Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fun in the woods

 You know... Not much beats galloping Dan through the woods. It's utterly amazingly fun. We had a nice hack and then we crossed the creek in the back. There is that long stretch of winding path all the way along the creek to the bottom of the 5 uphill paths. I let Dan canter the whole way. Ohhhhh my.... it's such an amazing canter. And I love his little snorts with each stride. He's so supple and limber even through the twists and turns. Of course he picked up the pace and went for a little hand gallop part way through. I let him! But then it starts to get a little scary with all the leaves and twists and turns and his stride getting longer and longer! But it was fun!

Then we went into the arena for some proper canter work. ;) He's really getting to be such a good boy. We had some nice work in the arena. 

Ahh..... he can totally turn my day around!

While we were in the XC field we saw two bucks grazing. Dan was a little apprehensive at first but he watched carefully and then realized we were fine and they weren't spotty eating deer. :)

Gosh... I really am blessed, aren't I?! :)

Jump day

I've been running out of time lately to really ride both. Dang Winter and being dark at 5:30. And life in general being so busy... 
But I managed to hop on Dan and get some jumping in today. :) He was great! The grid was set up and when we raised it for Fleck, it was a 1 to a 1.5 stride. We dropped it for Dan but didn't adjust the distance. I took him through it to see, and for him.. it was perfect. ;)
Like a Boss

Then we did some other fences. He's really doing great! I think he's starting to get it. I can feel him rocking back some and getting a better canter. He's almost wanting to adjust his stride too! YAY! Smart baby horse. :) I'm getting braver to some of the "bigger" fences too. It is funny how the small fences are still scary with him, yet on Fleck the bigger ones aren't. But fair enough. Once Dan gets his distances, the height won't be a problem. :)

Jumping Bean

More Jumping

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Upping the Ante

So... no more babying the baby.

I could tell that I was babying Dan and floating the reins to him as soon as I started my ride today. But it's hard because I'm focusing on keeping him in front of my leg. And when I close the connection, he gets lazy. So.... I think at home I can continue to work on "shock and awe" and forward but in public places with lots of other horses, I feel a little obligated to tone it down some. But regardless, he needs to learn to go and stay in front of my leg WITH contact. He's ready for it. I'm not doing him any favors not making him go there. So... BAD HOLLY!!! Time to up the ante and get more connection.

We had some nice work today despite me forgetting connection. But with Cindy reminding me we got some good work. And some nice canters too! We even did a full legit shallow serpentine on both leads. Yay!!

Cindy reminded me though at the end of my lesson that "Shock and Awe" was great but that I should have a second step in the middle. Her thought was that if I asked nicely and he didn't respond.. he needs shock and awe. But she wants me to use my leg next and then go to the whip. She said that he should be electric off my leg not the whip. Aha... makes sense.

So... next ride will be ask gently with my legs, then bam bam bam pony club kick (not kick and hold and squeeze) and then shock and awe with the whip. :)

Good baby horse!! And man... he soooooo needs to be clipped!!! I'm just waiting out this weekend so Mike doesn't have to deal with blankets hopefully. But poor guy was so sweaty.

Fun Hack

Today was a relaxing day... We just went for a hack. :) But I did aim for hills.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Saturday Fun

Today was a good day. (Isn't every day on horseback a good day though?) We went for a hack and then finished in the jump ring. I didn't do too much but we did play a bit.

So... in the ring, I stuck to the baby fences. And he was fine over them. Nothing exciting, nothing terrifying, nothing amazing. But then I got brave and took him to the little mini roll top. :) Eeeks! It's funny how big that looks. But he jumped it great. We trotted it twice and then cantered it. Wheeee!!

Friday quickie

Today was a quick ride as I was running out of time. We went for a nice hack after a quick dressage ride. He was good. We even kept the right lead canter through our shallow serpentine. Yay! So... as a reward, while we were out in the woods...  I opted to take Idlewhile and let him jump the log in the path. :) He did great. He just hopped over it. Of course he did the "look down between my knees" while going over it. Which was extra awkward in a dressage saddle with long stirrups. :) Hee hee. But we survived.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Commotion Central!

Poor Dan! It was crazyness today at High Point. But the SUN finally came out!!!

Dan hasn't been ridden in a few days and it was still a bit chilly out, so I figured he might be a little bit up. We went for a little hack around the farm to stretch his legs and he was super good, but he wanted to be naughty. He thought about going up a few times, but he didn't!!! Then as we were heading back by the road a motorcyclist went by. He didn't slow down but he didn't speed up or be obnoxious. And I was behind the fence and off the road a ways. But Dan used it for an excuse and leapt up and danced for a second or two. However, he didn't go up really high and he came right back down. So I didn't punish him for it because it was legit and not bad. And considering how good he was trying to be, I felt it wasn't fair to punish him. 

Then we headed to the ring and it was busy in there too. Cindy was riding Sunny and then Peri got on. And they were doing groundwork with a young horse in the corner. And then Stephanie put up a jump and had a student jumping. And there may have been another person riding too. Oh yep.. Claire was riding. So yep.. it was chaotic! But Dan was actually pretty darn good. At least with the people and the commotion. He did decide to be spooky in the corner up by Cindy. He spooked at a blanket on the rail and then at the equicube or something else on the wall. 

Cindy wanted me to take away attention from the outside and bring it to the inside, specifically my inside leg. She was trying to get me to let go of the outside rein and push him to the outside with my inside leg. If it meant that I had to turn to the left, so be it. I finally got it. And he was finally good. :) Oh, and I had to be super careful about my right leg. It tended to kick forward and block Dan's shoulder from going right. Sigh... I think it does that a lot, not just when he's spooking. At the canter, at the leg yield... I need to keep it under control!. :)

We worked on increasing my tempo at the trot. He sucks me into a slow trot which is nice, but his faster trot is so much nicer. Then we also worked at my seat in the canter. Dan has a lovely canter but it sucks me into pushing back with my seat. I need to really focus on moving my seat forward and using my core to keep him going. It's hard but we got it. And it helped with the right lead and our teeniest of teeny canter serpentines.

So yep... not a ton of specific work but it was great for his brain. He didn't pin his ears or go after anyone today too, even with it as crowded as it was. Good boy!!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ahhhh....fixing my soul

Oh.... Cantering baby horse through the woods is just Heavenly!!!! It totally fixed my mood and my soul. Sigh....


I was having a rough week and am so over this stupid weather. And I didn't have much time but I managed to leave my house at 3:45 and get both horses ridden and back home by 6. I was quite proud. Granted, I only groomed where the saddle went and didn't have to do much more than rub them with a rag after, but still. I got it done. I rode Dan first and got in a nice 45 minute hack. Not a long ride, but we got out some energy and had a great ride.

He was being great! The footing was a little sketchy so we mostly walked, but I did find plenty of places to trot and even a few little short areas to canter. Which.... is just heavenly. He really is amazing to canter through the woods. I had to giggle because he was so good. He politely jumped over some puddles and carried on. He is a good Irish Hunt Horse. :) 

But yep.. we had a blast. I feel sooooo much better now. Ahhhhh.... 

I love this kid!