After a grueling 30 hours in the car and a good night’s sleep, Eric and I finally made it out to the barn to see our horse. I had met him on the track as a three-year-old but Eric hadn’t even seen him other than pictures.
The very first thing I had to do with him, was free jump him. We set up a make shift jump shoot in the arena. He was such a champ. We only took him up to 3’6 but he has so much natural talent. He picked up his front feet (still needs work on his back) but never really hesitated. For every jump, Dandy gave one hundred percent and found a way to get the job done. More on that later.
Then it was time to ride! What else can I say other than that we were very impressed. He walked, trotted and cantered both directions. Although he’s stiff going to the right, it’s nothing that won’t be fixed with some flexing and consistent work. Eric took the first ride and looked awesome on Dandy. The first time he asked Dandy to go over the pole, Dandy thought he meant JUMP. Clearly he has been talking to one Mixed Messages about refusing to go calmly over poles. But each time through got better and we both took him over a small cross rail. While he’s going to be a lot of work, he’s also going to be a lot of fun.
There are, of course, things that need to be worked on. Besides his stiffness, he needs work on his cues. Right now he doesn’t really understand what we’re asking when it comes to a canter though he’s got a great extended trot. He’s very smart so that and some consistent work should help. There’s going to be a lot of dressage work before we do much jumping.
What I loved most about Dandy was his attitude. Not only was he willing to do what we asked to the best of his abilities, he was calm about everything. When something scared him, he would pause for just a second and you could almost hear him think, “why am I scared of this?” And he’d move on without it bothering him again.
I can’t wait to spend the next couple days working with him!