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.
So 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…
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!
aw yay!! what a good feeling!! it’s also so exciting that he’s thinking so forward about the jumps. like, obvi your approach of keeping things cool calm and collected seems prettttty reasonable right now, but it’s nice to know that his default go-to is forward, vs being nappy or reluctant
Definitely! He was very nappy about it this winter so we’re wondering if he’s just feeling so much healthier now which is allowing him to move forward? Even sometimes cross rails he was iffy about… He’d go over them, but there was this… hesitation. Yesterday (and everytime we’ve done our little plank) it’s just been forward even when he’s thinking and making that decision and learning he can go over (or through the flowers. Definitely trying to keep things calm and no big deal, but I think he’s appreciating that. He seems happy to see me when I go and get him to ride whereas back in Feb/Mar he was definitely not impressed.
You’ll have to come out and meet him one of these days!
Yeah, when they feel better it makes such a huge difference. Things sound like they’re getting better