Worst. Pony. Ever.

As I alluded in my last Nay post, on Saturday, Nay one the award of WORST PONY EVER.

You see, he’s really very good.

Except. Sometimes he’s NOT. Sometimes he’s bad. VERY VERY BAD.

This didn’t cause much of a stir on instagram, but facebook? Questions were asked.

You see, Nay decided walking was overrated. And decided that he’d rather rear and spin his way to turnout. I wasn’t leading him, so it was all good (no, not really, lol). He was really a turd. And Subi joined in a bit (but MEAN MOM)… So, upon FREEDOM, the 2 thoroughbred idiots, went running around like utter fools, rolling, running, bucking, rearing, and stirring up trouble.

While they were carrying on? I set out to fill up one of the water troughs. That didn’t quite work. See, I had to heaving , out of breath, sweaty, and thirsty ponies. Subi took and drink and moved on. Nay? No. He took the hose.

Yes, he took the hose.

And sprayed me.

And then proceeded to try and play TUG OF WAR WITH MY HOSE.

Idiot.

And then he gave me that look. And it was hard to be mad at him. But I did take my hose back…

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He is the WORST. He can’t even pose for a stall picture.

But then Wednesday, I was trying on his new bridle for size before conditioning it and realized I really needed a bit… So, I walked into my basement to see what I could find, leaving him at the door. I started taking the bit off another bridle and Nay got sick of waiting (patience is not his strong suit).

Next thing I know, Nay is standing IN MY BASEMENT WITH ME.

So folks, mark January 15, 2020 on your calendar. That is the date that Nay officially tried to be my dog.  And when I say he walked in, I’m not talking about his front feet, I’m talking about his entire body was standing inside my basement. And he suddenly lost his backing skills so I had to walk him in further and turn him around to get him back out. He is NOT scared of my basement (Jiminy is). He was quite happy in there and knows that’s where I keep the feed. Help me, please.

But, worst pony ever? Once I was done with him? I turned him back out. It was dark. Nay was convinced that DARKNESS = STALL. So, for the next 2 hours, he had a temper tantrum. Forget the fact that he is brought in between 8 and 9pm every night and it was 6:05pm…

So, worst pony ever. Coming to a sale barn near you… Maybe.

Update on Subi

This blog has been very Nay-heavy lately and I’ve been meaning to do an Sub-date for a couple weeks, but just haven’t gotten around to it. I’m also worried that I’ll write something about Subi and he’ll go and stop eating or something. But honestly, knowing him, he’ll do that update or no update.

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The best Subble Bubble covered in bedding

So how is he doing? Short answer? Pretty well.

After Batt died, Subi basically didn’t eat for a month. He ate and drank the bare minimum to survive, but that was about it. As a result, he lost at least 150lbs. I’ve been struggling to get the weight back on him ever since. Now, Subi was at REALLY good weight prior to his hunger strike, but, unfortunately, 150lbs is a HUGE loss for a hard keeping thoroughbred. He pretty much ate alfalfa and picked at whatever else he wanted.

He also developed ulcers during this time, because, why not? If you all remember, a few days after losing Batt, Subi took himself for a gallop around the neighborhood searching for his friend. That resulted in a long acting sedative. The sedative helped until it didn’t and the ulcers developed from stress, grief, and general unhappiness. After I realized keeping him in at night only made things worse, I started bringing them in for dinner, turning out after 2-3 hours, and bringing them back in for breakfast. He never ate much, but he stressed less.

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You can really see his weight loss here. He lost a little bit more after this picture

Around this time, I pulled him off the sedative, put him on ulcergard then compounded omeprazole paste (he was on nexium but since he wasn’t eating…). Around this time, he became dull and docile. To the point that anyone could lead him including my husband or a 5 year old child.

Enter Nay at the beginning of December. At this point, Subi perked up in the field and was finally able to stay in his stall overnight without trashing it MOST OF THE TIME. But, he still had days where he stressed. Dinner was about 50/50 as to whether it was finished but he started eating hay in his stall. Vet drew blood (also tested for cushings), but everything completely normal. Vet suggested we do a full 60 day ulcer treatment vs 30.

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Subi and his favorite sidekick with his favorite thing in the world: blanket with neck cover (best thing for weight gain). 

Enter January. His weight still sucks, but he’s slowly gaining. I purchased MORE 3 string western alfalfa (price went down?!?!? I’m so confused…) and I’m giving in to his love of all things…sweet feed. You see, Subi is now cleaning his dinner bucket if he get 6 quarts sweet feed and 2 quarts TC Senior whereas before the ratio was 6 quarts TC senior and 3 quarts omolene 200. He’s getting less of his fat and less of the purina outlast than I’d prefer, but the current ratio seems to keep him eating… So, Subi, you can eat what you want. In the mornings (he eats less for breakfast), he just gets 5 quarts Omolene 200 with a touch of fat and outlast. So, when I finish this bag, I’m dropping the senior. At 23, he can eat what he wants. I give up.

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Made the mistake of turning this fool out without a sheet/blanket one morning because it was that cold… he reared the entire way to turnout… idiot. 

He’s also slowly getting a bit…spunkier leading from the field at night. He’s not bad, he’s never bad (YES HE IS), but he has his moments and his personality is back. He and Nay have also gone flying around the field many a days and Subi is quiet crippled the next day because of it (arthritis…). Of course, with his ulcers, bute and Equioxx are off the table. My farrier is thrilled with his BOT boots prior to trimming (he was shocked at the difference as I hadn’t had them on prior to his last trim) and Subi went from creaky and teeth grinding to compliant and comfortable. So, for now, we stick with stuff like that.

Generally though? He’s content. He’s Subble Bubble. He likes his kisses, peppermints, and carrots. He eats apples from everyone BUT me and is generally a gentleman if you stick to his routine. He likes Nay (and is thrilled that someone wants to run and play), but isn’t obsessed with him and doesn’t care when he goes off on the trailer. And, he’s constantly covered in mud, everywhere his blankets don’t cover.

Yay or Nay: Conquering the outdoor

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It wasn’t always warm. Just a few days ago it was freezing and snowing… I may have just ordered him another of these in a heavy… 

Nay and I FINALLY got a lesson in this weekend…after not riding for a week. On top of that, the weather decided to go crazy here in the mid atlantic and Saturday saw temperatures in the 60s. In January. Personally, I HATE warm winter days. Perfect recipe for people and animals getting sick. And for migraines. But no one asked me.

Anyway, all week I was stressing about my Saturday lesson as warm weather typically means… riding outside. Now, I have nothing against riding outside, but we JUST got Nay used to the indoor and now we’re riding outside? So, me being me, spent Friday night tossing and turning, stressing about dying while riding my quiet horse outside. Typical.

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Not related to Nay, but instagram told me Horizon Structures was having a sale… on SUBI?!?!?! 

We arrive and the barn was chaos. Everyone and their mother and their third cousin’s best friend was there. I managed to park my trailer, but… Go home people. Nay was good to tack up in the driveway (he’s gotten SO MUCH BETTER) and we walked over towards the indoor (hopes raised) where my trainer was standing. She did give me the option but there were SO MANY PONIES (seriously ponies everywhere) inside so I agreed to go outside if she made sure I didn’t die. We then tried to spook at a stroller coming out of the indoor… lol. I’m telling out, it’s all my anxiety.

We took a semi private with another young horse, Wilbur. That said, Wilbur is now showing, jumping, etc. but still has his green moments. I started off by hand walking Nay around the outdoor. He didn’t care. Because, why would he? He was more alert, but that was about it.

Once on, we wandered. Wandering is our pastime. I tried to sit up and keep my leg on him and sit in the saddle vs on the saddle. He likes that. He slows down when I do all of that. After wandering for a while at the walk, we got the all clear to wander at the trot. The goal? Keep his brain busy with turns and changes of direction. For the first time ever, I was allowed to ask him to slow down and encourage the trot from his hind end (by sitting back, erg). Eventually, we added in a pile of poles. Nay loves his poles so this was fun for him. After successfully doing our poles both ways, we eventually walked and watched some jumping for a while.

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It also appeared my barn was for sale… 

So, when I first got on? There was no question that we were NOT cantering today. Yet the more we walked and trotted, the more relaxed Nay got. He spooked once at the very beginning because the wind picked up and a gate went clattering and he scooted into the trot a few steps but that was it.  So, after we trotted, my trainer told me, never mind, we will be cantering…

We started off with the left lead. The first time? Eh. Ugly. He didn’t pick it up right away and, instead of being patient, I added leg and he scooted into the canter on the wrong lead. So, it started off a bit quick (not fast, quick) and rushed. Since we don’t care about leads, he tried to canter around the corner but was distracted (horse was walking in when we were approaching the gate) and off balance and… yeah. So we went back to the trot and eventually walked and I got the talk… Basically, TAKE MY TIME AND STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHEN I PICK UP THE DAMN CANTER…

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He’s becoming such a good traveler!

As a result? Take 2 was lovely. Nay picked up a quiet, slow, and relaxed canter that we held 3/4 of the way around the ring.

Before we picked went to pick up the right lead, we watched some more jumping. Then, a pony went on a walk around the indoor arena and Nay lost it temporarily. [Lost it now means lost focus and ears super forward] With some direction, I did a little trotting to get his brain back in his head. And right lead canter? Our best ever. Quiet, relaxed, and slow. The comment? “Well, wasn’t that adorable!”

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He’s cute when he’s not poorly behaved (another post about worst pony ever title)

Not the most exciting lesson, by outdoor arena conquered! The worst part? My saddle just isn’t going to work, not even for the short term. So, we’re 2 saddles down, a few more to try (or, I listen to Emma, and go saddle shopping/trying courtesy of MD Saddlery). I need to look into consigning my Millers at this point because it’s just not working for me (it fits Nay relatively well, but my trainer is hating the position it puts me in). I’m just not tied to it anymore so it can go.

Learning and challenges: plugging away

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Droopy Lip Club — Official Member!

Not too much to report since my last lesson on Nay. We haven’t managed to fit in another lesson as my trainer has been at horse shows (though she had offered us a lesson New Year’s Day while we were out riding, but I just wasn’t up to it and just wanted to…ride around) the last couple of weekends. Hopefully she’ll be home Saturday. But, we’ve hauled out several more times and are making… something.

 

Yes, something.

I won’t say progress, because, honestly, I have no idea what we’re are doing these days!

But, now, a MONTH into our relationship, Nay Nay and I have accomplished the following:

  • 3 lessons
  • 8 (?) trips off the property
  • 2 rides without lunging first
  • 3 times mounting without assistance
  • Trotting on a loose rein
  • Cantering on a loose rein
  • Trotting over poles
  • 2 solo hauls
  • 1 solo ride

 

Now, it’s not always successful and sometimes somethings and some days are more successful than others. And lately I’ve been running into… trouble. After all, I’m riding a green horse, of course I’m going to run into trouble.

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Also a member of the gross horse club!

So, my routine in this. I get on, we walk around. I usually try and wobble all round the saddle and get Nayners used to me bobbling around, because, if not now, then when? When we’re all good and relaxed (which for him is immediately, but for me, after we walk around for awhile and explore), we trot.

 

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Handsome horse club as well!

Trot wise? Nay gets to pick the pace in the beginning. He gets to trot as slow or not fast as he wants. Because, fast is not in his vocabulary. We do circles and explore, much like at the walk, constantly taking different paths as well as taking full turns around the arena. Eventually, I also add leg, and do ask for a little more trot because slow and lazy is fine, but a little energy isn’t terrible too. We stay in not fast land because… that’s where we live. Direction changes exist too and if a pole is out, we do that too. Or if I set one out, we go over that (note: he has NO ISSUES with me holding him AND picking up a pole and moving it, even if I accidentally hit him with it.).

 

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Cute horse club member too

Walk break. At some point during the trot, he does get lazy so squeezing is added and we do a tiny bit more to prove that we can before the walk. Endurance is what we are working towards.

 

After our reserves are built up, it’s canter time. This is when the problems arise. We start with the left lead because it’s the easy lead. Except, while I can pick it up and we canter a lovely canter, I CAN’T KEEP MY HORSE CANTERING. Sometimes I can canter around the corner, sometimes 2/3 around the ring, sometimes we break in the corner and get the canter again down the side.

The right lead? OMG. It’s even worse. If I’m lucky, we pick it up for the side, and then collapse and die. No energy left.

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Quiet enough for this now!

I’ve learned the following: I can kick my horse like he’s a big old shetland pony. He doesn’t care. He just sighs and walks forward.

 

So yeah. I have a problem.

So I’m back to only cantering long sides for the right lead because I fear I’ve screwed him up.

What the heck people?

I so desperately need a lesson…

 

2019: Good Riddance

Boys in the barn.

As 2019 draws to a close, the year has caught up with me or I’ve just fallen back into a migraine pattern. Either way, the last couple months have caught up with me and I’m just down for the count.

I think I’m struggling the most because one of the best parts of 2019 (Nay) is a direct result of the worst part of 2019 (Batt). I don’t know how to resolve this in my mind. I just don’t know…

2019 didn’t start off terribly. After all, my barn installation happened in 2019 (a lifetime ago). But the year will be defined by November.

Miss this freedom. Best trail horse ever.

Because November came and… I still can’t wrap my head around losing Batt. I’m missing him so much today and yet November seems so far away. When I couldn’t save him, I threw myself into trying to save Subi. We lost Batt on Wednesday night. We dropped him off at the clinic, leaving him at 7:30 and he was gone by 9. The worst day after losing Batt was that Sunday morning that followed when Subi got loose, and went running in full panic around my neighbors’ yards in a blind panic, trying to find Batt. I was sure I was going to lose him to that day. How he didn’t kill himself, I will never know.

Since that day, my focus was Subi and saving Subi. I tried everything. I tried to borrow a horse and eventually the easiest option became adoption. Enter Nay Nay.

This way the hardest and easiest decision I’ve ever made. I saw his listing and convinced myself it couldn’t work out. The rescue also had companions I could adopt for as long or short term as necessary. But meeting Nay, riding Nay… it was the first time I smiled in a month which made me cry which made me question why this was working out. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Will never not adore this moment ❤️

You see, Nayners has been the best part of 2019. He’s made Subi whole again, he’s made me happy. But then again, I shouldn’t have needed him in my life. But he IS here and I’m falling for him and I think I DO love him already too. So I’m struggling here. And that’s what I’m ending 2019 thinking about. And missing my Batthorse.

Yay or Nay: Superstar.

Nayners is a star🌟. Seriously.

Best little green bean!

This horse is a star. Every single time we go out, he’s better than the last time out. It’s amazing and I’m so impressed by Mr. Nayners. He’s such a good little green bean.

When we last left off, we introduced the canter in our lesson and cantered down the long side 3-4 times, stopping at the end of the arena. Other than to stop, I wasn’t allowed to touch Nay’s mouth provided he didn’t do anything stupid. But like the trot, he’s been pretty level headed.

Now, Nay isn’t directly off the track, but I really don’t have a clue how much he was ridden by his previous adopter before her health deteriorated considering how green he still is. Add in some anxiety… anyway, we’re treating him like he knows nothing.

So Friday’s lesson. I was on my own hauling over. So I tacked at home and tossed his cooler over his saddle, but I’d probably have been fine to tack at the barn because he was…fine. Been there, done that. Slightly tight, but fine. I opted to lunge at the trot for all of 2 minutes, but again, just more because it is the routine, not because I needed to. I also left his rope halter on under his bridle, but decided this would be his last time with it as it was no longer necessary. We got a hand mounting, but again, not exactly necessary, just…familiar.

Contemplating life

Our walking warm up included me making as much fuss in the saddle as possible, leaning in all directions and being as wobbly as I could, just to get him used to that. Then we trotted a good long time on a long rein, introducing as much movement as possible. He tended to slow down when I leaned back, but otherwise stayed pretty consistent. There was a brief moment of screaming to a horse in the field, but som talking and refocusing got us back on track (brain, not pace). Eventually, we started adding leg to increase the pace, encouraging more trot. Nay had no issues with this other that trotting faster is harder and squeezing is required to maintain the more forward pace. But, he did through his circles, trips down the long sides, and wherever it was we went. He was thrilled with the cue to…walk.

Next up? The canter. We started off with the same drill. Pick up our trot, trot down to the far end, ask for the canter, canter long side, then halt. Nayners was very much ready and aced the exercise with a perfectly paced canter. Last lesson the canter felt quick. This time? Completely comfortable.

(Videos are from my ride Saturday where Nay took completely relaxed to the next level…)

Next up, “if he’s quiet, keep cantering all the way around.” This you guys was a struggle. Nayners was all set to walk though he picked it back up without protest and out third attempt we actually made it all the way around the ring without breaking. The amount of leg required. Damn. I struggled the second time as I rushed the transition and got forward which didn’t help (this saddle tips me forward too, but fits him ok for now). But we got there.

We next attempted the right lead. This direction was rough. Less because he did anything bad, but just because he’s so weak. Still, we managed to canter around in one piece without collapsing of exhaustion, so success! Homework? Canter as much as possible.

We finished our journey by touring the barn just because…

Saturday we headed out to practice. He was dead quiet unloading and stood still for me to tack solo (husband in truck). I tried to lunge but trotting around for 2 minutes was hard and unnecessary. Still, routine.

Success? Mounting solo for the first time! We trotted around, watched another horse trot and canter, walked over a small plank just because he decided to. And we cantered.

The canter was slower than Friday during our lesson. I completely failed to maintain it around the one corner (sitting back will help), but I can’t complain. He truly tried his best. Say Slow Nay Nay is his name. And he impresses me every single time.

Definitely #notachestnut

We ended by untacking in the barn. Why? Why not. He stood in the cross ties and acted like he belonged there.

I adore this horse. Completely.

Blogging Blob: I’m not even sure what this was

So I could write all about Nayners (we had another lesson this morning), but instead I’m actually going to write about Bob. You see, yesterday I took a lesson on Bob. Including today’s lesson, that brings my weekly lesson count to 3, ride total as of now to 4 (not including the 2 planned rides for tomorrow). Who am I?!?! But this ride deserves its own post.

Grumpy horse.

Lesson was at 1:30. I have found that Bob is grumpiest in the early afternoon. Sure enough, he didn’t exactly want to be caught…in his stall. He sort of, kind of came over, started to put his head in the halter, then pinned his ears at me and backed up, considering biting. We played this game for a couple minutes before I threw the halter at him and played my game until he presented friendly ears and agreeably let me put the halter on and stopped trying to turn his but to me. But, this was my warning of what was to come.

With my friend Sandra’s help, we got him groomed and tacked before heading to the indoor just to be told that the lesson was going out and we could follow. We turned, and Bob realized I was distracted and tried to take a chunk out of me so I smacked him and he reared. Then the dad of the rider who was heading out made some snide comment that I should watch it because his kid (or horse) could get hurt. Maybe she shouldn’t walk right behind another horse then? If she’s jumping 3’6″ and showing in FL then she should know better… but I have a horse that bites and can hurt people, I’m told to beat him if he bites [clarification, I’m not beating horses, but I am getting after them for biting]. There was space, don’t walk into a horse’s butt… (she didn’t exactly, but snide “watch it!” From the dad so wasn’t appreciated… I’m getting bitten here!)

Outside, after jumping a mud puddle, jumping when the gate hit out butt, ad just being stupid, I knew something was up when he was in front of my leg at the trot… the trot was fine. The canter. Shit.

See, Bob doesn’t buck. Bob doesn’t bolt. Bob doesn’t spook. Bob doesn’t do anything… Not really. Except, Bob was really, really up. See, the last time Bob was ridden was almost 2 weeks ago when I rode him last. So when I asked for the canter, we canter. And had a temper tantrum and regardless of how much leg or crop I used, regardless of how much weight I put in my outside heel, regardless of pulling my reins to the rail, Bob decided that he was going to canter around doing changes… EVERY. SINGLE. STRIDE. I’m barely exaggerating here. I wish I had video. We cantered forever until I begged to stop. He was actually better to the right so we thought he tired himself out some so we tried to canter again to the left and it was better for about a minute before Bob started with the changes again…

He’s lucky he’s cute…

As a result, when it came time to jump, Bob had…nothing left in the tank. He was VERY good, but exhausted. And soaked in sweat. We did very little as he was bound to be sore from his effort…his own fault, but he probably could have used some extra rides too. I’m going to try and hop on this weekend so our lesson next week is a little less…dramatic.

He was very good over fences even though we did very little! Hopefully he’ll be good this weekend!

2010s Photo Challenge

From May as Well Event: As we enter a new decade, I thought it would be fun to propose a challenge to you all! Let’s see ONE horsey picture for each of the last ten years. 

2010:

So much happened this year. Batty joined the family in November, but this was also the year of Sound Hayley. And riding Subi… before life and work got in the way. I was super happy at this self care barn too with Hayley and Subi. Batty didn’t join us there until later.

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Best Chestnut Mare Ever

2011:

We moved to our next place as my 90 mile commute started…killing me. This was the year of the laminitis scare for Hayley and the abscesses for her and Batty that wouldn’t end and eventually me accepting a new job that I wouldn’t start until 2012.

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Settling in at their new home, healthy for now 

2012:

The year we left crazy, moved to a friend’s temporarily, and then moved HOME.

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Best kids home at last. Last time things ever looked nice. 

2013:

Uneventful year. Except that whole getting kicked in the head by Hayley thing…

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Batt proving he’s a saint and me not needing a ladder. Trimming trees on his back.

2014:

Batty’s New Bolton stay for his first serious colic, Subj issues under saddle, and we lost Hayley. Year #1 where I decided I hated horses.

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One of the last healthy pictures I have of Hayley before she took a sharp and sudden turn downhill and said loud and clear, my body is failing at 14.

2015:

Year started with me abandoning the horses for almost 2 months due to grief and letting my husband take care of them. Still feel guilty about it today. Most major happening? Jiminy joined the family in July bringing the number back to 3. 2 was not working!

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Cutest pony ever. First #notachestnut but he can pass for one sometimes. Bay roans are cool

2016:

Year of lots. I’m cheating because 2016 brought me hauling out Batty, a second serious concussion, Ludwig’s Corner, and… RANGER. The horse who changed my relationship with jumping. I also retired Subi completely. And colic.

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First show over fences since 2008/9?

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In his element 

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Let’s go show in pleasure horse at Ludwig’s Corner even though we’ve never been to a show before… large classes with expensive horses 😂

 

2017:

Trail rides galore and Devon with Ranger. Plus abscesses for Batty. Always abscesses.

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Best Ranger Ever!

2018:

Ranger was my constant. Batty’s heaves started to get worse plus abscesses. But we managed some awesome trail rides. And barn purchase!

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Best trail horse ever.

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Couldn’t resist an excuse to include the greatest image ever. Fair Hill maps are confusing.

2019:

Worst year ever. Ranger taught me all he knew and I moved on to Bob (not bad, but sometimes you just need a constant).Culvert. Ulcers for Subi, Batty super awful heaves, then after 3 years without a colic, we lost him to a colic that didn’t present bad but just got worse and worse and worse. Worse than New Bolton colic of 2014. I basically bankrupted myself on Batty this year and lost him anyway. Plus deteriorating health. And I almost lost Subi. I still might in the next year if he doesn’t put on weight(though he is more content).And then Nayners came along to try and sort out the mess.

I’m including The last picture I have of Batty alive that is the most awful thing ever. I took it when my gut said he would not make it, before leaving the clinic. 60 minutes later they called us to come back to say goodbye. Im sharing it because it has too much power and maybe by putting it out there, it won’t? I’m including a second because I need a happier photo to end the year.

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No words, just pain. The moment you know in your gut you’re not going to make it through this complete.

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I have so many other pictures, better ones of Nayners. But this is the moment that things became OK again. The first OK again moment. It’s worth saving.

 

 

Yay or Nay: lesson take 2

(All media is from Sunday)

It was a big weekend for Nayners. Saturday he saw the farrier, Sunday we hauled out for a practice ride, and Monday we had hauled out for a lesson. And you know what? Someone was a very good boy for everything.

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Trying to find a saddle that fits. Pulled this out of the basement. Fits better than my other though it’s so deep…

The farrier appointment was uneventful, but it was nice to get that one out of the way. My farrier liked his look and build and Nay behaved himself so, win?

A3BEF0FB-5F5F-4348-BB59-B9F0B887FB29Sunday we introduced the clicker and he seemed to pick it up pretty quickly. He is food motivated so tapping his nose on a bucket lid and getting a piece or 2 of TC Senior? Score!

When I brought him out to trainer’s barn, the clicker definitely came in handy. He was better on the trailer but a touch nervous when we arrived. A couple halt, click, treats got him refocused. I let him play before tacking up and then clicked when he I got my good responses during tacking (brain melted a bit). I was all set to get on when trainer’s husband backed a trailer next to indoor and made a lot of noise before walking 2 horses off together. Brain blown. But. We backed, click. We halted, click. And a few minutes later, I was the focus.that click is powerful.

CEE24F25-E844-45B0-BC5D-5411CAA35AF4Our ride was lovely. I only wanted him to relax and he did. We walked and halted. And trotted some each direction. And called it a day. The clicker came out for the halts followed by a nice wither scratch. Nayners seemed to understand that was his reward this time. And with that? We went home.

Monday’s lesson was more of the same. I tacked in the 9E89FE12-9FF6-46A2-8FEB-4F93EF717308driveway before heading to the indoor with a slightly more tense horse (dogs barking at him plus farrier shoeing plus dogs just barking) and inside horses were jumping. We lunged for maybe 5 minutes at the trot and then all was good and I got on. Tension released.

We hung out with trainer while previous lesson finished and watched the big and scary jumps. He liked being held for them. But the last course, he did ok when we were set loose even though he didn’t like getting hit by sand. A little nerves but settled right away.

E6DDFB87-69D4-4D8E-8DA1-751A1FE67201We started off playing follow the leader as we were lessening with RANGER!!! So we walked behind him for a while then we trotted. The name of the game was NO PULLING on his mouth and let him trot. He can go slow, he can trot not fast, so as long as he’s not fast, I don’t get to touch his mouth. I would be told if there were reasons to pull… there weren’t.

At some point, Ranger got to walk while Nay and I kept trotting and circling both directions. A pole was put down for me and I misunderstood so I trotted over the pole with flowers first. “Grabbing mane in case he jumps to the rafters” wasn’t a thing but squeezing to keep the trot was. We were unconcerned. We repeated both poles successfully and walked.

After watching Ranger canter, we got out chance. While I canted Nayners at the rescue, we’re taking a different path now. So, we basically canter down the long side and halted at the wall, using the wall as a stop point. No pulling prior to asking for the halt. I completely misunderstood this the first time and continued around the corner then trotted, but got it the next 2-3 times. Canter was quick but we’re not regulating pace right now (and like everything else, I sure it’s not but rather just felt that way).

We watched Ranger jump (not scary!) and called it a day. Such a good boy! Hopefully I can get in another lesson this week on him and fit in a Bob lesson before I head back to work.