Today was an interesting day! Danny was mostly good!! And he had every excuse to be bad. It was an odd weather day. It's been raining and cold and they were in last night because of severe weather (wind, storms, heavy rain.. it actually thundered and lightning-ed). So I turned them out for about 30 minutes this morning before putting Dan in the trailer to go to our lesson. As we were pulling into High Point, the two horses being led in the driveway were rearing and spinning and kicking. I got Dan tacked up uneventfully and we headed to the arena. Because of all the rain, the outdoor was closed so everyone was in the indoor. Joyce was riding a known bucker. And there was at least 3 other horses in the arena. One of them was a pony who wouldn't go into the far end of the arena so Jessica was standing in it waving her arms at it to get it to not bulge to the center. Then another horse was acting up a bit. So I fully expected Dan to be a poop head. But he wasn't! He was actually really really good! I guess if he's not going to stand out he doesn't see the need to be naughty. :)
We had a good lesson once I got my act together. Cindy said that I went back to riding how I was months ago! I finally got it together and we had a lovely ride! I was rolling my shoulders forward and poking my elbows out and tipping forward. Argh... Especially since I just had the revelation about my trapezius muscles with Beth the other day. Ugh.. So I thought about my traps, and kept my elbows at my sides (even though it meant lengthening my reins) and sitting up. And then I added in keeping my ankles loose but not too loose, my toes in, and my calves on And... then it got lovely! Dan went into my outside rein and we had some really really really nice canter! Like a back up, round and soft, and uphill canter. It was awesome!! And hard. Dan broke to the trot a few times. But it was glorious when we had it. :) Yay!! So.. I must remember to keep my elbows at my side and my traps engaged!
And then... Danny decided it was too hard to be good. :) I untacked him at the trailer and he noticed that the neighbors were working in the yard. He saw the blue shirt moving around and it got him all riled up. I took him into the wash rack to hose him and he was still somewhat panicked. It didn't help that the gray mare was on stall rest and doing bucking fits in her stall. So Danny bulged forward and broke one of the cross ties. And pooped. Ugh. I ended up showing him the people again and he settled enough to get him hosed off. But then when I went to put him in the trailer he got all scrambly and almost slid because the end of the trailer was wet. But he finally got over it and then he hung out while I adjusted one horse.
Then he had to sit in the trailer while I lasered one more. And then finally we got home. I turned him out for about 30 minutes and the Kathryn worked on him. She ended up spending near 5 hours on him. By the end he was HANGRY! hee hee. But he was really really SUPER SUPER Good for her. We were both surprised! We played zen music for him and it really really helped. He was really quiet for most of it. He was fussy and mouthy of course but no where near what he normally is. She found a lot of stuff in him and he actually showed her but then he wouldn't let her do anything about it at first. He finally did and she accomplished some good stuff.
She liked how his feet were done. She felt that the left side of his head was lower and that he was a bit jammed/twisted in his chest near his withers. She thinks his left hind is being pulled inward and forward, creating issues. We were talking about his gelding as she was worried about castration scarring and I mentioned the radial nerve damage issue and she thought that might be why he's fussy about his front right. But we got a lot more accomplished than we both originally thought it seems.
Kathryn wants me to try to ride him haunches in to the right as he seems to travel haunches in left. I'm going to try to adjust his poll/occiput tomorrow to see if I can fix his head and get the left side from being lower. Then I'm going to work on his pelvis and see if I can help open up his left flank area more. She also suggested that when cantering, I alternate sinking my weight in the right and left stirrups with the rhythm of the canter to help teach him to rotate his spine more.
So we'll see! He will have tomorrow off as I'm working all day, but then I'll get to ride Thursday and feel him out. :)