Well.. Dan thinks he is. :)
Seriously... Today I felt like some loudspeaker should have been playing his song - Uptown Funk.... "I'm hot, too hot... look at me now!". Hee hee. He was struttin!
He was REALLY REALLY good today though considering. :) We headed to Beth's for a jump lesson and I wanted to do Dan first because Fleck's respiratory meds needed time to kick in. It was a bit chilly still and windy. As I finished tacking up, Mighty and Atlas took to running and snorting in the pasture. And then the farrier showed up and he was spooky up at the barn apparently. And the other horse up by the farrier truck was carrying on in the pasture just out of sight. So... as I got on, I knew I was in for some antics. He went up in the air a few times and piaffed and passaged. We managed to go down the driveway to the jump field at a fairly controlled piaffe. ;) (Or passage... I don't know which is which.. like renver and traver... one of these days I'll learn it ;) ) . And we even had to go into the field with the other horses and he didn't lose his mind. Good boy!
Once we got into the jump field he settled down and I warmed him up. I think moving his feet really helped. Then we started jumping. We ended up doing some course work and Beth set them up to beginner novice height. :) He was actually quite awesome. The first 2/3 of the lesson he was great. I was actually able to collect him and rock him back on his haunches. :) The first few fences and course was a bit awful. I was riding him like a baby horse and throwing him away and leaning forward into a fetal position. Beth reminded me that he was almost 5... not a baby anymore and I needed to ride him like a more trained horse and start teaching him good habits. So I did. Well, I tried. And it got better. I need to not abandon him in the deep spots and throw him away. But then I also don't need to not release the reins when he does jump. But I started to get the hang of it. And Dan was jumping better when I rode better. Of course. ;)
He started to get a little speedier and longer... so I had to sit up and rock him back and keep a firmer connection on the reins. He fought it the first few steps but then he settled into and we had a great ride. He really can collect that long stride. :) We jumped a whole course and stayed at the canter. :) :) :) We jumped a skinny, the barrels with a pole over them, an in and out... and he never batted an eye. Well, he jumped the barrels huge the first time but that might have actually been the first time he's jumped barrels.
Then he started to get a little too big for his britches. :) I went to pick up the canter and he kept running into it and going up and getting the cross canter and fussing when I tried to settle him. So I kept trying and he got more "Up" so I finally just let him go forward and told him to figure out his legs. And he did. He got a little rushy and strung out and made a bid for the in and out and then couldn't jump nicely. So the next time through I got a bit more convincing with my half halts and we finished quite nicely!!
He was so proud of himself. And I was so proud of him! My little dingbat is growing up to be quite the nice little event pony! :) :)