Finally!! I finally had a chance to get Dan clipped. I swear, he's such a good baby. We worked on clippers as a baby but I don't think we ever really got too much accomplished. Granted, I was working on desensitizing him near his face and ears and didn't really ever work on his body other than an occasional swipe here and there. And while he wasn't great up near his ears, he let me clip his entire racing stripe in one setting. :) :) I gave him a pile of alfalfa hay and started clipping. He picked up a hind leg a few times when I was doing his belly near his groin. But I'm okay with that as he wasn't kicking, just warning or being ticklish, and it was only when the blades were getting warm and in sensitive areas. He was a little bit goofy near his ears and up high on his neck. He really was acting ticklish. But we managed to get it done. And I'm pleased with how it turned out. He didn't turn a weird color.
And he's SOOOOOO much happier! At least while it's warm now still. :) We'll see how he feels when it gets cold. Because I'm sure it will. Although 70 degree days in November have been really nice.
The next day we had our lesson and Dan was much more forward than usual. I think he likes not being hot and sweaty. It was a good lesson. I need to remember to start riding him like he's 4.5 years old and not 2.5. Which means, more contact and higher expectations. Within reason. :)
I need to focus on keeping a steady connection. STEADY... not a bunch of hold and release. Yes, there needs to be some release, but it's not an abandoning release. I need to maintain a connection and let him find his happy place within that. While cantering I really need to focus on my seat and not hitting the cantle and not getting pushed back. I need to move my seat up and forward to encourage his wither to come up. It's time to start putting his canter together more instead of building it. And that means I need a steady connection and need to almost shorten that outside body arc with a steady connection.
But we're getting it. We had some really nice canters today and no lead changes. :)
We had an amazing sunset tonight too!