Freaking Succeed?!?!

Back when Nay Nay was having all of his stomach/ulcer issues from March-June, I stuck him on Succeed at some point in a fit of desperation. I had no idea if it did anything, but he liked the taste and something he was on (Ulcergard, Succeed, Outlast, or Redmond’s Daily Gold) plus a massive diet overhaul seemed to fix his stomach. Not the way to test supplements/medicines but I was desperate and Ulcergard wasn’t doing it (and by month 3…).

Well, mid summer, I decided to remove the overpriced Succeed. Haha. Something went wrong (saddle fit) and Nay Nay got a touch grumpy and back on Succeed he went and I don’t know if it was the Succeed or just life working out again.

I recently decided that spending $100/month for 1(!!!!!) supplement was crazy. Especially one that I don’t know was doing anything. Nay is on Platinum Performance ($$) plus Outlast plus Daily Gold plus electrolytes on top on his diet of alfalfa pellets and rice bran and special hay and alfalfa. Feeding this damn horse costs a freaking fortune. Not to mention Ulcergard as needed for lessons and/or rides if he’s feeling stressed…

Nay has been off the Succeed for almost 10 days and is becoming increasingly grumpy. Until yesterday, he’s been good under saddle. Yesterday he was fine, but had the bug up his butt attitude. Today? Complete turd. Until we jumped. Then he was happier. But he’s grumpy. He’s got mushy poop too. And a sensitive flank. And he kicked out at me. Once. He learned never to try that again.

All coincides with time off the Succeed. So, thanks to his generous sponsor, a new autoship is being placed and back on he goes. There’s something in this oat flour concoction that makes his belly happy. And a few days of Ulcergard or Esomeprazole/nexium might not hurt either.

Horses. Trying to bankrupt us every step of the way!

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!

Holy Fever!

The boys have had some tuneups this week. Monday was dentist day. Nay Nay was power floated without any sedation because he’s cool like that. Subi got drugs because he gets stressed out. Jiminy? He probably would have been fine, but after his choke 2 weeks ago, he got some dorm gel just because he’s lacking a little trust right now.

Jiminy needs to be seen in 6 months as does Subi (old man has some loose teeth that might be reaching end of life plus some other old man teeth issues) while Nay can be checked though likely will be fine for a year.

Yesterday? Fall vaccines. All went well until I walked outside at 6:30 to do stalls before turn in and found this pathetic site.

So freaking pathetic.

He wasn’t colicking. He sort of passed the cookie test. I stuffed a cookie in his mouth and he chewed without enthusiasm but he did eat it even if he chose not to take it from me. And after cookies, he followed me to the gate.

When I did bring him in, Nay did pick at dinner, but without his regular enthusiasm. And he felt hot.

That said, I didn’t expect the thermometer to say his temp was 105.4. So I took it twice and got the same result. Immediately I called the vet office and somehow the on call vet got back to me 30 seconds later (new record).

Plan was NSAIDs (banamine or bute) and check temp in an hour for some progress. There was a tiny bit but I moved forward with plan b of an alcohol bath which seemed to really help. Eventually he was down to 103.2 which he stayed at most of the night. After a second dose of banamine, he finally dropped to 102.3 this morning and 101.5 when I turned out.

But seriously? 105.4?! What the hell?

He’s still not feeling 100% and while he attacked breakfast, he didn’t finish. That said, the Cookie Monster has resurfaced… so he’s definitely on the mend. And next year? We’re pre-treating with banamine before fall vaccines!

Big Kid Jumps

Well, not quite.

Still, Nay Nay is really starting to get it. When we first introduced jumps, I really questioned whether Nay was going to be a hunter. I thought we might have to take up low level dressage.

You see, he sort of freaked himself out and crashed into the jumps, they collapsed, and he panicked. I mean, maybe I’m exaggerating? But not entirely. He was OK with poles or cross rails, but more that that? He could quite get it. We had a pretty bad lesson where he felt overfaced and… After that we took it back, but… Now, we didn’t ask him to do one thing that he couldn’t walk over, but still…

Always happy, even with vitamin e on his face

After Nay’s time off for ulcers, we eventually reintroduced some jumps. We had a REALLY good lesson where he did great (he loves this plank fence that’s both inside and out) and did great with flowers. But, the next ride? He felt a bit overfaced and all my uncertainty came back (which didn’t help him). So, we took it back to cross rails and he did great. Confident and fabulous. Plan was just jump cross rails until he was 100%.

Happy ears

At some point, we started adding back solid fences. It was hit or miss. Not crashing miss, but hesitation miss. But, we always got over it. Then, when I rode on my own, I started walking him over stuff before I got as I set stuff up. Somehow, whenever my trainer tried to walk him over he’d nope out of it, but me? he’d happily follow me anywhere. We started walking over flowers, and boxes, and gates, and all of the above combined. Jumps got wider (I started struggling to get over… LOL). Nay didn’t care. We’d get on and walk up and over. Then I’d point Nay to them and instead of walking over? He’d pick up the trot and trot himself over. Hesitation just… gone. After the trot, he’d start dragging me to his fences because jumping evidently is fun.

This weekend the weather was gross so we spent Saturday in the indoor with his “older” girlfriend Fiona. Since everyone has been outside as of late, the footing was a bit choppy. But, not terrible. We stuck to 2 singles (nothing huge) and eventually strung them together at the canter, cantering 2 fences together for the first time.

Yes, we have our own little cheering squad.

On Sunday, another first! Nay was definitely tired from Saturday so instead of working at the canter, we stuck mainly to the trot (the canter just didn’t feel great with the footing) and strung together a 6 fence course, adding in the outside line to our 2 fences from the day before (we repeated the one and jumped the other both ways).

All in all, 2 successful rides. Nay Nay just continues to gain confidence and impress.

Starting to click.

I’m very behind on blogging. I think I got tired and then decided I didn’t care? I had some good rides and then took most of last week off because work tried to kill me and I gave up and then had a bunch more fabulous rides this past weekend and a lesson this morning. So I guess it’s time I blog? Or not?

The Best Thoroughbreds

A couple of weeks ago, Nay Nay decided that he no longer wanted to jump this one jump he loved. He didn’t want to walk over it or anything. Other stuff? Fine. His favorite jump? Nope. So I just hopped off and walked him over it. He followed me like a puppy. Since then, everything has changed. Before I get on, I decide what jumps I want to work on and we set them to our chosen height and fill (we started by removing flowers, now? we don’t care about the damn flowers) and we just walk over them before I get on. I walk, Nay follows me and all stress is completely gone. It’s like he saw he walk over it and suddenly something clicked and BAM! He realizes that we go over jumps? I don’t know but it’s working. Nerves and hesitation are gone. We’ve added several (5-6 difference fences) difference jumps with boxes and gates to our repertoire now. They’re tiny. Like under 2′, but who cares?

This weekend we strung together several into a mini trot course and mostly I had to work on keeping him trotting in between. He has enthusiasm for the jumps and often will canter out nicely, but the rest of the time? Nay thinks sleep is good. He also gets bored easily and while he’ll put out a good effort once or twice, he’s learned that he can also land in the trot and save calories.

Our right lead is hit and miss. Today we worked less on picking it up (there was a giant truck removing the barn’s manure pile and I was just thrilled that Nay wasn’t bothered by the that) and rather focus on landing the lead from our end jump. He had other ideas… We eventually got there. The thing with the right lead? Once we get it? His right lead canter is SO MUCH NICER AND MORE BALANCED AND EVEN than his left lead. It’s just picking it up that’s an issue. And then he gets stressed out. So… We’re still working on it. I’m going to see about getting some body work done and seeing if that helps.

But we’re getting places. Hopefully I’ll have some folks to ride with this weekend and I’ll have some updated videos. These are from a couple weekends ago and I feel like we’ve progressed so much already. But, media is media. LOL.

He’s turning into something pretty darn special

Bring on the vet bills!

Seriously 2020? Go to hell.

Actually, the last 12 months have been hell with the horses. And my emergency budget is gone.

I mean, there was Batt and his heaves. Then Batt and the colic with the multiple emergency visits followed by the clinic and the end. Let’s not go there.

Then Subi losing his mind.

Then Subi tried to die on me.

Then Subi’s ulcer treatment.

Then Nay Nay decided that he was missing out and got ulcers (in his defense, he probably already had them) and developed an allergy to soy.

3 months of ulcergard, 1 scope, lots of alfalfa, and a diet overhaul later, Nay Nay was healed.

Then Subi decided that it was a good time to grow grapefruits for hind legs.

And Nay Nay’s back hurt and he started acting like a fool requiring a saddle fitter and new saddle.

Then the farrier came out and asked how things were. Saturday at 12pm things were good. No REAL disasters. My husband said the famous last words. “No major vet bills lately.”

An hour later? I was on the phone with the emergency vet on call.

Guess who felt left out?

JIMINY. Jiminy decided it was a good time to CHOKE.

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Emergency vet call for this guy…

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ON GRASS.

Scariest thing every.

With more sedatives in him then any miniature ever should have, the vet and I wrangled him the best we could and tried to tube him. Pony shook and reared and fought with every bone in his 300lbs body. Many attempts later? We succeeded and thought we resolved the choke.

Then he started coughing. Then retching. Then green started flowing out his nose again.

So, we tried AGAIN to tube. More sedatives. More fighting. His nose was too small to twitch. We tried. At one point? He gave himself a bloody nose and blood was flowing everywhere. While supporting the entire body weight of a mini, I was also coated in mini blood. It worked for a while until he fought so hard I almost fell and the vet pretty much twisted her wrist. We got a little more fluid in him before calling it an afternoon…while he was still choked.

See? There is a limit to the amount of sedatives a 300 lbs pony can get. And we reached that. So, with a muzzle on, we left him to try and resolve it himself. Jiminy got some banamine, Ace, and Excede. 7:30 I checked back in with the vet and the direction? Hand graze and if he starts coughing, call her back and more tubing. Thankfully he did OK.

The next morning, he had mucus discharge and coughed a bit at 5am, but did ok at 7am for his grazing. Then later on? Found peppermints in wrappers and ate those… WTF pony… But, other than an initial freak out and coughing spell, seemed iffy-ish OK. That afternoon, he got a soupy bowl of hay pellets and some more grazing.

Yesterday? He still seemed iffy. We continued more of the same. Stall rest but without the muzzle. Grazing. And lost of tantrums without his brothers. Last night he finally looked like himself and got some hay. This morning he finally had dry nostrils and got turned out with his brothers.

At this point? I’m HOPING we’re through the woods, but seriously? WHO CHOKES ON GRASS????

Going through the motions

Nay Nay and I have had some pretty fantastic rides as of late. I just haven’t really felt like blogging about them. What can I say? I’m lacking media and work is picking up so…blogging is taking a backseat. But, I do want to capture some of what we’ve been doing.

To be honest? It’s not very exciting. We’re in green horse mode. So there is a lot of rinse and repeat going on, and that’s just OK with me. But guys? This horse is quiet these days. The quick and forward and up and down trot I was dealing with a month or 2 ago until we worked through that crap? Completely gone. It’s sort of like he realized this saddle doesn’t hurt and he’s back to being quiet and light and not draggy Nay Nay.

Lawn mower

That’s not to say that things are perfect. That right lead is a work in progress. Bending to the right is looking really nice at the trot and we hold the bend nicely at the canter once we get the lead. It’s just picking it up. Building muscle is hard and Nay Nay has some muscle imbalance going on in his back. We’re going to test a few things to make sure that pain isn’t an issue, but, we’re suspect that if pain is involved, it’s pain from weakness vs pain from injury. So, once he builds that muscle? Picking up that canter shouldn’t be an issue. It’s not so much that he can’t, but rather some anxiety that it could be hard or might hurt. Once he gets it? Ears go forward and he’s 100% on board and OK, just significantly weaker.

We’ve played around with a little jumping work too. He’s a couple of lessons ago he jumped a gate for the first time. We practiced that for a few rides in which he then decided said gate did not need to be trotted but instead should be galloped. But, despite some enthusiasm, we maintained an acceptable pace without pulling. He also jumped a cross rail with a flower box this weekend just because. He didn’t care for it one direction (we took it as a 3ft fence), but happily trotted in the other way because???

In our lesson today, we worked on a circle over a tiny plank. We’ve worked on this on our own several times, but it was nice to tackle it in a lesson. The the left, we just trotted it several times as I stayed out of Nay’s way. To the right? Same thing until he landed on the right lead. At that point? We let him hold the canter and canter into the jump. I think we held the right lead 2 or 3 times before landing wrong. Our homework? Continue this exercise as the circle will help him build the muscle. If he lands wrong, start back at the trot.

I did have a chat with my trainer as sometimes I feel completely out of place among the $$$ warmbloods and all that. But, she reminded me that everyone has different goals and this used to be what she did all day every day. Green horses and ponies. It was only recently that she ended up with a barn full of AA hunters. I’m having fun, enjoying the journey, learning each ride (as is Nay right now), and it’s OK to have different goals. And, riding and training isn’t linear. We have good days and bad days. We improve and improve and then suddenly everything goes wrong and you suck as a rider, but then you progress faster and improve more before you plummet again. Regardless, right now, I’m happy where I’m at. Of course, I’ll be happier when that right lead is consistent!

New Saddle Time!

I’m happy to report, my hunt for a saddle was short lived. I’m pretty sure I searched 24/7 for about 4 days until I found 5 saddles (including 2 in the UK and one that Michele sent over to me). I sent the list over to the saddle fitter and she reduced it down to 3 and told me the choice was mine.

I eliminated a forward flap Albion and was between an Albion Kontrol in the UK and an Albion K2 in the US. Neither had a trial available so I was taking a risk that the tree shape would work. In the end? The K2 won out despite being a little more expensive (it looked in better shape and I’d get it faster). Thanks Michele for finding me my saddle. I bought it Monday, it shipped Tuesday, and arrived on Thursday. And I didn’t get to sit into it until… Wednesday because? Our truck was having surgery.

And the saddle? It’s glorious.

Nay Nay seems VERY happy. In the short bit between seeing the saddle fitter and finding this saddle I tried to ride and it was apparent that Nay was uncomfortable. He’s gotten increasingly heavy and the last couple of rides I could tell his back was hurting. In the end, I just stopped riding because it wasn’t worth it.

So when I got on Wednesday I wasn’t sure what to expect. He’d had time off (almost 2 weeks). He’s been cranky from being sore. And I’m still working on shimming (we’re using the mattes pad for rear right shims as he’s uneven in his back). So I had no idea what I’d get.

Instead? I had a quiet light in my hand, kick ride. We trotted around on the buckle and never once did he try to pull or drag me around. Old Bay Nay was back. Now, the right lead will take a lot of time to get back, but we’ll get there. We got it eventually and with consistency we’ll have it.

As for me? It’s not perfect. This is a LOT of saddle. Basically, it’s a seat belt saddle with huge front blocks and rear blocks (I’ve never actually ridden with rear blocks).I feel a little awkward at the trot, but I’ll get there. The canter though? AMAZING. I can sit and it’s lovely. He felt so good we took a spin over the little plank jump at the end of the ring (Nay Nay’s favorite fence) and the saddle is even more amazing over jumps. To the point that I felt comfortable enough to canter over the jump a few times. I forgot what it was like to feel secure in a saddle.

If I could change anything? I’d probably have looked for a 17″ seat vs the 17.5″ as it feel just a touch big. But, the saddle fitter felt that in the deeper seat the 17.5 would be good. I’m swimming a touch, but it’s not terrible.

Overall? I’m pretty happy and Nay felt great!