Well. Not really.
I’m trying to get back into the weekly blog routine. So here I am, blogging about pretty much nothing. But I’m blogging?
I left off with our left lead struggles. And Nay Nay’s temper tantrums. Since then? The weather has been been gross. We had heat wave #478932 of the summer. Nay got a few days off. And rain. I guess it’s the rainy season now? It’s gross. And now Ida is heading this way and 3-8″ of rain are heading this way tomorrow evening. Everything is muddy now so I’m sure more rain is exactly what we need…
OK. Real update.
It was humid as all hell but I decided to ride anyway. Due to the weather and the fact that it looked like rain (despite the weather app indicating only a 40% chance of showers) I decided I’d ride inside. And then the skies opened up. And stopped. And opened up. And stopped again. I decided to lunge and Nay seemed quiet. So I hopped on and he still seemed quiet? We walked around over some pole and everything was great…
Until we were joined by a spunky little western stock thing. And Nay pretty much lost his shit. I managed to keep him trotting around on one end of the arena, introducing circles and controlling the crow hops, but every few minutes? Nay would explode and jump and spin. Over. And Over. And Over. We’d regain control and things would seem OK and then the crow hopping would start again.
After awhile I felt like we started to make progress and took a brief walk break. After all, Nay did what I asked. He moved forward. He trotted forward. And the crow hopping actually sort of kind of stopped. And then he exploded. It wasn’t bad, I mean, it’s Nay. He doesn’t do bad. But, I just was done. I tried to trot him forward but I couldn’t really get forward from the trot. So I gave up and threw him back on the lunge line and lunged the snot out of him. And then lunged some more.
I did get back on afterwards even though Nay Nay was hot and sweaty and tired and his brain was spent, but I decided I didn’t care (judge me). My goal was to walk around on a loose rein. So we did. He screamed (his timer had gone off). I decided to push my luck and trot. So we did. On a loose rein. It was also nice, minus the screaming. Then, really pushing my luck, we picked up the left lead canter. First time. There was no screaming. I called it a day, hopped off, and Nay screamed in my ear.
Sunday? The weather was a lot nicer. I lunged again and Nay Nay was much quieter but also much more willing to move out (we were outside, his preferred place to ride). I probably lunged a touch longer than I should have, but after Saturday, I did want to push him harder than I had Saturday (lunge 1).
The ride itself? It was pretty good. I got on and Nay was quiet. He was a little resistant to bend, but generally good. And he picked up the left lead right away the first time. We struggled if I didn’t ask properly — he wants me to put both hands to the outside and bring my outside leg back — like WAY WAY WAY back. If I rush the transition? I tend NOT to bring my outside leg back. He also struggles with the lead when he gets tired. But, when he’s tired he gets heavy as well so I found that if I halt and back AND ask him to lift while backing? he figures out right away that getting heavy is way too much work for him.
We also worked on the right lead and while he was a bit confused (both leads? we do both leads?), we didn’t fight and got that one too while using the same tricks (while also then asking for the left immediately after to reinforce the point).
We ended our ride with a couple of single trot fences working on either landing the lead or simple changes and just not getting super heavy. It was rough (Nay was tired so the leads got harder), but we got it.
Good for you on pushing through his shenanigans. Sometimes you have to draw a line. And I think getting back on after the lunging was a good thing.