Oh happy day!! For multiple reasons. I'm not sure what happened.... I had a friend suggest that Danny might have sand in his gut and maybe that's why he was extra grumpy. So I started him on metamucil last night. We'll see if it helps. Maybe it was that. Maybe it was the jumping on Friday. Maybe it's the stifle injection finally kicking in. Maybe it's the fact that he knew we were going to get a jump lesson.... I don't know. But he suddenly seems MUCH happier with life. Much more like his pesky dennis the menace self instead of suddenly the sullen angry nasty Dan. And who knows?! Maybe it's me. Maybe I woke up on the right side of bed for the first time in awhile for the same reasons that I think Dan is happier.... we get to jump!!
We hauled to Morning Run for a lesson with Beth. And it was such a beautiful day too! We got there early and went for a quick spin in the fields. And Danny was Animated!!! He was springy! Holy moly was he springy! He was power trotting and tossing me out of the saddle almost. :) It was glorious! Wild.. and a little bit almost out of control. But I was so happy he was feeling good again. We didn't spend too much time out there as I only had 15 minutes before my lesson, but we had fun. We did a little canter and then he almost got a little fast and almost bolted but I was able to contain him. :) Good boy. Then we went and had a jump lesson. YAY!!!! FINALLY!!! It's been 7 months almost to the day.
We had a good lesson. Beth started us out over a cross rail just... trotting over it both directions. Oh man was I rusty!! Jeepers. I kept jumping ahead of him and putting way too much effort into it. I was throwing my shoulders too much and getting my butt out of the saddle too much. Beth had me put the reins in one hand and put one hand behind my back as we jumped. That made it so much better. She said that I had to think about keeping my butt in the saddle and then pushing my hips back a bit. She said I was getting too forward. Aha! Yep.. I forgot. So we got better. Yay. Then we did a pole to a cross rail then a two stride to another cross rail. And it was the same thing. She had me get him a little bit together to the pole and ride to the pole, then I softened and let him do the rest. He was good. I was bad. But I got better and better. He was actually pretty straight at first and then when he wasn't, with my hand behind my back, I had to use my legs to steer. We did pretty good. He kept landing on the wrong lead but when I looked, he landed on the same lead. So yay! Then we added a little tiny mini course. We did the two stride, then turned and came around the corner and diagonal across the arena we did another cross rail, and then a turn and around another cross rail. Beth said that it has helped her to start counting from the corner. She said that we will count related distances and it helps, but that if we start counting from the corner (and pretending it's a related distance) it helps. So I did that, and she was ride. It does help. We had a rough round or two... mostly him getting behind my leg in the two stride the first time, but then we had some decent work. Both him and me. :) And... Beth said that she was quite impressed. She said that she actually expected much worse and that he did really well. She thought he was jumping better than he was before the time off, so whether it was the injection, the time off, him growing up, the increased flat work, or whatever.. he looked really good. :) YAY!! She also said that he looked much better up front. I agree. He felt pretty darn good. Oh, and in the beginning, she wanted me to warm him up in the canter by asking for a bigger canter. And if he didn't respond, whack! But he did. He was quite happy to go forward. Yay!!!
When we came home, we decided to try out the boots and practice! I just stood him in them for a minute. No ice, no water. But he was good. He didn't panic and didn't move. Granted, he was in cross ties, but still. Good baby boy!! Ah.... I'm so excited. I really hope that we're on the final upswing now and can get back to going and doing and not stressing and worrying nearly so much. :) Fingers crossed and praying hard. I'm so grateful for everything and trying very hard to not get greedy, but man.... I cannot wait to get out on the XC field and do some galloping and ... just get back to it!