Galloping around like a fool…

…or not.

Loving this saddle so much

I have quite a few rides and lessons with Nay Nay since my last post. Despite some financial challenges lately (or that will be coming soon), I’ve been trying to to fit in some extra lessons to fix that pesky right lead.

The progress was slow, but Nay Nay wants to please. At first, following my trainer’s ride (aka her 8 minutes on Nay), he’d pick up the lead after several asks, but we’d get it. 4 times would be the magic number. We’d struggle through, but we’d pick that darn lead up 4 times before moving on to other stuff (we also gave up cantering on the left lead for the time being). The next ride, it was less of a struggle. Nay would start shifting his hind end to the inside in anticipation but not quite get it on his own. But the wheels were turning.

Such a good goober

The next group of lessons? A couple asks and the lead was there. More impressive? The first lesson was in the indoor which is much tighter. Come the second lesson? Even better. Not perfect, but better.

All this brings be to Saturday when I asked for the right lead canter and Nay brought his hind end in and in dramatic fashion, launched himself in to the correct lead 4 times in a row. I cried. It’s not smooth. It’s overly dramatic. It has way too much flair. But he does it. Sunday? We did it again (not as well, but if I set him up and didn’t get distracted, he picked it up. If I failed, well…yeah).

Nay and I have similar feelings about Wednesdays.

So, today? I had a horse with energy. Our trot was a mess and finally, while trotting around to the right, Nay Nay just launched himself into the right lead canter. No prep (well, I did ask him to put his body in the correct position, but that was not so that we picked up the lead, that was so that we didn’t trot around like a speeding giraffe with his butt pointing outside of the ring). He just launched himself into a lovely right lead canter and “took off” [slowly] around the ring.

We pose well too

So we let him let off some steam.

And he “galloped around” the ring. Squealing every few strides tossing his head, thrilled that he was “bucking” even though his body didn’t move at all. He was very proud of himself. It was pathetic. So canter we did until he no longer squealed. Until he no longer tossed his head. Until he was exhausted. And then we cantered a touch more just to be sure. It appeared that was my horse with energy. It was… entertaining. I love it.

But his face is cute too

After a trot break (to um… not trot like a speeding giraffe?), we correctly cantered again.

And then did a touch of jumping. Our fence work isn’t too exciting. Just working on some singles around to the outside line, working on maintaining a steady canter. Honestly? Depending on what we do during the week, Saturday often ends up being our fun jumping day where we introduce new stuff or do more interesting courses whereas in our lessons we try and perfect stuff. He’s now jumped everything in the ring and doesn’t care about anything. It’s really a cool feeling to have such a steady and willing partner.

But grumpy faces are a specialty too

Nay has come so far this fall. We’ll see what winter Nay Nay is like, but if his “energy” is anything like this morning… though it was warm today so I have no idea what that was about…

That pesky right lead.

I’ve talked some about our right lead issues. We had a right lead and then suddenly it was gone.

Saddle fit played a role, I’m sure, but honestly? I don’t really have a clue what caused Nay Nay’s right lead to pretty much disappear. But it did.

We’ve been working on it. And it’s been frustrating.

What’s worse is that when we get it? The right lead is actually BETTER than the left lead. I mean, there is NOTHING to do once you pick up the right lead. You just sit there whereas the left lead? the canter is less consistent in terms of pace and gate and all that. But the right lead? The canter is PERFECT.

During Wednesday’s lesson, we worked with the spurs on moving his hind end over. First standing still, then walking, then trotting, then eventually when asking for the canter. We weren’t able to pick up the right lead, but he did get the concept of moving off the spur.

Nay Nay visiting Ranger

Thursday we took another lesson and continued the above. When it became clear that we weren’t getting the lead, my trainer got on (yay!). First, I need to be way more assertive with my leg/spur… But, it was actually nice to see someone have similar issues. After a little bit of wrong answers (which were ignored), Nay Nay answered with the right lead and OMG so much praise. Then he was asked again, and again, and again. The thing is, he is OMG THIS CLOSE and then, hesitates, and left lead. All in all, he picked it up 4 times, each time getting so much praise.

Afterward, he was VERY proud of himself. My trainer basically said, the canter is LOVELY and there is nothing physically preventing it. He just needs this to be repeated over and over and over until he realizes that, yes, we do canter on the right lead. She was shocked at how balanced the right lead is. It is THAT lovely (loop your reins and occasionally cluck/squeeze but that’s it. He does it all).

I guess he’s staying…

On Saturday, I picked it up 3 or 4 times. I had to work for it, but praised the hell out of it when I got it. Then he landed from a few fences on the right lead so we held the canter and again, praised the shit out it. He’s crazy happy about jumping so I’m trying to pop him over a few fences every ride just to balance out the canter crap.

Sunday? 4 right lead canters and then he landed from his roll top on the right lead several times again. The canter was so lovely that we held it all the way around and cantered into the roll top — first time cantering that fence. And it was perfect. I can’t say enough about this kid’s enthusiasm for jumps. Even when I miss a distance, he says, “I got this!” and takes care of it.

Nay Nay requests new accommodations…like his stall. It’s pouring rain and he shouldn’t have to be outside.

So yeah, that’s where we’re at. If nothing else, the fact that he’s trying to land right is progress. We’ll see what progress we make in a few more weeks…

Evidently we jump liverpools?

I’m blogging because I’m angry at the state of the world and focusing on my horse sounds like a good idea? Caveat? I have ZERO media.

Love this horse so freaking much

After recovering from VACCINE FEVER 2020 (we need to booster the botulism vaccine in 30 days and see if he spikes a crazy fever again), I rode Saturday and had WILD HORSE. Well, not really. I had distracted horse. He had energy? But was slow as molasses. Like I tried to longe but realize that Nay Nay didn’t need it? And, why move forward when you can spend all your energy screaming to the new Bay Horse in the front paddock that you can’t even see from the outdoor ring?

Yes.

My horse screamed.

The ENTIRE FREAKING Ride.

I didn’t realize until I was leaving that he was calling to Bay Horse who was calling back.

Pretty day, little jumps

Idiots.

We trotting and screamed. I had zero focus. I thought he’d explode? But he didn’t actually have an energy to do so… so I popped him over so jumps. Easy peasy. Then we added in a new jump. A scary roll top. Scary roll top? Nay Nay’s new favorite jump. Then, things were grand, so why not introduce a broken line? So we did that. No issue. We jumped around slowly. And screamed. And jumped. And eventually I got annoyed so we cantered around (we can jump and scream, but turns out cantering and screaming is hard). And jumped a course or 2 and called it a day. All in all? We introduced 2 new jumps and I think I put a rail up on one of them?

New favorite jump!

Sunday we came back out, armed with a touch of ulcergard just in case all that screamed stressed him out. He was better, but Bay Horse still called and Nay called back a time or two. Before I got on, I looked around the outdoor and realized that I had jumped everything but 3 fences and the liverpool. The outside line was a little big for my liking, but other than that? Still, Nay has been so brave lately I thought, what the hell? So, we marched up the the in which was a large gate with some stuff. The gate itself was 2′ which was my issue. But I stepped over and Nay just followed me. Ok then. And after that? The out was no issue. Then we walked over the other single I hadn’t attempted as it was just a bunch of boxes and flowers and felt built up. Nay didn’t care. Turns out? He has this jump stuff figured out.

You can see the damn liverpool…

That left the damn liverpool. It was set up pretty big (well, 2’6″) so I dropped it to about 12″ and walked over and held my breath. See, I have post traumatic water jump syndrome as a result of the number of times I’ve landed in them. I didn’t actually expect that we’d tackle it today. But Nay just walked over it and looked at me like I had issues. I do. Ok then.

Granma came to visit!

So, we got on, warmed up, and started over our quest to conquer every fence in the outdoor. We trotted our chosen singles and roll top, we trotted in and cantered out our broken line, and then, somehow, we jumped the liverpool. First time, we trotted, then Nay decided the jump was so amazing that we needed to pick up the quietest canter ever and just canter down to it and over. Distance didn’t matter, he just wanted to canter over that damn jump. He landed quietly too. But it might now be his favorite thing ever?!?!?!

After tackling that thing, I put on my brave pants and pointed him to the outside line, legging him up for the in and somehow we managed to land in a canter and added about 12 strides to canter out over the second fence.

All the treats in the world for these boys

With that? I burst into tears, did a couple of courses, and told Nay he is the most amazing horse ever.

WHO THE HELL IS THIS HORSE?

So, on Sunday? Nay Nay jumped every single fence in the outdoor ring including a freaking liverpool and didn’t care one bit about anything.

So freaking good!