Me and Caroline went to the Vista for a fun outing. She wanted to do some training level stuff and I wanted to do some more prep for the Schooling Show Champs and early prep for our move up to Novice at recognized shows. So... we got there and hacked around a bit. Danny was a goob! He was ready to rock and roll. He did a few of his random pop up and bouncey rears while we were hacking around. He held it together though and managed to walk until I was able to get to the BN and Novice field to warm up. He trotted fairly politely but when I let him canter, he was on the muscle and pulling! He did a few little surges but listened fairly well. I mean.. I may have had to really half halt (okay... floss his teeth) a few times, but... he listened.
I decided to trot him through the water while we were doing our trotting because I thought he needed something to occupy his brain rather than just trotting along. He trotted right in until all four feet were in and then slid on the brakes and went to drinking. I ALMOST came off. I teetered on the edge of my seat for a couple of seconds before I got my balance back. Goober! I honestly don't think he was stopping because he was afraid of the water. He was literally stopping dead in his tracks to drink! SLURP SLURP SLURP!! Hee hee. So then we carried on.
So... exciting news. They have a baby sunken road. It's a two stride and very short. So we walked down the single side first. He stopped for a second on the top but then hopped right down and after that there were no hesitations. We went up and down and then we walked the sunken road. Then we trotted the sunken road. And then we did the bank... we did the water again. And then we rocked around the novice fences without batting an eye. Even the log a stride before and after the water. We even cantered the sunken road. :) FUN!!! He was seriously on the muscle though.
We chilled for a minute and then we went into the other field. At first.. I was like... man... this stuff looks kind of big. It seemed to be a LOT of prelim stuff and a handful of training stuff. But there was more than we thought AND.... we did almost all of it!!! All of the training stuff. :) I was having a blast! Dan walked off the giant drop into the water (which was mostly a puddle). We did the training cabin. We did the fallen log... started with the smaller side and then even jumped the bigger side. We did the training corner, which was still fairly wimpy compared to the HUGE prelim corner. We then decided to do the cabin to the chevron. And to be honest.. that chevron was pretty impressive for training. It was wide front to back, skinny side to side, and fairly upright and tall. It was set 5 strides from the cabin. On our first attempt I let Dan get too big and bold and he overjumped the cabin. We got to the chevron in 5 strides, but he was too strung out and opted out at the last minute. Super smart, especially since I saw the big spot and went fetal instead of helping him out. But no biggie. We corrected ourselves, got bouncier, and came into it and it was quite lovely! He was a little wiggly going down the line but not in a bad way. He nailed it! So we tried a third time and it wasn't as smooth and pretty but he listened and I rode better so it was a good learning experience. Then we added the corner off that bendy line too! And it was a bit of a last minute decision but he just popped over it.
We also did the coffin which... to ride the coffin you had to jump the in and out straight and slightly angle the ditch. He was good. We walked the ditch first but still, he was fine over it. THen we did the log on top of the giant mound and he was perfect. We did the double down banks (Trotting.. not cantering yet). We did the up bank and down the soft mound to the lincoln log stack (which visually makes me nervous). And then... we decided we were done. He was awesome. He had worked hard and he was good. But then... I saw the ditch and wall. And honestly.. it looked small. The training one. And I thought.... We should do it. He's got this today. But then I thought... maybe not... maybe that's pushing it. I told Caroline I kind of wanted to do it but probably shouldn't and she agreed. And then... I walked up to it and was like... "Nope... I think I'm going to do it! I think he's got it"! I decided that it looked doable. I felt good. He felt good. And.... I just knew he'd pop right over it. He walked up to and looked at it like "okay.. cool beans..". So Caroline said that if we were going to do it, we had to do it right.... Bouncy and poppy and not running at it but also not holding him to it. So we did. He was AWESOME!!! And I think I rode pretty well too. I picked up the canter and circled around and we came right to it. He didn't even get phased by it and just loped on over it! Now we're done!!!!!
So yep! Such a SUPER DAY!!! I'm so proud of the beast. He was Soooooooo much fun to ride. I love it when he's a little on the muscle but listening. He had a blast too and was quite proud of himself. :) Yahoo!! I'm feeling pretty darn good about our move up to recognized novice and the schooling champs and even Virginia and Pine Top as our first two recognized novices. :) YAHOO!!!