Friday, February 16, 2024

There be dragons here

 For the most part, my yearling spends her time growing and tormenting the other fillies in her field.  She gallops, plays, eats a lot, and sleeps.  Occasionally tries to mug the other fillies for their food.  It's a full schedule but she somehow manages.

It really is the best way to grow up.  She's got her bff who is the same age and two fillies that are a year younger (but already her height, such is the life of the pony at a dressage barn).  She also has the supervision of a mare that keeps the little herd in line.  The Moose is turning five, starting her under saddle career, and has no patience for fillies that think they are in charge.  It's fantastic for Kiki who is quite used to a boss mare telling her what to do.  We don't want her to start thinking she's in charge.

As for her training, it's somewhat intermittent as it should be at this age.  When I have time, I bring her up to the little barn to practice being tied and groomed.  She enjoys the attention quite a bit and is an enthusiastic student.  With repetition she's gotten used to the idea of walking away from her friends.  They mind a lot more than she does.  She ties with a blocker ring to prevent any bad or scary experiences at this age.  She respects the pressure on her halter and instead spends her time systematically knocking over anything she can touch.  Boots up to dry?  She goes down the row like a cat, knocking them all over.  Box of mints that seems securely closed?  She can open that.

But Catie, why do you allow her to do that?  Why not tie her somewhere with nothing in reach?  We live in a world of cross ties and Kiki is too young to be introduced to those.  I clip her blocker ring to the ring for the cross ties and use that for her tying practice.  It allows me to tie her just about anywhere the grown horses go but it also means she's close enough to the wall to touch things.  It's fine, once she's knocked everything down she doesn't have anything else to mess with.  I keep things down to 15 - 20 minute sessions since she's just a baby.  In hand work consists of starting, stopping, turning, and we recently started to work the turn on the forehand.  She'll start working on a longer line this spring to introduce moving around me and letting me manipulate her body more.

She got her year end ribbon from the National Dressage Pony Cup and that warranted a trip to the indoor for a quick sock scrub and some pictures out of the mud and snow.

They are definitely not professional photos (and her socks did not wash up well in the cold) but she is looking so very grown up these days.  She has started to chunk out and her shoulders have caught up with her butt.  I'm really excited for how she's maturing and can't wait to take her out as a two year old.  I was also excited that she walked up the road and into the wash stall while ignoring the shouts of the stallions that had noticed the new girl in town.  She stood for mane shortening and sock scrubbing and currying before walking into the indoor.  What you can't see are the two young horses being worked in lessons while she's in the ring and the winter storm blowing in.  She handled it all gracefully for a filly just short of two years old.  No chain shank, no rope halter.  She was also shedding and very, very itchy.

She wanted to roll in the dry sand so badly but it seemed a bad idea with the ribbon and lessons going on.  She settled for scratching herself thoroughly with her blanket off and having a big shake.

When she was younger Trainer Z used a feed bag for her meals like she does with all of her babies and I have to say, it's genius.  Putting on her halter is the same gesture as putting on a feed bag so she is very relaxed about it and associates it with her favorite things in life:  food and attention.  When I held up her ribbon to let her get a look, she automatically put her head through the loop.  I expect she'll accept her bridle with grace this spring when we start getting her ready for the breed shows.  She's also very used to her blankets now and I was able to adjust her leg straps with her loose in her field.  I'll probably introduce her to a surcingle this summer so she can carry a saddle pad while doing ground work.  

This is far from my first Welsh and honestly Theo might as well be an honorary Welsh with his sense of fairness, mischievous streak, self preservation instincts, and his habit of choosing specific people as 'safe'.  For Trainer Z, it's a new adventure.  Kiki is the feral swamp creature, the ceffyl dŵr (Welsh water horse, hopefully the southern Wales version) that won't stay out of the pond and storms around the field causing havoc while the warmblood fillies stare at her in confusion.  She's the punk rocker in with the European debutantes.  She's a native pony and, more importantly, a Welsh Cob.  She is not a dead head or beginner friendly.  She is very smart, very aware of her environment, and absolutely ready to take charge of a situation if she believes she needs to.  She is as much dragon as she is beloved princess.  She has a strong sense of 'stranger danger' still and the biggest side eye of her adventure to the indoor arena was when I handed her to a stranger and walked away.  It's good for her to practice but she always softens when Trainer Z or I take her back.  

She will be an interesting journey as a competition mare that is also a Welsh Cob.  That is a lot of opinions in a very adorable package.  I expect her to be very soft to correction and reactive to her environment with a big engine.  We don't correct her with more than voice or a tap on the chest because that's all it takes, more than that would cause anxiety.  I expect her to be a bit intense when working but also happy to mosey on a long rein because she's curious and gregarious.  She'll need to be another positive reinforcement pony that is playing a game but with the rules of unacceptable behavior set in stone.  I also expect her to command respect in the warmup.  I loved riding Fiona in the warmup because other horses automatically got out of her way.  A mature, confident mare is not to be messed with and Kiki is already showing that charisma.  Theo is, unfortunately, quite loveable and horses have no issue with getting in his bubble.  The fillies give way when Kiki storms through.

That's the Moose trying to put Kiki in time out on the other side of the pond because she's bringing the chaos.  She does this all the time and the other fillies stare at her in wonder.  Trainer Z's husband loves her because she's so bold and so ridiculous.  I'm more interested in that uphill canter.

I'm really enjoying this journey and so happy I took the plunge.  I've never helped raise a baby or watched one grow into the potential seen when she was still tiny.  Keek has been perfect for this as she loves to come in and let me practice.  She'll turn two the weekend before I graduate.  I'll have to arrange for a proper photoshoot to celebrate.  A lovely filly like her should have pictures where she doesn't look like a kelpie.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Before and After

 Not much time to write these days as I'm in the throes of finishing my dissertation but had one of those rides yesterday that make you look back at how far your partnership has come.

This was Theo in July of 2015, the earliest trotting picture I can find.  It's a screen shot from a video of me trotting him around.  For us, this was a good trot.  I was happy with it and proud enough of his progress to post it as a progress video.

This was us yesterday, February of 2024 in our lesson with Trainer Z.

That is not the same horse.  The horse I rode yesterday was uphill, light, and very powerful.  Almost too powerful.  Trainer Z was at the stallion inspection in Denmark so Theo got a week off.  It was 60* out so I figured he'd be too warm to be sassy.  NOPE.  He wasn't physically wound up so much as mentally.  He was offering behaviors very quickly and acting like a kid at a theme park that wanted to do everything as soon as he arrived.  In the interest of not repeating the magnificent capriole he gave me when he boiled over during his canter work a couple weeks ago, we decided to focus on trotting and poles.

Someone was so excited and over trying that he started to offer a passage step at the first pole.  Theo has recently started offering passage when we work on increasing collection in the trot so Trainer Z decided today was the day.  I knew how to ask and what it should feel like thanks to my lessons on her stallion Muffin.  We turned to the poles, I half halted up and dropped the cadence, and mi papi passaged.

Once he realized that bouncing was not only allowed but encouraged?  He ate this up.  All of his excess energy finally had a place to go.  And his passage is huge.  I wasn't asking for big, just cadenced in these.  These are the smaller passes.  His bigger passes almost bounced me out of the tack.  Trainer Z was wide eyed when she got a look at just how big he can get in that slow cadence.  All of that power we see when he's free lunging never showed up in his extensions.  It's been hiding in the passage this whole time.

We also worked his half steps which are starting to look like a piaffe.

No, he'll never go Grand Prix, but these are great tools to make him sit, to add strength, and to give him an outlet for days like yesterday when he couldn't handle his own energy levels.  When we were done he was chewing like a fiend and his ears finally relaxed.  Instead of spooking in the corners and jigging off the wall, he did the big walk with his back swinging.

He also did his first working half pirouette recently.  Another move where he seems to have a natural affinity for it.  I keep telling him that if he wants to do Grand Prix, he's got to be consistent in his left to right flying change!  I can't do tempis if he botches his footwork.  Doing lots of very clean simple changes from left to right seems to be helping him understand how the foot sequence is supposed to go and his new power is making it easy enough that the clean changes are starting to happen.  That drop change will probably never fully go away but it's getting better.  There really is something going on in that change since he will botch it in the simple change sometimes, its like he can't quite coordinate his feet as well in that direction.  It's weird.  

My dissertation is due April 5th.  If I hit that deadline, I walk the stage May 4th.  At that point I am done with school forever and ever.  Theo and I have a full dance card of shows this summer to celebrate and to get that Bronze.  I'm starting to feel real hope that this time we've got it.  Every move except the left to right change is on lock at this point and even that change is weird but happening on the aids.  I just need to trust that we've done the work, he's more than ready, and get in the ring to get it done.

After I submit 120 pages about organizational change and the individual's perceptions of artificial intelligence.  Gross.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Winter plans

 Sometimes you need to be hit upside the head with the clue bat to figure some things out.  I had another clinic with Pam Goodrich, my third time riding with her, and she is so good at tearing through the nonsense and locating the actual cause of a problem.  I appreciate her blunt honesty and I could hear her and Trainer Z comparing notes and plans while I was riding.  I'll be benefiting from her findings all winter.

Theo is not surer he likes the idea of a winter plan

This time it was straightness.  Funny how I never seem to work on anything new and yet I'm always finding new things.  Forward, straightness, balance.  Theo's asymmetries have improved dramatically since he's been ridden by Trainer Z but he'll always have his little quirks.  He likes to travel with his shoulders to the left.  When it was severe, he had a four beat canter and would drag through my left arm to the point that it would fail rather than let me manage that left shoulder.  His left lead canter was nice to watch but his right lead was . . . dicey.  Now we have a right lead that is functional and is frankly higher quality than the left.  The right is a shorter, bouncier canter that sits on his butt.  The left is a bigger stride but more earth bound and heavier with hocks wanting to trail behind.  We worked so hard to fix his right lead that it's now the easier one to change.  The left is still his preferred lead but it is a bigger pain to adjust.  Go figure.

Given the insight that the left lead, which I've called 'the good lead' for eight years, is actually now the bad lead, the difficulties in changing the lead from left to right make more sense.  The canter is less balanced, more downhill.  It's more difficult to change out of so Theo will cheat with that extra beat in his flying change or will bronc to get the height needed and his massive shoulders out of the way.  Ugggggggh.  Some of it is emotional/mental of course since he prefers his left still but more of it appears to come down to the quality of the canter.

Poor baby.  But his grain got upped and he likes that part.

How do we fix the left lead to get the flying change?  The magic is in the counter canter.  A straight, balanced horse can counter canter through pretty much anything.  It's a good test since the results are very clear.  I'd started doing 15m circles in counter canter to work on my anxiety with the move.  During the clinic, I ended up doing a 10m turn onto centerline in counter canter to set up the half passe to the rail.  Then turn back onto center line without a change of lead so still counter cantering.  Holy crap.  Seriously, did not know Theo could do that.  I don't think Theo knew he could do that, either.  Setting him up to be balanced enough to do that turn made the half passe easy and lovely.  

With this new world, Trainer Z and I decided to go back and reapproach my canter and flying change set up.  Oddly enough, the thing that has worked the best to help me and Theo understand what's going on is the oldy but goody:  serpentine with changes of lead through the trot with less and less strides of trot.  It requires a nicely balanced canter, a correct half halt that goes through, and not doing weird whacky shit with my hands.  Combine this with making sure that I come in with a good head of steam and the changes are very nice.  Left to right is still difficult to consistently do without a pole to make Theo remember to not do that extra step.  It's just a habit at this point, he's not being naughty, it's just a valid option in his mind.  It's so fast it's basically impossible to stop from the saddle so pole for repetitions and muscle memory.

Added bonus to all of this is that his canter is improving every ride.  He's back in his double now that whatever was causing problems with his bridle connection has resolved on it's own.  I'm loving the little bit of finesse to get his shoulders and poll up without having to put too much brain power into managing it.  My brain has too much to focus on as it is, I can't be focused on making sure he's not dropping down on top of everything else.  The double on it's own seems to put the idea in his head.  Got some very lovely, connected trot today that felt like a million bucks.

So this winter is focused on teaching me what the right canter feels like so I can build it every time.  When I have it, he bids for the change in both directions and I have to tell him to wait, not try to make him do it.  It's muscle memory for both of us, repping until we both pick it up automatically.  We want to go into spring with the changes being just boring for us, just another move.  

Then it's show season 2024 goals:  Bronze scores, Second level freestyle, and a trip to regionals.  You know, little stuff.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Tiny tumble

 You can't ride horses if you're not willing to fall off.  Yes, I'm supposed to be limiting my exposure to rapid decelerations assisted by the ground but the reality of riding is that it's going to happen eventually.  I have only fallen off Theo once and it was for a ridiculous reason while I was goofing off.  I've sat all of his rodeo worthy broncs over the years but while not paying attention, I tipped out of the saddle and landed on my butt.

Did that again today except today it was during a botched flying change heading into the end of the arena.  We had a miscommunication, Theo had no idea what I wanted, tried to do a last minute change with a leap/buck and then had to turn to avoid hitting the end of the arena.  The overly flying change was not a surprise but I thought we were going right.  Theo thought we were going left.  We had a parting of the ways as I expected to have a horse under me to the right while he was trying to carry me to the left but my butt wasn't really in the saddle.  I basically flopped off much to the surprise of Theo, Trainer Z, and me.

Theo enjoying a snack with his PRE stallion neighbor who is ridiculously sweet

I was laying on the ground, looking up at my worried horse, and all I felt was relief.  I'd gotten it out of the way.  Theo didn't try to unload me or do anything bad, we just had a miscommunication and I lost my balance when he scrambled.  I landed on my lower back with not much momentum since we'd been in a collected canter.  Head and neck were not involved.  It wasn't scary in any way.  Painful to fall off a 16h cantering horse but once I'd taken stock of my body, I got up and got back on.  

Poor Theo was horrified.  The first thing I saw when I looked up was his gigantic nose squished against me with the whites showing in his eyes.  I immediately started petting his nose and telling him he was okay.  When Trainer Z reached for his bridle to back him up I swear he shook.  Poor baby, he really thought he'd screwed up.  People so rarely fall off of him and he really hates it.  He'll unload people with full intent but his people?  His special people?  He never, ever drops his people.  Even if I didn't want to get back on, I needed to for his sake.  He was seriously shook.  I got back on, assessed the situation, and then we went back to the canter.  We did most of the exercise again but skipped the change since I was sore and he was rattled.  Then he got a nice groom and back to bed.

And now I'm on the couch with a heating pad for my poor back.  Chiro appointment is tomorrow.  I'm going to have a spectacular bruise.  And here I thought I was going to get hurt putting blankets on all of the babies but that went perfectly.  Kiki is already outgrowing her borrowed 63" so I'm getting her some ridiculous blankets that she will probably destroy.

Such an elegant filly, pity her mom likes silly blankets

Someone is looking pretty cobby these days.  And feral.  Of course she walked into the barn and got blanketed with no drama but then she led the babies on a 'let's try to get rid of our blankets' run once she was loose.  It's now four fillies in that field, the two yearlings and the two weanlings.  I held the weanlings while they got their first blankets on.  The drama was limited but appropriately dramatic.  Glad we did that before I encountered the ground, I don't think I could contain a rearing, spinning weanling right now.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Princess Keekanator

 Now that I'm done fussing over that Third level debut, I can double back and show off what the Keekanator did at her last show of the season.

A small hint of what my future dressage mare will look like

No one knew how much fun we were going to have with this poor filly's name.  Quillane Marqui is such an elegant name but no, she's Kiki-kins, the Keekanator, Cheeky Kiki, Kiki Monster, etc.  She definitely knows her name is Kiki and will happily trot up to anyone in her field that says her name.  She is quite convinced she is a beloved princess and you know what, she's right.

A quick photo before putting my phone away so I could receive the enthusiastic filly brigade that came hustling when I called for Kiki.  L to R, Let's Begin WPF 'Lottie' (current year WB filly), Kiki, and La Vie en Rose WPF 'Viv' (yearling WB filly).  A lot of Grand Prix potential in this picture.

She handled her second show very much like she did her first.  She stood for her bath, got on the trailer with two adult geldings she'd never met with nothing more than a weird look (it helped that the gelding next to her is very sweet and submissive, they were immediate buddies), and settled into her stall.  For whatever reason she was put in an extra large stall and she looked a bit ridiculous.

She could practically practice her triangle in this stall

We walked every where and checked out everything.  No need for a chain shank or rope halter, Kiki understands the drill.  We go places, we look at things, and we eat.  We eat a lot.  Got to love that native pony common sense.

Really could not care less so long as there was grass

Once in her stall for the night, the naps commenced.  Baby pony requires at least two lay down naps a day when showing plus sleeping at night.

Please hold, Keekanator is recharging

So how did the actual showing go?  Great!  She left her braids in all day!  It helped that I grazed her between classes to help keep her distracted but she didn't try to systematically remove them.  We practiced being tied for grooming and braiding which she accepted gracefully after all of our work on releasing to pressure from the halter.  She is already very easy to handle in a stall and enjoys all of the grooming and fussing.  So much fussing, she's learning to live with an ammy that likes to hug, kiss, and generally love on her pony.  It's not my fault she has a very kissable nose.  I had complete conversations with people while draped over her butt.  She ignored me and ate her hay.

Kiki still doesn't get the idea of being big and sassy in the ring, she still trots along very politely with the person leading her.  She understands that she's going places with people but she isn't in a hurry.  It seems her base reaction to something new or overwhelming is to stop and look.  Her spooks are in place for the most part.  While trotting a bunch of geese coming from behind spooked her and she scooted for a couple steps before stopping to stare.  For a future performance horse, I'm quite cool with her spook being mostly stationary followed by cautious investigation.

Her breeder mentioned that her 'stranger danger' response to new people is quite common in Welsh cobs and that I might as well get used to handling her myself at breed shows.  She will probably always trot off better for me.  Guess I have to swap out my endurance running for some sprint training before next season.  I had the professional handle her for pony filly but when the handler was double booked, I filled in for the Welsh breed class.  Her movement scored better with me handling.

So pretty, so polite

I didn't use a whip person in my amateur handler because she trots just fine coming along with me.  She already understands no one is actually going to hit her.  I tapped her on the hip with the dressage whip at one point and her eyes got very big.  Little girl is very sensitive to correction, I will have to remember that in the future.  

So relaxed that she looks ready to doze off

We won the amateur handler with a 77% and comments from the judge on what a lovely bond we have.  Showing the handler class with a yearling is a bit of a challenge but Miss Kiki is very smart and seems to enjoy all of the people admiring her.  She knows how to hit her marks.

She knows to change stance when I touch her chest, next year hoping we can do it with a bit of bridle pressure

And then she went back home and went back to her feral, swamp creature life.  We got dinged on presentation for her socks not being white enough and I shrugged.  She is a swamp creature, no shampoo is going to turn those things back to shining white.  And she's happy this way so it's fine.

Still the best of friends and about to be big sisters to two WB weanling fillies

Her first year of showing is done and was a complete success.  Sure, no crazy placings or champion ribbons, but she got very respectable scores and comments from lots of people about her calm mind and excellent behavior.  She now loads into the trailer like a champ, sleeps in a stall away from home, and marches into strange rings because she knows that it's not a big deal.  For a future performance horse, it's everything I could want.  I had her help me pack the trailer on the last day so she walked with me while I carried all sorts of big, noisy, odd things and threw them in the dressing room.  By the last trip, I was draping things over her for her to carry.  She considers me odd but harmless and I'm delighted with that.  I can't say enough about what a good start the breed shows have been.  By the time she goes into the ring for her first under saddle test, she's going to think it's a complete non-issue.

We also got an email from the USDF today.  #16 for yearling fillies in DSHB horse of the year and #1 Welsh yearling filly.  So she'll get some fancy satin after all.

Thursday, October 12, 2023


 It's been a bit but I didn't want to jinx myself by talking about my attempt at Third.  I had at least a dozen times where I wanted to back out and a couple times I really almost changed my mind.  But I did it!  I went in the ring and I did the thing!

We had a bit of a tough time with the weather.  The rain rolled in Friday night and stuck around most of the weekend.  Saturday was still relatively warm but bands of rain were coming through.  The footing was getting a bit dicey while I warmed up in a crowd with the rain pouring down.  Grateful for my eventing background that sent me hustling to the tack shop to get some tech gloves.  My reins stayed in my hands where they belonged even when it poured on our test!

It wasn't a weekend for bronze medal scores, it was about getting that first test out of the way and convincing myself I could do it.  And that we did!  My scores were very fair and we got a 55.6%.  We got 6.5s for a lot of our trot work and a 7 for gaits.  We were definitely ready for the level.  We also got a 1 for our second flying change because Theo decided to be an over achiever and do that while still in the half passe so I didn't get to show one.  Sigh.  He also bucked at the start of our release in the canter move which did not help our scores.  But we were still first in our class of 4.  On the day, in the terrible conditions, we were the best.

He added some flair in places such as his first flying change.  Got a 6.  At least it was clean?

Shoulder-in and renver are so easy for him, it's ridiculous.  6.5s across the board with smooth transitions between movements.  4.0 for our first turn on the haunches because he just noped out in the middle.  We can work on that over the winter.  

You can see the mucky conditions.  The footing at GMHA is generally good but nothing holds up under the amount of rain we've had this year.  Theo was not enjoying it but he did march around well.  Got conservative on our extended canter because I didn't want him to slip.

I did my final salute and it took me a couple hours to really realize that we'd done it.  We'd moved up and survived.  And then I totally cried on my tolerant pony's shoulder because that was a long, long time coming.

It poured Saturday night to the point that groundskeepers were out monitoring the flooding to make sure they didn't need to evacuate stabling.  Good news is that the water stayed out of stabling, the bad news is that the footing became soup.  I scratched on Sunday after watching a beautiful, balanced mare retire in the middle of her Third level test because she was slipping too much to do her canter work.  Theo and I are very new to the level, we're not ready to take on the added challenge of footing sliding when he's trying to jump up into his movements.

So the 2023 season is over and we finally, finally moved up to Third.  The judge's comments were very encouraging and since they're from an S judge, I feel like we demonstrated that we are ready.  No, not 60%, but I was very nervous and made some silly mistakes (hard to set up the half pass nicely when you completely miss center line).  We demonstrated that we can do all of the movements in an acceptable way and even got a 6 for the extended trot.  A little more confidence and some dryer footing?  Yeah, we'll get those scores.  

Someone might have talked me into shooting for regionals next year since I'll be done with school.  It sounds like a great way to celebrate my doctorate.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Media Dump: Brookside Breed Show

 When your filly's breeder is also the photographer, you get some fantastic pictures.  It doesn't hurt that's she's growing up just gorgeous.  All photos courtesy of Studio Equus.

Tada!  Looking completely civilized and like a show horse.  She's growing up so beautifully, looking less and less like a baby every week.  She dapples up so nicely.  21 braids to get that full double mane contained.  All of the other horses I did got 11.

Such a polite trot but I can see why this got us comments like 'needs more push' and 'needs more shoulder freedom'.

Polite little trit-trot only gets you a 7.6.  Which is a great score but the three other pony fillies were all GRPs from a dressage breeder and the winner got a 7.8 in the trot.  It was very close with Kiki at 76.5% and the winner at 77.1% and reserve at 77.0%.  Little lady needs to show off that big cob trot since movement has a coefficient of 3.

Seriously could not hear this dang judge, there are several pictures of me staring in confusion.

Pretty girl.  Kind of excited for her to cob out but we're all watching her height closely.  She shot up again.  Might be a small horse, not a pony.  

It was a lot of forelock when it was loose for her Welsh classes.  Fortunately her mane was full of braiding wax and laid down nicely long enough to get around.

Good gravy her face.  Everyone commented on her beautiful face and kind eye.  She got her sire's eye and an uncanny resemblance to her sire's sire as a yearling, Danaway Flash Jack.

She's not so sure about this trotting along with a stranger while the nice lady suddenly tries to chase her with a whip.  Going to have to train her mane on the right side to get the full effect of the silver hair from her frosted gene.

I love this last picture as we're both looking at the judge going 'huh?  You want us to what?'.  I did not do well in amateur handler but the judge was also kind of a jerk.  I couldn't hear him and he did not like to repeat himself.  I also did not need the extended lecture about forgetting my phone in my back pocket after braiding nine horses and needing to coordinate across multiple barns.  Or the comments about my fitness and how it was clear I don't do this kind of thing.  But worth it for the picture of us both looking utterly confused.  Breeder said she trotted off nicer for me than the professional handler so we're taking note:  Kiki loves people but currently isn't cool with working for strangers.  She does it but with a big question mark over her head.

Entries are going in for the breed show in September.  We have no illusions of grand winnings, the pony fillies division is apparently very hot and Miss Kiki appears to be one that will show better once she's matured a bit more.  The 'toe out' and 'cow hock' comments are fine for a filly that's going to gain a lot of width as well as height in the upcoming years.  I'm really looking forward to presenting her as a three year old, all grown up and confident with lots of ground work to develop the in hand trot.  

For her yearling year?  Polite, calm, happy is the name of the game.  Oh, and her very first sugar cube.  Baby pony worked very hard and hard working show ponies get sugar cubes.  Her pupils immediately dilated, I might have created a monster.