This seems to be becoming a trend! Egads!
Kelli and I had planned a nice dressage hack today, followed by a hack in the field. HA! Foiled! Well, kind of. Not really actually, but almost. :)
When we arrived at Ashland they turned the sprinklers on to water the rings. Sweet...that's awesome. Now it won't be so dusty. Except.... Apparently Sprinklers are still terrifying to Dan. (It's fine... I don't blame him after the last few incidents!). So... He was on high alert and nervous but coping. The ones in the dressage arena's turned off and we thought all was fine. But then the ones in the jump arena came on. And you could hear the hiss and spit but not see them. That was NOT FINE! Dan was so scared. The poor kid was literally shaking. Every inch of his body was trembling. And he broke out into a cold sweat. He was bug eyed and staring and dancing. Of course this got Arwyn riled up and she joined in. We managed to get them tacked up and I told Kelli that once I got on, we were going to have to move because Danny does NOT stand still when he's worked up. He has to move his feet to get oxygen to his brain apparently. So I got on and Kelli got on. Danny was jigging and moving but not freaking out. But Arwyn did. As soon as Kelli got on, she dropped a shoulder and spun and went to bolt. So Kelli got off and was standing with her. Unfortunately, when Danny freaks out he needs to move but when Arwyn freaks out, she needs to stand. So... she stool while Dan and I played bouncy trots around the trees. Finally I told Kelli we had to move to the arena or something because Danny was getting too keyed up and I couldn't contain his stride in the parking lot.
So we moved to the arena and he actually did okay. There was a few little snorts and spins and tiny little bolts but we survived. We did our bouncy pogo trot and it wasn't pretty. It was tense and very agitated. But we survived. Kelli managed to get back on and we both ended up having some really nice moments. Danny started to breathe and I got some really nice work to the right. I got him off my inside leg and he was soft and buttery! Of course, then I lost the left side when we tracked left, but... one side a day. :) Towards the end, he got a bit more keyed up again and tense, but like I said, we managed some good stuff too. We got some nice shoulder in and haunches in too, both directions!!
Afterwards we opted to be brave and hack out for a bit. The open field was okay, although Danny and I had to zig and zag so that Arwyn could keep up with us. But we tried to hit the woods and it was too much. Danny was going to end up bolting and they were both too on edge, so we turned around and went to the XC field again. They settled and I worked a little bit on the right lead canter. Kelli mentioned, like Beth and Cindy and Kelly, that I overbend him to the right and should focus on keeping his shoulders straight, his neck straight out of his withers, and then just ask for a little inside flexion. We worked on that and it's hard for me. My body wants to twist or something. But when I thought about riding that outside shoulder up and over, rather than just focusing on the inside shoulder, it helped. It wasn't the best canter because of the terrain and the inattentiveness, but I managed to feel what I was wanting to feel so yay!
Then we headed back in.When I got home, Dan about exploded off the trailer. Once I let him loose he went for a short gallop around the back field, then rolled, and then took off to the front field, bucking and snorting and carrying on. Then he came flying to the middle, took the creek in a giant leap, and landed galloping on the other side. Good grief horse!!! Hee hee. No more excuses for not wanting to jump the tiny fake ditch at Jumping Branch! Jeesh.
He finally settled down and hung out with Fleck.
I'm not sure that I have much chance of saving him from his sprinkler fear. :( No pictures because... well, it was more of a "don't take either hand off the reins" kinda day than usual. :)