Well, XC day was FUN and EXCITING! :) Danny was a rowdy boy. :) He settled into his stall and was good while I watched the other groups. Then it was our turn. I got him tacked up and headed down to the XC field with the other girls. He was rowdy! He was dancing and even reared up once or twice on the way down. I joked that I may have to take him for a quick gallop and made sure they were okay with it. When we got down to the XC field I decided at this point that a good gallop was going to best for everyone so Danny and I went off a ways and I let him have a gallop. He wasn't flying as fast as he often does but he did get moving pretty quick. I let him have a few laps and then we headed back to the group. Stephen found out about our horses and then had us warm up. Danny was still a bit up but I managed to keep him in a trot and canter and we got warmed up.
We started trotting over a little log on the ground and then continuing on to trot through the water. Stephen had us do it 3 times in a row. The others had let their horses through the water while Danny and I were busy wrestling so I didn't have a chance to let him trot through. But I figured it would be good to see what happened. He was actually quite polite over the log and trotted politely. And then he was game and trotted right into the water. I had to let him stop to have a quick drink but was able to kick him on and we continued around.
Then we moved on to some other stuff. Stephen had us trot or canter three times over a fence. There was 3 to choose from and the only rules were that we couldn't go lower once we went higher. I started over the baby one and Dan trotted it fine. So then we moved up to the middle one (tadpole) and cantered it and we couldn't quite get our striding so it was awkward. We tried again and fixed it.
Then Stephen made us do a little course, which was fun. Danny was great. When I let him go a little bigger, it was smoother and better. So, while I can't let him get strung out, I do need to be mindful that he needs to be able to actually canter and not tippy toe it. It was fun.
We moved on to the water next. Stephen snuck in an X and had us jump the log, canter around and into the water and then canter out over the X. Danny was so cute. He came around acting like he was a Rolex horse... "I've got this momma". And then he came up to the crossrail and was like... "wait, what's this?". He slowed down and jumped it but looked at it as he was going over it, like... "where did that come from?!" Hee hee. It was cute. So we came again and this time he was all bad ass and brave and ready. "Let me at it!". Such a cutie. So then we turned it around and went the other way and he was fine. Stephen told us that when we are coming into water not to slow them up too much. Don't keep half halting and half halting without lots of leg. Keep the momentum. So we did and Dan jumped brave and bold over it. But I'm glad Stephen was telling me to keep my leg on and ride forward because it was tempting to almost shut him down a bit for whatever reason. So Yay!
So then it started to get stormy in the distance. We saw a few bolts of lightning and heard some thunder. We were having so much fun we didn't want to quit though. We decided to head to the small water (where Dan and I had problems at the show) and see if we could squeeze that in before the rain hit. We didn't. It was just starting to rain on the other side of the field when we got to that section. But since we were right there I asked Stephen if I could at least just take Dan over the blue bench and into the "water". (There was no water in the water, but at least the depression and rocks were there). He said sure but to canter it. So I did. And Dan jumped the jumped and then danced sideways once but then went into the "water". And then it started raining. As I was walking him out he spooked a little at the boat fence. I wasn't aiming to jump it but Stephen noticed him spook at it and told me to take him to it. Well at this point Lauren had gone through with her horse so I got out of the way. Her horse spooked at the boat fence too so she came back around and got him over it. I turned Danny to the boat and he spooked and refused it. So we circled around and he thought about backing off but I closed my leg. Right as I felt him decide he was going to go for it and he could do it, a big bolt of lightning hit behind us with a big thunder boom. And, two of the girls in our group had decided to head back when the rain started and were ahead of us. They decided to start cantering. So all of this hits right as Dan decides he's gonna jump so he let out a monster jump and then bucks and kicks out at the fence on landing. He hee. It was hilarious! Then he sees them ahead and busts out in the gallop to catch them. We were cantering politely for a few seconds and then Danny tried to turn it into a race. Meanwhile I realized that the OTTB and another rider were still behind us and it might not be so nice to them. But Danny had switched into racehorse mode so I decided to turn right and gallop off laterally instead of straight towards home. Once I got him under control I was able to get him to a trot and catch the other girls. I told them it wasn't smart and perhaps we should walk back home. Turns out the girls behind us had gotten off and were walking home. So... it all ended well but it was funny there at the end.
Phew. Good baby horse.