Blog Hop: 2020 Summary

Happy happy you all! I’m out of commission and holding down the couch with the help of a very concerned Hermione dog and typing this from my phone so we shall see how it goes. Had a crazy asthma flare up and I’m at home against advice of the urgent care doctor who wanted to send me to the hospital by ambulance, but that wasn’t happening. Peak flow meter showed I was at critical levels but in Covid times? Is the hospital safe for those of us with respiratory issues? So I have some new medicines and I’ve agreed to go if I get even worse (and I know I can use an epipen for asthma now too in an emergency). Nebulizing is my full time job as of today.

What’s the best thing that happened to you in 2020?

Personal: Working from home the last 9 months has been incredible! I know my colleagues hate it but I love it!

Horsey: Nay Nay technically joined me in early December 2019 but 2020 was devoted to getting to know him and falling deeply in love with him.

Makes me smile everyday. Even if he now knows how to unzip pockets to find the cookies…

What’s the worst thing that happened to you in 2020?

Personal: Not seeing my mom much. I’ve seen her 2-3 times since March vs every couple of weeks. That plus the standard migraine and now asthma hell.

Horsey: Depression of losing Batt. Yes, I lost him in late 2019, but the grief… that and ulcer hell

Still miss these two together

What was your biggest purchase in 2020?

Personal: Lots of little things but I guess a new mattress?

Horsey: Nay Nay’s new saddle. Was NOT planning that one. Actually I bought him 2 saddles this year… but his Albion k2 was the purchase… I guess it was worth it? First ride he stopped dragging?

Love it so much!

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2020?

Personal: Ask me later? Preferably when I’m not nebulizing? Right now I can only come up with accomplishments like streaming the entire NCIS franchise. Or, other random LONG CBS shows in way too little time…

Horsey: so much with Nay Nay. First jumps, first canter fences, getting over blocks (jumping). But really? The damn right lead. I did that. Yes, we did need a training ride (8 whole minutes), but it helped me see stuff and even though the plan was to keep up the training rides, we never needed to again. Nay is a quick study. He wants to please. He wants to be right. So do I. So, that ride taught me how to teach him? And how to use the spur to push him over. And within 2 rides? We were getting the lead after a couple of asks. 2 rides later? Almost immediately. Now? It’s less dramatic. And I have to work the left lead a touch more just because the right is so good.

What do you feel COVID robbed you of in 2020?

Personal: Just not seeing family and close friends because I won’t with covid. It’s not worth the risk.

Horsey: Maybe I could have taken Nay out and about but I’m happy where we’re at.

Were you subject to any COVID Impulse Buys in 2020?

Personal: Broadway Leggings.

Horsey: Nay Nay got extra personalized saddle pads and a cooler and…

Rules to ride by

Goofiest horse

I have several draft posts about my recent lessons that I just haven’t had the motivation to write about. They haven’t been bad. They haven’t been exciting. They haven’t been boring. I just haven’t had the motivation. That said, I do like writing about lessons as this blog also serves as a record of Nay Nay’s progress. Still… I’m not pushing it.

Not impressed by the snow.

My last 3 lessons (all taking place in a 7 day period) have been all over the board. This reflects my recent rides. Everything as of late is lacking consistency. I’ll be honest? This has sort of wrecked my confidence a bit. But, going forward, I need to just put that aside and ride the horse I have.

Instead of recapping the rides, I’m going to instead recap the takeaways.

  1. Sit DOWN. When I’m uncomfortable, I have a habit of tensing in my thighs and ankles and sitting ON the saddle vs IN the saddle. If I really sit down, Nay starts to relax. If I tense, I give Nay reason to tense.
  2. Engage the brain. When I get on, get to work immediately. Work doesn’t mean trotting. Work mean getting into the center of the ring and circling and changing direction and marching forward. Start the trot the same way. ONLY once the brain is engaged and the body and back is warmed up do we leave the center and continue on. Once on the rail? Sometimes the brain still needs extra engagement. Nay likes poles on these days so circling and adding some pole work and lots of change of direction once his back is warmed up is good.
  3. Utilize draw reins. This one might be controversial to some, but, like everything else, they are a tool and when used properly, they have a place. We’ve introduced them and Nay Nay is responding well.
  4. MARCH ON. This is especially important when using draw reins. If I am using draw reins, I CANNOT have an up and down trot. It needs to have power, it needs to be forward, it needs to have controlled speed. Basically, I need to ride. So often when trotting, I just am happy if we are trotting slowly and not dying, but this isn’t OK. This isn’t a proper trot. So, March On.
  5. Ride the horse you have today. Basically, stay in the moment. I can’t ride concerned about what happened last week or yesterday because the horse I had those rides might not be the horse I have this ride. This one is SO hard for me. I fixate on past issues or mistakes or fears rather than embracing the moment.
  6. Control what you can control. Some rides just don’t happen. If Nay is tense? It might be worth it to take advantage of running through the indoor. Preemptively. If I get on and it’s STILL not going well despite engaging the brain? I can get off and lunge or run around the indoor. That’s OK. Sometimes the only thing you can do is free lunge or run around or lunge. That’s OK too. If it goes really well and everything is accomplished in 10 minutes? It’s OK to end there too.
So gross

While Nay Nay hops around and curls up in a ball, he doesn’t actually do anything beyond that. In addition, he ONLY does this at the trot. Never at the canter. So, as long as he warms up and works out of it, things are usually fine once we do canter. I’m so much more comfortable at the trot MENTALLY, but my horse does NOTHING at the canter. I have no clue. Brains are strange things.

Anyway, it’s cold and miserable (temperature wise, we finally have sun over snow and ice) but I’m hoping to get out to ride by Saturday if I can dig out the trailer. We’ll see if I can follow my own advice!

Winter wonderland

1 Year.

Somehow, it’s been a year since Nay Nay joined the family. While the last 18 months have been pretty awful (and obviously 2020 is 2020), Nay Nay has been the bright light.

I was planning to do this Saturday, but we spent our anniversary having a terrible ride. It was cold and windy and I questioned the last year. Of course, Sunday we had a great ride so I just wrote of Saturday. There is a reason I never ride on horse-anniversaries.

Anyway, enjoy a year of Nay Nay pictures. Way too many. But, these made me happy this morning. LOL

First ride!

Coming Home:

December and January:












Chugging along

I haven’t blogged for awhile. I keep meaning to and then I just…don’t want to. Life and work has been getting me down and I just haven’t been up to it? Life’s got me down for no real good reason.

The horses? They’re doing OK. Jiminy has decided to get all heaves-y on me so that’s fun. I have him on zyrtec plus leftover ventipulmin as needed. It’s fine. I should start steaming his night hay but the issue is he doesn’t necessarily eat a full flake if it’s in a net so I don’t really know how much to steam. If it’s not in a net, he’ll eat too much. Dilemmas. So I do nothing.

Doesn’t get much cuter than this, does it?

Subi. Subi is currently feral. Some days he’s dead quiet and others he’s a wild maniac. So typical Subi. He’s also grown a coat for the first time ever so there is that?

This fool… there are no words.

And Nay Nay. We’ve been alternating really good rides and less than great rides. He does better when he’s ridden a lot. I’m just trying to find the right balance. We had a fabulous lesson the other week where he pretty much grew up.

Blurry video but video nonetheless

And the proceeded to have crappy rides every day after.

It’s not that they were bad. They weren’t. They just weren’t… good. They were fine. But I’m struggling to find the balance between forward and quiet, slow and dead, and spooky and stupid. Most of the time he’s been slow, dead, and stupid. But not actually dead or slow? I guess what I need to do is suck it up, get after him, and find the forward button?

I’m not exactly sure what’s going on. He’s fine. He’s not doing anything. But some days? Work is sort of, kind of optional. And then I struggle to keep him moving forward and we end up with this behind the leg crappy canter that I just can’t ride. And, instead of smacking him with the crop and saying knock it off you fool, I just sit there and don’t do anything? I don’t know. User error.

The far end of the ring has become spooky town for us (read: me). And well, that’s not helping. I mean, we’re fine. And Nay doesn’t do anything. Other than the weekend before our lovely lesson when neither of us were feeling it (and I was almost dumped 3x). But besides that day? He’s done nothing to make me nervous so who the heck knows.

So that’s where we’re at. Lesson tomorrow. We’ll see how we do.