Ok, almost six weeks late with this posting. The Show, which you're all dying to hear about, was an unmitigated disaster. Well, almost. The little squirt was Really Unusually Good for the whole day leading up to time in the ring. (Incidentally, I picked out almost all of the paint by hand . . . yeah, that was fun. He proceeded to find more wet paint a week later . . . sigh.) I should've known we were in for it; it's not possible for Flynn to behave perfectly for an entire day. The instant we got in the ring he decided it was time to play. So, for all of the moving bits, he stared up at me and bounced. You can imagine what his front looked like coming back toward the judge (if "ridiculous," "jerky," or "jolty," came to mind, you're right). We did this twice before the judge said "You need to put him over there" and pointed to a corner. Did I feel awful? Yes. Absolutely. After the class ended, the judge was kind of enough to explain what I'm doing to make him behave like that, and gave me some unfortunately useless advice on how to fix it (no, shoving him away will not work - he, of course, considers that to be all good fun). We spent some time with Marian at handling class and we fixed it, hopefully, for the next show, two weeks away (gaiting with no food at all does wonders . . . or with food in your mouth - thank goodness for string cheese).
Flynn's preferred activities: