I love my rugrat!
So.... he had yet another week off with me being in Kansas. I got home Sunday night and Monday morning we had the farrier coming. I tied Dan to the trailer to do Fleck first. Dan was great. At first. ;) Once the hay ran out he got goofy. I don't know if something spooked him or what but he pulled back and because he had snagged his halter from over the fence and played with it and I couldn't find it, he was in the rope halter. So... after a few seconds he stopped and let me untie him. So then I put him in the dog pen to graze while we finished up with Fleck. Of course he didn't graze. He walked up on the deck and nosed around, knocking over chairs. Then he grabbed my glad bird feeder and knocked it over and pawed it to smithereens. So then I went inside to get the dustpan and Cody snuck out. Well, Dan went to chasing him and poor Cody about peed his pants. He wasn't used to Dan being INSIDE the fence! Poor dog. So then I was able to just grab Dan and hold him as Freddie was just about done with Fleck. And considering, he was actually pretty good for Freddie. So that was Monday. And then I had to rush to work right after.
Tuesday was my dressage lesson. He hasn't been ridden since my lesson the week before. So I tacked up and got on and headed to the arena and he was fine. When we got into the arena, Hosanna was having a little bit of a tantrum and was dancing in place. Whether it got Dan riled up or it was just an excuse who knows, but he put his head down and did him own imitation of a rode bronc. He didn't quit either. He would scoot off and then do it again. And then he just wanted to go! So.... I decided to "lunge" him while staying on so we did multiple laps at the canter until he settled. It took about 5 solid minutes of cantering. Which, I guess isn't that much, but he was still pretty amped. I was just able to communicate and steer at this point. :) Hee hee. I like him like this. :) Cindy was mortified I think. :) We actually had a pretty good lesson after that! I really just need to remember to ride the outside rein and contain the outside of his body.
Wednesday he had the day off as I had another full day and didn't get back in time to ride. Thursday morning was my lesson with Kelly. I hauled to Silverthorne and got tacked up. He was pretty quiet really and didn't put a foot wrong the entire lesson, other than threatening to roll a few times. So we had fun. We started with a trot grid but Kelly thought he was a little lazy since it was so hot and thought we better just canter. So we did a canter grid and then added in fences to do a course. He was wonderful. We worked on me just keeping the rhythm and tempo and letting him decide where to take off. He kept chipping in today it felt like, but in reality, he really only chipped in once or twice. The rest were just normal, but tight, distances. Oh, but our first one was a flyer. So then Kelly told me that I needed to stop worrying about distances and let him figure it out. His job was to get me to the other side and he could choose where he took off. She equated it to me running over the fences. If I'm going along, 3 strides out, I see where I need to be and can adjust myself without having to change anything too dramatically. However, if 3 strides out, somebody comes behind me and pushes me.... Ack!! Aha.. good point. And she said that he's figuring things out too. He tries one thing and decides it was too much work or not as comfy, so then he'll try something else.
We also worked on me a little bit but mostly with keeping my arms a bit more ahead of me with very elastic elbows and following. And then I just kept counting and keeping the tempo. I wasn't allowed to let the canter change. So then... Kelly made me try something. She started with "Just trust me". hee hee. She had me get him into a canter and get a few strides out, straight, and then close my eyes. It was nice because I could almost tell just before I closed my eyes how many strides we had, so it wasn't terrifying. But I had to trust and let go. And I'll be darned if he didn't jump so pretty each time I closed my eyes. And I felt like my body position was actually better too. Wheee!! We did it about 6 times and it really did help.
So that's my homework. Set up two fences on a circle but leaving myself enough room to ride the canter, get him straight, close my eyes for a few strides, land straight, and then... I also have to work on the turn. He was getting a little slow/weak in the turns and decreasing the tempo. So I need to focus on keeping the canter the same through the turn too, not pushing him and running him, but not letting him slow down. Then back to straight, close my eyes and feel him come up and wait for him. Then I can also focus on my position if I want.
So yay! Fun lesson. :)
I figured he deserved that roll.