The pendulum of green horses

img_3887This was a weekend of a lot of firsts. Some highs, some lows, and some good old boring repetition. My trainer is away for a couple of weeks so our homework is just to ride, repeat some exercises, and repeat again and again and again until we’re both bored silly.

I need the repetition as much, if not more, than Nay Nay!

I was off on Friday so Nay Nay and I had 3 solid days of riding in front of us. Typically I don’t ride 3 days in a row, but… In hindsight, we could have skipped Saturday’s ride.


happy ears our of the ring

Friday was nice and low key. We worked on the basics, played over our crossrails, and ended going for a walk around part of the property. Our FIRST trip out of the ring! And Nay held it together! This was impressive considering he was chased by ponies 2/3s of the time (damn young ponies). I let him watch them and sat and he was OK. He tried to lose it at the end when we walked by the pony mares again (the true terrors) to get my bag (one spin and jump and big loud grunt but we didn’t actually move), but all was fine once we entered the (fenceless) outdoor. Without the ponies chasing? He’d have been fine.


Full-time grump.

Saturday the weather was crap. I forgot his ulcergard (we’re still getting a 1/4 tube pre-ride/haul), it was trying to storm but… not, ponies were ponying. And we just didn’t sync. I managed to fall off getting on? thanks to some random step sideways that left me tumbling forwards in slow motion off the other side. Positive? Nay Nay was not bothered at all and stood stock still (without me holding him in a fenceless outdoor) looking at me like I was the biggest idiot in the world. Yep, I agree. After that, nothing felt right. We could not get the right lead (this has become our solid lead in the outdoor), and everything else just felt… off. We rode, it was fine, but just not in sync. He was a brat in the crossties and ended up having to share his treats with Ranger because Ranger gave me a look.

Sunday? Ulcergard in hand we had a nice ride. Ponies were galloping around like fools and Nay was very fascinated (there is one pony visiting while everyone is at the show and he is equally as fascinated by Nay Nay).

img_39083/4 of ride was spent with Raisin galloping around the fenceline staring at Nay Nay… Ponies. But, we took the energy and put in to work over our crossrails. Our corners our of the second crossrail needs major work (I tried), but we’ll get there. Mostly Nay Nay just wanted to gallop to his jumps once he realized we were jumping. Erik stopped the videos pre and post so you can’t see the enthusiasm that came with the fences. His video technique (ie: vertical video and immediately stopping post fence) needs work, but I try not to criticize. At least he came out in the heat at all!


Stay tuned… Subi gets his own post because he scared the crap out of me on Friday night…

Baby steps

My blogs are getting boring these days but…

Another day, another lesson. I made it my goal in June to try and take a bunch of lessons and see what progress Nay Nay and I could make. We’re on the other side of our speedy-no-brake days (that lasted a grand total of 2 rides) and we’re on ride 2 of no lunging. Lazy-bones Nay Nay is back. Lol

I took a lesson on Friday and it was…OK. I felt a little defeated as while we had some great moments (he was a good boy overall), it also sort of sucked with the baby moments. We were walking over our small boxes and the jumped the first one a few times without issue before walking the second and crashed it (ie: took the jump down). Took the boxes down and confidence? Gone. Then the confidence was gone on the first fence (we over jumped it so much that I nearly came off) and we couldn’t get over it. We eventually removed a box, aimed towards the center of one box with the pole next to it, and walked over it. Repeat and were jumped the center of the box/pole several times to end on, but… I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Yeah.

Sunday I went to ride and Nay Nay was ouchy from his trim on Saturday so we did a touch of trotting before we just stood at the deck and socialized. He thought it was the best thing ever. So, while it wasn’t the ride I planned, going to the barn and socializing? Nay Nay thought that was AWESOME.

All this brings me to Tuesday and another lesson pre-trainer leaving for a horse show. It was hot as hell. I considered cancelling and Michele told me to ride.

I was late, got on, and hoped no one would die.

Nay Nay was dead at the trot. Add leg dead. Loose rein around the ring. Lol. At the canter? Pretty good thought we’ve been struggling with our left lead canter as he gets speedy right by the viewing deck and I need to figure out how to distract from the burst of speed without pulling. After a few circles there is no more burst/head toss, but it takes a while. When I stay close to the fence (vs deck), he’s definitely better, but I forget that. Our right lead right now is amazing… I don’t really get that as trotting to the right currently sucks. Haha!


So hot and sweaty but such a good boy!

Instead of boxes, my trainer dismantled the jumps and set up a mini shoot with cross rails and the boxes around the jumps plus our little plank jump. We walked our cross rails and Nay Nay only hesitated briefly at the one where we crashed Friday. After that? We trotted and cantered and tried not to gallop those cross rails over and over. And did a mini-course with our plank jump as well.  We were coated with sweat in the end, but he was so happy and proud of himself!

Our homework? Set up the fences exactly like that and repeat every single ride until our next lesson in 2 weeks. He needs the repetition to just get confident. I do too.

This, we can do.

Finding a new normal

While I hate the phrase “new normal,” maybe it fits with Nay Nay?

I had another lesson yesterday afternoon and I was curious who would turn up. Supercharged Nay Nay or the Sleepy Variety Nay Nay that I rode on Sunday. Or, for all I knew, I could find a new version I hadn’t ridden yet. Green horses people!

I arrived early with the plan to lunge and stuck to my plan. What I didn’t expect was there was almost no one at the barn. Lately, it’s been packed. Nonetheless, we took advantage of the empty outdoor and put Nay Nay through his paces. I’ve been lunging in his bridle and it seems to be working better, especially to the right. Anyway, we walked, we trotted, and we cantered, but other than one squeal and one time spent convincing me he could not possibly move forward followed by bursting into the canter (horses), no actual antics. With Nay Nay? There are never any antics. He doesn’t buck, he doesn’t rear. He’s super balanced on the line. It’s actually incredible. His antics come while playing with Subi and Jiminy.

img_3784So I got on and that was that. He was quiet. We walked and circled and explored and got him used to my leg, but nothing exciting. We trotted some circles and worked on bend, but, same thing, drama free.

Then we cantered. Right lead I rushed transition so we did a quick change, but it was lovely. We started with half the ring and then extended to 3/4th but it was lovely and quiet and balanced. Left lead was nice, but a touch iffier because Nay was too focused on barking dogs. But, once we got over trying to play (aka tossing his head as we rode by), it was lovely.

Next? JUMPS!!! Last time we jumped we worked over a little plank. Not today. We started with a box with massive pink flowers. The box itself was small, but the flowers probably added another foot to 18″… Goal? Walk up and over. If you remember, we had issues with some fences back in the indoor this winter… So we walked up, he stopped. I added leg but was told don’t make a big deal and just let him figure it out. So we stayed there then circled and up and over. We walked over it the other way and then once more. Then we trotted it several times and the big thing was not stopping the forward motion. So, holding mane. And Nay Nay would launch himself over because this was getting fun I guess?

Then we continued to walk to the second fence in the line. A stone wall with a gate behind it. It was pretty narrow but a touch larger than the other fence in terms of solid matter. We walked up before he stopped and stared at dogs on the other side of the road. Goal, get him to walk up another step. So I squeezed and next thing we’re on the other side. Ok then…


Reusing this because I love it so much

We walked over another time then trotted it (this time I had to kindly say woah and release approaching it because someone thought he knew better and wanted to CANTER) a few times before we put the line together.

And? With that, Nay Nay jumped his first line of real jumps without any issue. We woahed in the middle (because he said canter) but the jumps themselves were nice. I need to get media, but my trainer is happy with his front end over fences. I might end of with a little tb hunter after all…

It’s amazing how much better things are when your horse feels GOOD physically. Loving my Nay Nay Donkey right now!

Growing pains.

img_3716I alluded in my last lesson recap that I had a terrible ride on Nay Nay last Wednesday. He had energy, I had no brakes, and honestly, I just couldn’t control him. We are making some changes so the ride wasn’t entirely surprising, but it was still… demoralizing.

I took a lesson on Friday hoping to have that same horse so that I could learn to ride him, or at least get the tools to ride him. And luckily that same horse showed up.

img_3828The thing is, Nay Nay doesn’t do anything, but at the same time, it’s still not the horse I’ve been riding. And then I get tense which doesn’t help. So… Yeah. On Friday, when we picked up the trot? We went flying forward. Not the lovey puttering trot we’ve had as of late. New rule #1: if he’s fast? pull back immediately, not after 10 strides. Rule 2: start on a small circle. So, after it took me 13 strides to pull him up, we moved to a small circle and worked there for a while, woahing every other stride for a while, then every 3 strides, then every four strides. As he listened, we expanded the circle.

img_3830To the right, I started with short reins which helped and we quickly were able to move our circle around different parts of the ring, but, rule 3: be strategic and clear. Also, his lack of bend to the right worked in my favor as I also worked the inside rein to ask him to soften his neck. Honestly, the right is hard and explosions didn’t happen. We made our way through different parts of the ring and it was actually nice.

img_3827After trotting, we… cantered. Rule #4: ALWAYS have a plan. The goal with the canter was to stay at the far end of the ring and not pass any jumps. Keep my reins short, and keep him slow. So, I picked up the canter and immediately got yelled at that I needed to shorten my reins and pull my left (?) rein and all sorts of stuff. Rule #5: having a plan isn’t good enough, you must FOLLOW THE PLAN. Eventually, we got the canter figured out and it was slow and nice. We also discovered I am pathetic and don’t know my left from my right, but that’s a post for another day.

img_3826The right lead? We started off with the correct length rein though picked up the wrong lead (which no one but me cared about). On a circle though, it’s HARD. That said, he was slow, responsive, and VERY GOOD. Eventually we changed the lead and started expanding the circle till we got around 2/3 of the ring. He was great! We ended with picking back up the left lead canter just to prove I could do it without antics. Done.

So my homework was to practice all of this. And to lunge before I rode in case he needed to get energy/anxiety out pre-ride. Way easier to do that on the line (or running around the indoor) vs with a rider. I was given the rules and the plan, I just needed to stick with it.

I went out Sunday with my plan. I put him on the line and he seemed slow, but…

I got on and… I needed to kick. Kicking wasn’t part of the game plan. WTF horse. To keep him trotting, I needed to kick.

img_3837I’m set for the horse I’ve had the last to rides and instead, I have “please kick to make me move forward”?!?!?!?!

I mean, he was fabulous. 100% fabulous. The best ride I have ever had on him. I tried to follow the plan as best I could (meaningful circles, deliberate track around the ring, etc.) but???? Who was this horse? We even popped over a jump because why not?

So, that’s where we’re at. Lesson later today. I don’t know who I’ll be riding. I’m going to lunge because…

Subi vs Clippers

Nay Nay gets enough post around here.

It’s about time the Original Chestnut gets his own post again.

For the last few weeks, Subi has been pretty miserable. It’s been hot, but not that hot. And then it got pretty hot. Either way, he was miserable and sweaty and sporting a pretty decent old man summer coat (yet, his winter coat is pretty pathetic). The last straw was a humid morning when he was sweaty at 7am.

So, I made a decision last week that I was going to clip him on Saturday. Or at least TRY and clip him.

You see, Subi and the clippers have never really gotten along.

In almost 15 years of ownership, I’m never actually clipped any part of him. Tried? Yes. Clipped? No. So a full body clip shouldn’t be an issue, right?



Armed with a few CCs of ace, Subi got a bath on a cool (yes, it’s been cool since Saturday) Saturday morning before we tackled step one: earplugs. See, he hates the sound of the clippers so I thought that they might help. Start laughing here, please.

Subi 1, Me/clippers 0

I abandoned them and just moved on.

Then I walked him up the clippers and thought, maybe he’s matured at 23? Hahahaha. I let him sniff them and he looked at me, bored and started snacking on alfalfa.

Then I turned them on. BAM. Horse flying backwards.

Subi 2, Me/clippers 0.

But, see, I don’t give up, even when holding a fire breathing dragon. Dammit, this horse is getting clipped, even if it kills both of us.

Enter, lip chain.


Enter more stubborn human.

Enter screaming horse who lives up to his, er, NAY…me. YOU AREN’T HELPING.

Score: Subi 2, Me/clippers 0, Nay Nay 0. Last round was a draw.

Goal: stepping on driveway. I win! Goal: Walking past clippers (they’re off), BUT THEY BITE. Eventually, SUCCESS! Then walking past them on. We got there.

Subi 2, Me/clippers 1

Then I picked them up… Shit.

Then it was ok. Until I held them up to him. HAHAHA.


Because everyone ground ties horses while clipping

Then I held them to my face of all things. And my arm. And suddenly he was OK? And next thing I know, he lets out a breath and I’m clipping him.


Subi 2, Me/clippers 2

If life was kind, I’d end here. Once we started, Subi was actually fabulous. While I kept the lip chain on the entire time, after about 10 minutes of clipping, Subi ground tied and let me clip him that way.

Except then my Andis clippers decided that they wanted to die on me.

Subi 2, Me 2, Andis Clippers 1

And I had to pull out my freaking Oster Clipmasters which I have because they are the only thing that I can clip Jiminy with. And thankfully Subi accepted his fate because these things are loud and clunky… Except I didn’t have a sharp blade so we struggled some because I wasn’t planning to use these….

Subi 2, Me 2, Andis 1, Clipmasters 1…

img_3800Still, I managed to get him clipped between both pairs (I saved the Andis for his legs/smaller places but I’m pretty sure the motor might be shot thanks to Jiminy…). And Subi was a saint once he accepted his fate. It’s not a perfect job (I skipped his head and there are a lot of lines), but he’s definitely cooler. But at least I know I can clip him!

I wonder what Nay will be like to clip…

Final score? Subi 2, Me 3 (hey, I succeeded!), Andis 1, Clipmaster 1, Nay Nay 0

Most amazing lesson ever (and some thoughts/questions about alfalfa)

While I thought of discussing the tale of 2 rides (Tuesday’s lesson and my ride on Wednesday), I don’t want to minimize the success that was my lesson on Tuesday but dwelling on the demoralizing disaster that Wednesday’s ride was. So, with that, let me talk about my lesson on Tuesday.

You guys, Nay Nay was phenomenal. I don’t even get it. Maybe I grabbed a different horse (who? No idea), but he didn’t put one hoof out of line the entire time we were at the barn. He exceeded expectations.


Breaking up text with a picture!

Normally, Nay Nay lives up to his name and, er, is a bit… vocal. He’s a screamer. He didn’t scream once. Not before I got on, not while I was on, not after we were finished, not on the trailer. He was a gem.

We rode outside. We weren’t alone. In fact, I started freaking out because what started with one horse eventually became 5 horses (including Nay Nay). And… it didn’t matter. We trotted. He was slow (not lethargic), just relaxed and happy. Putting out just enough trot. We made circles and explored the ring and took everything in. And you know? It was all good.

While we were trotting, one of the horses started cantering and eventually popping over some fences. This is when my nerves got to me. I haven’t cantered with another horse before. Been in the ring? Yes. Trotted some (sticking to one end)? Yes, cantered while they were cantering? Nope. I had expressed fears at the beginning and was told we’d addressed this today. I was later told, don’t invent potential problems, ride what you have now. 


This idiot like ornamental grass. Old picture because he’s gained a ton of weight… And that grass is really tall now. 

So, when asked, I picked up the canter. Did Nay Nay care? No. I did ask that no one run me over (or run up his butt), but some of that is PTSD from Subi because he cared and I did get bucked off (at a show of all things) from a horse running up our butt (into our butt) so… Lol. Nay Nay never changed his pace. He didn’t care. Life was good.

Both leads were the same. Even when a horse came cantering towards him nothing mattered. Seriously. I cannot explain how amazing he was.


must keep eating

We moved on and trotted the same little fence from my last post. We trotted it from both turns heading into the corner and he happily jumped over, cantering out. From there? We cantered over it, picking our canter up in the corner and cantering the long ride to it. And he was perfect. Life was good. He was very proud of himself.

Without going into details about Wednesday’s ride, I will say he wasn’t bad (though he did try and roll before I got on and while I was on at the end of the ride). He just had energy. A lot of energy considering it was 90 degrees and blazing hot. I rode Wednesday at the request of my trainer to test something out. He wasn’t mentally upset, but he had energy. I’m pretty sure that nothing I could have done would have tired him out. He also has had energy many of the last several rides (with the random exception of Tuesday). I’ve lunged him several times.

We trotted, he wanted to canter. At one point I just let him canter, but I can’t say it helped. I didn’t feel like I had brakes. I don’t like that feeling. I got to the point that I felt like we could walk calmly, stand calmy, and did a bit of trotting (after we walked and trotted and randomly cantered) and called it a day. He was done at that point (and hot and wanted to roll or canter) even though he had energy. I was done. And it was time to stop. I signed up for a lesson on Friday hoping that I have the Wednesday horse vs the Tuesday horse so my trainer can walk me through riding the Wednesday horse because I can ride the Tuesday horse without issue (though the Tuesday horse is much more fun).


I look awful, he looks cute

This morning, it came to me that I might be feeding him too much alfalfa. Nay Nay isn’t being bad, but he has had so much energy (and isn’t being bad about it, but he probably doesn’t need all that protein for the amount of work he’s doing right now). He’s put weight on really fast once we cut the grain and his body stopped fighting his feed. But, perhaps he doesn’t need as many pounds of alfalfa right now. That’s a lot of freaking protein… When I start to calculate the amount of alfalfa forage he’s eating, it’s a little much. I might have created my own problem here without realizing it. I was so worried about his weight that… Oops.

So my thoughts are to replace his alfalfa pellets with alfalfa timothy pellets. Or, I could replace half the alfalfa pellets with orchard grass pellets. He does get a flake of alfalfa hay each night that’s about 5-7lbs (I should weigh it, but it’s super dense and flakey and…) plus orchard alfalfa hay because that’s all he’ll eat.

In terms of pellets:

  • Alfalfa pellets are min 16% protein
  • Alfalfa-Timothy pellets are min. 12% protein
  • Orchard grass pellets are 8% protein
  • Timothy grass pellets are 8% protein

So yeah. That’s where I’m at. Open to all suggestions. I just calculated how many pounds of alfalfa he’s eating and… I’m not sharing the number. Tuesday he didn’t finish his dinner on Monday night or Tuesday morning. Just saying.

Riding the horse you have.


Next door neighbors setting off fireworks into my woods and making jokes about what they set on fire doesn’t help…

I’ve been struggling a little bit with confidence and motivation lately. Riding, it’s a head game. I haven’t been helped by being completely overwhelmed by work lately (I’m still at home and anticipate working from home through at least July 15 when we hope to begin some services on campus — this still means will be working remotely, at least in part). Somehow, I just have too much going on and I’ve internalized a lot and… It’s just put me in a bad place.

Riding and horses should be my escape, but I’m still getting to know Nay Nay and he’s green and while not unpredictable, my brain isn’t convinced he’s not. So I’m waiting for an explosion or a bolt to happen. It’s terrible but I just need time.


This cutie is always smiling

I tried to schedule a lesson last week and my trainer was…unreachable. Communication isn’t her strong point. People used to have set lesson times which made it easy to fit other people in. Then the pandemic happened and people started riding at weird times. Then people just started signing up on her schedule when they wanted to ride. The issue with this? If you text her when her schedule isn’t in front of her? She doesn’t schedule you and usually forgets to get back to you. This happened twice last week. I gave up. Then felt bad for myself and didn’t go out Saturday because I was in a weird place mentally (I also didn’t realize all this scheduling stuff, just figured that she wasn’t looking at her schedule and forgot–one of the boarders filled in the details).


Will work for food

I went out Sunday knowing that a million people were going to be at a show. The first schooling show in a while and the barn would be empty. I hadn’t ridden my horse in a week. Not ideal. I did some lunging and he was pretty good, but Nay gets bored and loses focus pretty quickly and starts screaming… He does it out of anxiety and he does it out of boredom. It’s freaking annoying. After trotting and cantering each way, I got on.

We were joined by another horse and Nay was thrilled. He’s decided he loves having 1 other horse in the ring with him, especially outside. So I got on and found, for the first time ever, Nay had energy. We trotted and circled and changed direction and occasionally cantered a few steps, but he had energy. That said, he never did anything.

Eventually, we walked and let the other horse jump. Then we cantered. I rode like crap and could not sit back (tension), but nothing happened. I have no idea why I’m so pitched forward. Part of it, most of it, is being outside. I have this complex about the outdoor. But part of it is just staying out of his way and that includes a light seat. But I don’t need to be so far forward!

To the right? More of the same.  That said, he was feeling crazy good going to the right and tossing his head in celebration. What I got out of the right was that if he’s up and feeling good, but only tosses his head and keeps his hind end in check? It’s not really too big of a deal. So that was good.

When I got on, I put a fence down to a tiny little vertical and decided I’d work on that. We jumped it one way without issue (no video) — he carried me over a few times, then launched himself over because why not give it 150%???

I did get video of our 2 attempts to the right. The first time? He decided that trotting was overrated and cantered the last few strides because why not canter in on a horse who isn’t confident over fences… LOL. He was having fun.

He also had a crazy amount of energy. When I changed direction to trot it again, he took it as a sign to canter so struggled to bring him back to the trot again. So the next video is me telling him he as energy with him trotting nicely.

Before I left for the day, I did sign up for a lesson today. Cross your fingers I don’t die. I definitely need to ride more.

Reading Lists

There’s a lot I could post right now and I’ll be honest, I’m struggling.

Yesterday, one thing that bothered me most was select people from my profession. As a librarian, I am against censorship. Libraries are very much part of social advocacy (see the film the public). Yet yesterday a person in my field posted the following:

I’m learning that there are library administrators who are not allowing their staff to post readings lists, recommend books, etc. about race, racism, or even Black family life.

If this is you, take a long look in the mirror. This is shameful, cowardly, and racist.

And, don’t @ me with neutrality. There is nothing neutral about this choice. @lisalibrarian

As awful as this is, am I surprised? No. I am fortunate to work in an inclusive environment but we are nowhere near perfect. Far from it. And we have our work cut out for us. But, at least we have regular ally training, have readings set out to us, and group discussions this week via zoom.

But, this isn’t what this post is for. As a librarian, I’m sharing reading lists. None of these are my creation. This is not my area of research (I am a medical librarian) and while I could create my own lists, I’d rather share lists created by others.

I’d also like to share some resources circulating in my institution:

And finally, I just want to share the Colored Conventions Project. Many of my colleagues have worked tirelessly with the project while it was housed at our institution (it’s moving to Penn State). Part of being able to fight for change in the future includes understanding how we got where we are today.

None of us are perfect and most of us (I’d venture to say all of us) can afford to make some changes. But we have to start somewhere. Recognition of shortcomings (intentional or not) and privilege is a start. Listening is another. And learning is another place. I hope that we can all take a step, even if they are small at first. If there are resources you would like me to include, let me know and I’m happy to add them.


In which we took on the outdoor

I’ve talked a little bit about the random fear I’ve developed in the… last almost 7 months (I’ve somehow missed Nay Nay’s 6 month anniversary) of the outdoor arena. But, for some reason, this ring scares me. Nay Nay isn’t spooky AT ALL. But he’s anxious.

When we started riding together in December, our first trip over to the barn was… a mess. Nothing bad happened, but he was a pile of anxiety and his brain leaked out of his ears pretty quickly (this also happened at home quite a few times in the early days). He never offered a buck or a rear, but he was on high alert and his motion was up and down vs forward. When we ended, he was done and I could barely get his halter back on and needed help to load him back on the trailer. This was NOT one of my finest moments.


Grazing is one of Nay Nay’s strengths

Since then, Nay Nay has become a solid citizen. His ground manners have improved, I can control him, and he is used to the arena. We have our bad days, but for the most part, things are fine. We walk into the indoor and we are, more or less, home. Even after 10 weeks off, he was fine going back inside.

The outdoor? That’s been another story completely.

We’ve ridden out there once. On a very warm winter’s day, we had a lesson out there. And it went ok.  We tried to ride out there on our last ride before his time off and… it didn’t happen. There was too much activity and he was just too stressed out so we rode inside instead. For me, the outdoor has just become this… big target that scares the shit out of me. Why? No clue. He was ridden out at the rescue. Probably because we’ve gotten so comfortable inside. And I hate riding inside. But it’s become my safety net.

But at least the outdoor has a fence. Or at least it did. It currently doesn’t. They just re-did the whole thing this past week to make it larger and there’s not a fence right now.


I’m not sure if this shows the size of this thing… 

I picked up a lesson on Friday morning and it was hot and humid and gross. We rode inside. With the side door open for air (I’ve NEVER seen this door open ever, but…). The lesson was fine. We walked, we trotted, we cantered circles each way. It was good. Nay is crazy weak to the right and so is my right leg so it’s very hard getting him straight. Lol. Eventually, I may need to re-introduce spurs to help my leg out… I just can’t get him off my leg and there is only so much kicking I can do.

To end on, my trainer decided we were going to go outside and “walk around” which of course meant more than walk. The footing isn’t perfect yet and is a little deep which can make a looky horse tired. But, we walked and… nothing crazy happened. So we trotted. And circled and trotted around the whole arena (and one time around is exhausting). And we went the other way. And no one died. So we cantered.

The canter was less successful and I rushed the transition and we picked up the wrong lead. I wasn’t allowed to correct it so we cantered until I could correct it. And picked it up wrong again (he was distracted). He had a moment down the long side cantering on the wrong lead where there was a flashback to his life as a racehorse, but let’s all remember that he only won $1400… But, as I was reminded not to touch his mouth and just let him go, he slowed on his own after a couple tosses of his head and we cantered slowly on the wrong lead before walking (pulling = doing something wrong vs cantering slowly on the incorrect lead = perfectly OK).


We did it!

After a successful intro to the outdoor, I made it my mission Sunday to try and ride out again. That said, a brief incident at home (Subi couldn’t find Jiminy before we left) left Nay Nay slightly anxious and he was still a bit anxious when we arrived. I thought about starting inside but made myself go out and work on the lunge line instead. So we lunged (a lot) and Nay Nay screamed, but whatever. I finally got on and he was OK. Tired, but OK. We trotted and trotted and occasionally screamed.

All screaming stopped when we were joined by another horse. 3 may be crowd, but he’s thrilled to have one horse with him.


He really is a good boy

I even cantered. I was nervous to the left as something bothered him right before we went to canter (no clue what), but we did it. The right lead? Absolutely perfect and likely one of our best right lead canters ever. So I’ll take it.

It may take me a while to get comfortable outside (and a fence would help), but we’ve taken the first step.