As I’ve said many times before, Danny is the most talented horse I’ve ever had. He just thinks like a Grand Prix horse, partially because I’ve been diligent in training him to think that way, but partially just from nature, the beauty of the successful purpose-bred animal.

He’s agile as anything (sometimes for evil); he can coil and spring like a cat, with this tremendous energy and expression. Right now, with a gun to my head, I could do a pretty presentable job of everything from Grand Prix except the ones, where I can consistently do four or five, and have pulled off as many as nine. He has not yet hit his ninth birthday.

Horses like Danny are terribly fun to ride, and also a terrible temptation. I could lean hard on the ones and probably get 15 by late spring, and put in a whole season at Grand Prix with him. We’d get some good marks.

And it would be a terrible, terrible idea.

Because there are still moments in Danny’s typical work week where he’s a mess, moments where he drops the contact and puts his flexible little neck too round and I have nothing in front of me anymore. There are moments where his back fatigues and so he flings his legs into the air instead. There are moments where he falls on his forehand so hard it’ll take me out of the saddle.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!