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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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…