crossrail to a one stride to a cross rail. We worked on forward and straightness and he was getting it. Wheee! Then Ella and Ava trotted into the pasture next to the jump field and Dan was fixated on them but kept working. At one point as we went through the grid Ava squirted off and bucked, so Dan sort of joined in, but he managed to do the whole line well enough and continue on somewhat politely after the little buck he threw in. Then he went right back to work. :) Smart boy. We did it perfectly twice and then moved on to the next thing.
Beth set the barrel on it's side with pole wings and wanted me to walk it. Doh! But it was fine. Dan was actually pretty darn good about walking it, thanks to the work Liz had me do. We had a little bit of a left drift so we worked on straightness. Then we had a right leg yield to a left shoulder drift so I had to figure out how to finess my aids a bit. Danny was getting it! But man... I kept getting tossed out of the saddle though. That kid is hard to sit. He's just not consistent yet in how he's jumping and really puts his head and neck down and out so he pulls me out of the tack. Beth was giggling at me and told me that I really needed to try to get left behind almost and keep my butt in the saddle. So I did but Danny's hiney came up and popped me right out of my stirrups! Beth kept laughing at me. He's just awkward still. But it's okay because he was walking and jumping straight and polite. :) So we quit with that.
I'm so proud of Baby Horse today! He did so well!