Yay or Nay: Conquering the outdoor


It wasn’t always warm. Just a few days ago it was freezing and snowing… I may have just ordered him another of these in a heavy… 

Nay and I FINALLY got a lesson in this weekend…after not riding for a week. On top of that, the weather decided to go crazy here in the mid atlantic and Saturday saw temperatures in the 60s. In January. Personally, I HATE warm winter days. Perfect recipe for people and animals getting sick. And for migraines. But no one asked me.

Anyway, all week I was stressing about my Saturday lesson as warm weather typically means… riding outside. Now, I have nothing against riding outside, but we JUST got Nay used to the indoor and now we’re riding outside? So, me being me, spent Friday night tossing and turning, stressing about dying while riding my quiet horse outside. Typical.


Not related to Nay, but instagram told me Horizon Structures was having a sale… on SUBI?!?!?! 

We arrive and the barn was chaos. Everyone and their mother and their third cousin’s best friend was there. I managed to park my trailer, but… Go home people. Nay was good to tack up in the driveway (he’s gotten SO MUCH BETTER) and we walked over towards the indoor (hopes raised) where my trainer was standing. She did give me the option but there were SO MANY PONIES (seriously ponies everywhere) inside so I agreed to go outside if she made sure I didn’t die. We then tried to spook at a stroller coming out of the indoor… lol. I’m telling out, it’s all my anxiety.

We took a semi private with another young horse, Wilbur. That said, Wilbur is now showing, jumping, etc. but still has his green moments. I started off by hand walking Nay around the outdoor. He didn’t care. Because, why would he? He was more alert, but that was about it.

Once on, we wandered. Wandering is our pastime. I tried to sit up and keep my leg on him and sit in the saddle vs on the saddle. He likes that. He slows down when I do all of that. After wandering for a while at the walk, we got the all clear to wander at the trot. The goal? Keep his brain busy with turns and changes of direction. For the first time ever, I was allowed to ask him to slow down and encourage the trot from his hind end (by sitting back, erg). Eventually, we added in a pile of poles. Nay loves his poles so this was fun for him. After successfully doing our poles both ways, we eventually walked and watched some jumping for a while.


It also appeared my barn was for sale… 

So, when I first got on? There was no question that we were NOT cantering today. Yet the more we walked and trotted, the more relaxed Nay got. He spooked once at the very beginning because the wind picked up and a gate went clattering and he scooted into the trot a few steps but that was it.  So, after we trotted, my trainer told me, never mind, we will be cantering…

We started off with the left lead. The first time? Eh. Ugly. He didn’t pick it up right away and, instead of being patient, I added leg and he scooted into the canter on the wrong lead. So, it started off a bit quick (not fast, quick) and rushed. Since we don’t care about leads, he tried to canter around the corner but was distracted (horse was walking in when we were approaching the gate) and off balance and… yeah. So we went back to the trot and eventually walked and I got the talk… Basically, TAKE MY TIME AND STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHEN I PICK UP THE DAMN CANTER…


He’s becoming such a good traveler!

As a result? Take 2 was lovely. Nay picked up a quiet, slow, and relaxed canter that we held 3/4 of the way around the ring.

Before we picked went to pick up the right lead, we watched some more jumping. Then, a pony went on a walk around the indoor arena and Nay lost it temporarily. [Lost it now means lost focus and ears super forward] With some direction, I did a little trotting to get his brain back in his head. And right lead canter? Our best ever. Quiet, relaxed, and slow. The comment? “Well, wasn’t that adorable!”


He’s cute when he’s not poorly behaved (another post about worst pony ever title)

Not the most exciting lesson, by outdoor arena conquered! The worst part? My saddle just isn’t going to work, not even for the short term. So, we’re 2 saddles down, a few more to try (or, I listen to Emma, and go saddle shopping/trying courtesy of MD Saddlery). I need to look into consigning my Millers at this point because it’s just not working for me (it fits Nay relatively well, but my trainer is hating the position it puts me in). I’m just not tied to it anymore so it can go.

12 thoughts on “Yay or Nay: Conquering the outdoor

  1. Noooooo, not saddle shopping! Ugh. I hope you can find something that works for both of you in short order.

    And also, I hope Horizon credited you…?!

  2. So glad you got to ride in the outdoor. that is huge!! Sounds like Nay is really settling in (yes you will have blips but overall what a good boy). I still need to pull that damn Zaldi out of the garage. Tennessee if you will stop with the rain I will do it soon! UGH

  3. Lol go sit in all the things!! Buying 100% optional, but trying is at least the fun part 😉 esp when you’ve got resources like MD Saddlery!!

    Also I love Nay, so glad he’s settling and you guys are easing into the routine!

  4. Well, I hope Horizon credited you at least? That seems pretty sketch tho.

    Oh no, not the dreaded saddle shopping! My biggest hang up on getting a new horse is needing to find new saddles. I’m not looking forward to that lol. I hope you can find one quickly that fits the both of you tho!

    • So I gave them the pictures when my barn was installed. I think they may have asked if they could use them, but I can’t remember the details… I probably gave permission. But it still makes me laugh on HOW they were used….

      Yeah saddle shopping. No.

  5. He’s such a good horse for you! I love how you describe him. the saddle thing is super annoying. I would recommend a saddle with adjustable gullets as he’s bound to change shape as you work with him….

  6. What a good boy he is! To ship in, deal with all that chaos, and ride outside? AND you cantered both ways! Definitely a good lesson.
    Bummer about the saddle, but I think once you find one that works for the both of you, you’re going to feel a lot more comfortable up there and probably less anxious too. There’s something about feeling secure in the tack that eases the other angst too.

    • Since we haul out for every ride, he’s getting REALLY good about the trailer. I just get in my head that OMG outdoor (whereas, I HATE riding inside on…everyone else) because we haven’t been outside yet and with my luck we’d have encountered an Amish buggy. I have them at my house, but I’m far enough from the road that I’m not sure how great of a look he’s had at them.

  7. Pingback: In which we took on the outdoor | Three Chestnuts

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