The pendulum of green horses

img_3887This was a weekend of a lot of firsts. Some highs, some lows, and some good old boring repetition. My trainer is away for a couple of weeks so our homework is just to ride, repeat some exercises, and repeat again and again and again until we’re both bored silly.

I need the repetition as much, if not more, than Nay Nay!

I was off on Friday so Nay Nay and I had 3 solid days of riding in front of us. Typically I don’t ride 3 days in a row, but… In hindsight, we could have skipped Saturday’s ride.

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happy ears our of the ring

Friday was nice and low key. We worked on the basics, played over our crossrails, and ended going for a walk around part of the property. Our FIRST trip out of the ring! And Nay held it together! This was impressive considering he was chased by ponies 2/3s of the time (damn young ponies). I let him watch them and sat and he was OK. He tried to lose it at the end when we walked by the pony mares again (the true terrors) to get my bag (one spin and jump and big loud grunt but we didn’t actually move), but all was fine once we entered the (fenceless) outdoor. Without the ponies chasing? He’d have been fine.

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Full-time grump.

Saturday the weather was crap. I forgot his ulcergard (we’re still getting a 1/4 tube pre-ride/haul), it was trying to storm but… not, ponies were ponying. And we just didn’t sync. I managed to fall off getting on? thanks to some random step sideways that left me tumbling forwards in slow motion off the other side. Positive? Nay Nay was not bothered at all and stood stock still (without me holding him in a fenceless outdoor) looking at me like I was the biggest idiot in the world. Yep, I agree. After that, nothing felt right. We could not get the right lead (this has become our solid lead in the outdoor), and everything else just felt… off. We rode, it was fine, but just not in sync. He was a brat in the crossties and ended up having to share his treats with Ranger because Ranger gave me a look.

Sunday? Ulcergard in hand we had a nice ride. Ponies were galloping around like fools and Nay was very fascinated (there is one pony visiting while everyone is at the show and he is equally as fascinated by Nay Nay).

img_39083/4 of ride was spent with Raisin galloping around the fenceline staring at Nay Nay… Ponies. But, we took the energy and put in to work over our crossrails. Our corners our of the second crossrail needs major work (I tried), but we’ll get there. Mostly Nay Nay just wanted to gallop to his jumps once he realized we were jumping. Erik stopped the videos pre and post so you can’t see the enthusiasm that came with the fences. His video technique (ie: vertical video and immediately stopping post fence) needs work, but I try not to criticize. At least he came out in the heat at all!

 

Stay tuned… Subi gets his own post because he scared the crap out of me on Friday night…

They’ve lost their minds.

We’ve had some cool mornings. Cool mornings combined with possibly too much alfalfa and I’ve had some crazy horses on hand…

Tuesday the vet came out for spring vaccines and I decided to keep everyone in as it was an early appointment. And then the vet was late. 9:30 turned into 10:30. I turned the boys out in the round pen. Boy was that a mistake.

I was planning to blame Nay, but now that I think about it, Subi did the SAME THING back when I turned him out in the round pen with Batty while waiting for the vet. It’s all on Subi…

So back in their stalls they went. It’s not that I cared that they were acting like fools, but they weren’t exactly eating like I planned or overly happy. So inside they went and munched on some hay…  Until Nay got annoyed and stressed so out he came to graze.

Which angered Jiminy.

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I’m running a 3 ring circus folks!

The vet finally came, everyone got shots and turned out.

And ran around like fools.

Nay was also cleared to start back in light work. We have a lesson on Saturday because there is NO WAY IN HELL that my first ride back will be solo. But it was nice knowing you all…

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Weekend update, part 2

Following Saturday’s productive ride, I was all set for my Sunday lesson which would be my last lesson for 3+ weeks as my trainer is heading down to Gulfport with a bunch of clients for the rest of the month. So, I’m on my own until they all return. 

**all videos are from Saturday**

After such a QUIET and relaxing ride on Saturday, I arrived at the barn to… chaos. I barely found a place to park my trailer (along the driveway by the field behind another trailer) and brought Nay Nay into the packed barn. Who were all these people? Answer? Pretty much everyone trying to get ready for Gulfport OR doing what I was doing–getting in a lesson prior to Gulfport. LOL. Thankfully I found a spot at my favorite crossties (there was tack there, but the rider planning to use them was actually lessoning AFTER me so I was good to go). Nay was a little less gross than Saturday and despite a zillion people in the barn, he settled pretty quickly. He LIKES people/horses/activity in the barn, just not in the ring. I also had the chance to catch up with some of my favorite barn people I haven’t seen in forever which was nice too!

Thankfully, once we headed in to ride? The ring was empty.  We were joined by the next lesson but we each did our own thing. I know I need to work on riding with others, but today I wanted my lesson to be on other stuff and that it was. Plus, I needed homework. And homework I got! My trainer and I also had a chat about my opinion of my ride last week and I was reminded that it’s 2 steps forward, 1 step back and that I am constantly having good rides and I need to expect to have a few “bad” ones here and there. Manage expectations. Also a month ago I’d have considered that ride a good one. So yeah.

After Nay Nay investigated my trainer’s coat thoroughly (he gave it the sniff test because he’s a goof), we started off showing off how far he’s come with his spur training and OMG did he impress. He IMMEDIATELY responded to the right spur with NO STEPS FORWARD OR BACKWARDS and also moved over from the left spur immediately though took a step back at the same time (which was actually the worst he’s been for the left spur). Anyway, my trainer was impressed. From here we walked and applied spur to move over, check! And then applied the same lesson to the trot. SUCH A GOOD BOY! A few times he tried to move forward into the canter because he wasn’t sure and wanted to give the right answer, but if I asked again, made sure he had the space to shift over, he did just that. To the right, I was able to get the same response just by using my calf vs my spur. This horse wants so badly to give the right answer and retains everything. He lives for good boys and pats!

After a short amount of trotting, we quickly progressed to the canter and changed things up. We’ve been asking for the left lead canter in the same spot every time, but his left lead has gotten so reliable so this time around, the goal was to ask Nay Nay to canter near the in gate. This posed no issue and the left lead was pretty nice. He was forward, but not fast at all. I do need to work on not pulling out with my outside hand…

We also added in a nice large (1/2 the ring) circle at the canter. Unlike the last time we tried this, this time it wasn’t an issue at all and Nay Nay held the canter without an issue.

Before we cantered the right, Nay “spooked” at a pony butt standing outside the indoor. Pony was brought so he could see the mysterious butt but he wanted to stare (out spook was…staring). So, when we picked up the canter, we struggle a bit. When we passed the in gate, I was taken aback when he craned his head outside the circle to try and get a look at the pony butt again. This led to us losing the canter and then picking back up the wrong lead. We were instructed to KEEP GOING which we did and managed to hold the wrong lead all the way around. When we approached the in gate side, my trainer had me cut the turn a bit and shake my reins at him which actually allowed me to hold the canter. Then when we got to the far side, I finally was allowed to trot to change the lead and then did the same corner cut and rein shake before attempting a large circle at the canter. Interestingly enough, the rein shake really, really helped and the circle was great! We walked before we got back the corner and Nay Nay got lots of praise. He lives for this!

With this part of our ride over, we started with some jumping. Basically, we started by trotting back and forth over the dismantled jump location where we struggled a few weeks ago. Today it was just a few poles and some flowers, but trainer wanted to make sure there was no PTSD related to that location in the ring. Spoiler: no issues.

That said, that was the first jump in a line and heading away from the in gate, we trotted past a vertical with brown boxes a few times. As a result, once we were told to jump that jump? Nay Nay was a touch confused. First time he stopped having no idea where we were going. Second time he stopped because I didn’t really give him direction and say, yes, you need to jump this. The next couple of times we got over because I dug me leg/spur into him and said forward.

Lesson learned? I only get one first jump and I need to be definitive. We’ve done a really, really good job of training Nay Nay to the spurs right now so use them to say FORWARD. Right now he’s testing what he has to do and if I’m hesitant, he’s hesitant.

My homework for the next 3 weeks is to set up as many jumps the size of what we did and just practice moving forward over them. I need to make them small for me so that we can walk over them the first time if necessary. Now, as my trainer reminded me, technically he could have walked over everything the way they were set up on Sunday, but if I don’t believe it, he won’t. So, I’ll set them up small so I believe that we can and we’ll get over first jump-itis. Because when I’m confident, Nay Nay is confident.

Confident but bored ^^^

So much homework, but it should be fun!

Weekend update, part 1

I think I’m going to split this update into 2 parts because 1, I have a lot to say and 2, I have a lot of media. So, rather than making this post crazy long, I’m going to just try and have 2 sort of, kind of long posts? Let’s be real, I’m long-winded!

After my crap ride last Saturday, I took Sunday off and didn’t ride for a week (winter is hard and I worked all week). And, I’m being honest,  I was nervous. A month ago? I’d probably have been pleased with last Saturday’s ride. I do need to address riding with other horses. Not being with other horses in the ring, but RIDING with other horses. Still, I need to let that go. But, due to nerves, I begged my husband to come out and serve as moral support. Now, I agreed he could sit in the truck, but I needed him there.

Despite my nerves? My mud-covered beast was a saint. Relaxed. Happy. Goofy.  But completely gross. It took me about a half an hour to get him clean pre-ride and even then his tail was still mud covered… I just can’t. LOL. Anyway, enough mud, but we had a nice relaxed grooming session (barn was quiet–yay horse shows) followed by a nice ride.

As I mentioned last post, we’ve been introducing Nay Nay to spurs. Well, he REALLY gets it now. Saturday? Right spur? One step forward, one step backwards, then immediately shifted over! GOOD BOY! Left spur? Just shifted away from the spur. Such a smart guy! Then, walking he was SO GOOD about moving away from the spur. I’m SO HAPPY with him. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

At this point, I pulled Erik in to take some videos. Just what he wanted to do… LOL. We started off at the canter  to the left and it was fine. I’m having this issue here and there to the left that I’m a little too passive? So I ask and Nay Nay says sure! And canters and immediately trots so I need to make sure I ask and maintain. But, the left lead isn’t our issue.

The right? It was a mess. I need to follow up with my KEEP LEG ON from the left lead AND remember to add inside spur approaching the corners. Basically, I need to stay on step ahead. Things were made a little more challenging because 1, I kept worrying about the lead when we lost the canter (It was emphasized on Sunday to stop worrying and just canter for now) and 2, Nay Nay was super focused on Erik and as we passed each time, he kept craning his neck around to see him. Granted, my lack of leg and messy hands didn’t help. But those things NEVER help, do they? LOL.

(you can really see how gross his tail was…)

Spoiler, we worked on stuff on Sunday…

Rather than ending there, I decided I wanted to jump a cross rail (and eventually a small vertical with boxes under it). The cross rail was no big deal. In fact, the first time? Lovely.

The second time? Boredom.

The boxes, a bigger deal in that they took more effort, he was tired, but not in that they caused any actual issue. He got over them each time. The first time through was in slow motion, the second time, was much better though we took the rail with us. The third? Confident and perfect. So, it’s all a timing thing and also getting used to using the spurs to say, yes, move FORWARD over the jump. This was also a topic of Sunday’s lesson. When we all feel like we can walk over? No issue. When there is a question of, “can we walk over this?” The hesitation is there. In reality, he could have walked over everything, but neither of us are sure of that…

Sunday lesson recap coming tomorrow!

Blogging Bob: Ride 3

This is a tongue twister! I tried Bob Blog, but it was too hard to type! In fact, it took my 4 tries to type it here, so, Blogging Bob (blogging Blob is what I almost ended up with) is the current working name of Ranger Recap’s replacement. Lol.

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husband photography

Ride 3 took an interesting turn as it took place in the form of a free ride vs a lesson as my trainer was off at a horse show but texted me, “Come ride Bob!” So I guess I passed the Bob test? Lol.

 

My husband joined me so I have media. I almost didn’t as I could barely pull him away from the barn dogs. He was covered in dogs from the moment we arrived and almost didn’t LEAVE the barn to watch me ride. Men. Lol.

Bob was a bit P.O.’d as he was JUST about to be turned out when I arrived and was prompted kept inside. Sorry Bob. But, tough. I decided my ride was just going to be about getting to know him. I need to start trusting him over fences. And I’ll get there, but I still see all the stops we had our first ride. And yet we haven’t had one since. So, I kept it little and easy and we had a nice ride.

Not trot videos because it appears the trot is boring so my husband chose not to video…

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More husband pictures

Lol.

Canter. I NEED TO SIT BACK. This is what happens when I don’t have someone constantly getting at me! I also need to KEEP LEG ON because Bob “knows everything” and therefore decides when and where we are doing changes once we start… I got a little better staying with him, but MORE LEG with help. Plus, the outside line being against the rail doesn’t help… turning  early = mixed signals… Basically, it’s my fault. But, the first rides I was launching forward and this time I wasn’t so, yay? Anyone was to jump that MASSIVE oxer thing?

Next I just worked on 2 singles. I figured I probably shouldn’t try my first line/related distances on Bob outside of a lesson. Still staying collected/adding leg last 3 strides. No hesitation on Bob’s part anymore so it’s almost like he realizes I’m making him jump now so why try and get out of it? I probably can let go a bit more…

I bored my husband. He was more impressed by the kid on Baron. Lol.

Then we put it together. I probably could start working on changes after fences, but I’m just stopping instead if we’re on the wrong lead because I want to make sure my core is stronger.  My husband couldn’t figure out what I was doing and why I wasn’t doing more…

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Good boy Bob!

We didn’t do a massive amount, but it was enough for poor Bob to get hot and sweaty. Considering it was 60 degrees and rainy… He’s out of shape. Poor Bob. We walked into the barn where he proceeded to knock over an old cup of coffee and make a mess. Bob, Bob, Bob…

And, in case ANYONE is concerned, Ranger got 2 handfuls of treats and a kiss on the nose before I left. He was in his field SCREAMING because his BFF Coco was in for a ride (forget the fact that he was NOT alone in the field, but it appears he doesn’t care about his other field mate).

 

The Batthorse is BACK!

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Red ears!

After not having ridden in 3 weeks, the drought ended Friday. And then the storms came. 4 rides in 3 days? Who am I?

My weekly lessons on Ranger started back up Friday night (thanks to horrific weather and flooding on Thursday) but I’ll save that recap for it’s own post. Still unpacking a lot from that lesson.

Saturday, however, introduced a different ride.

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I’m a little confused. Why is a piece of copper in my mouth? Retired here! — Batt

After nearly a year off, Batt returned to work. My trailer still needs brakes and I’m still trying to figure out if he needs medication pre-ride but I’d rather experiment at home vs out on the trail or when hauling out. And to be honest? I’m still not sure. He coughed some, but not at the walk and really not at the canter. Mostly at the trot and mostly when he was winded or annoyed. Verdict still out.

Coughing above but then downhill 2 seconds later…

I’m assuming he’s resigned to his fate? Or trotting downhill as to the right…

However, cantering was a bit more exciting… a quick “attempt” to “buck” me off was the only fireworks in 2 days (videos are from Sunday’s ride, but he did the same thing on Saturday). Fat quarter horses can’t buck.

Much better. We need to work on straight but…

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So out of shape! We did next to nothing Saturday… 

Right now, I think he needs endurance more than anything. He’s still on steroids and I’m planning to try Respi Free and possible Air Power. But, he’s 100000% fat and out of shape… The heavy breathing I believe is more endurance than heaves.

We mostly walked with some trot laps and a few canter sets to make him happy. And took a cool down walk through the neighboring development to make him happy — he stared longingly at all the driveways he couldn’t explore and shuffled his feet. And in the end was soaked in sweat. Getting back in to shape is hard!

It’s even harder when your MEAN MOM makes you work 2 days in a row…

 

 

Insanity.

Not much to update on or rather not much I’m choosing to update on. Drama in my life right now is pulling all my emotional energy.

But, Batt is chugging along. My car (last Tuesday’s drama involved a failed inspection thanks to a rodent chewing through a fuel line[unexpected] AND new brakes[expected]) is back to being alive. I still need new trailer tires and now that Batt is sort of breathing, I want to start riding again. (Trainer is showing with clients so no lessons last week and this week)

But, since I don’t feel like updating on anything else, here’s a short little video of my idiot horse. Saturday afternoon we had a crazy storm. The humidity dropped. Then another storm was rolling in. Bugs got really bad and the humidity increased dramatically in about 20 minutes. Subi wanted in NOW. This is how we respond to having to wait for evening chores to be finished…

Idiot.

Ranger Recap: flat work.

My lesson this past week moved to Sunday and unintentionally turned into a flat work lesson. This isn’t actually a bad thing, but I convinced my husband to come, watch, and video over fences and we don’t jump. Of course. Seriously? Lol.

We also ended up inside due to an unexpected rain storm…

The extra flat work came about because Ranger was completely ignoring my inside (left) leg. Part of the issue is he’s ridden by mostly kids who he packs around and gets no instruction from. As a result, he doesn’t have to do anything. So, if he isn’t straight? Who cares. If his nose is turned out to the outside of the ring? It’s fine because he’s not really running off with the beginners. And, riding in the evenings, I’m also getting my trainer at the end of the day and we’re not working as hard on the technical “stuff” either.

So, yesterday morning when he was completely blowing off my leg? We got down to business. Part of this is partly unfair when he’s never asked to do this stuff, but he’s also not being asked by anyone else anything else that he’s ignoring so… He also has training in this so he does KNOW how to properly carry himself, but won’t do it if he’s not made to.

We basically spent 20 minutes trotting around working on a slow trot adding inside leg and informing Ranger that when I add ONE leg, the correct response is to move over NOT to speed up. It took a LONG time (hence 20 minutes of circles and bending) but we got there. It took actual kicks but eventually we got there.

Then we did the same thing at the canter, working at an upright canter, coming from his hind end vs long and low from his front end. Some point my husband must have realized this “boring” lesson (I was enjoying myself) should be recorded so he started videoing the canter stuff. I struggled some here but we got it at parts. I was struggling with the shortness of the reins and holding him up to get him on his hind end.

Also struggled with body position and tilting forward…

Adding in a pole and struggling with new way of riding…

Finally we added in a single fence, jumping it both ways (my husband however failed to record 3 of the 4 attempts… why, I don’t know… I can’t take him anywhere!). Coming up it, the first time, around the corner at the far end of the ring, Ranger wanted to duck, run, and get heavy. While I was able to get him back into a nicer canter, I lost all steering coming up the short turn to our fence and it just wasn’t the prettiest (I kind of failed to collect him (the point of the exercise) or look at the jump. At least we made it over. Second attempt was good though the duck, drop, and run at the beginning still existed.

For the long ride, first fence was nice in terms of the jump except I failed to actually do the exercise and shorten his stride and get him on his hind end… Oops. Next attempt? See video for disaster?

The problem was, I added hand, there was NOTHING there. Nothing was coming from his hind end at all. I added leg, and the only power I could get was up front. We called it a day as he was pretty much just spent at that point and had nothing left. The rain stopped and he and I went on a short walk before my husband fed him all the cookies.

I’m off to conferences starting tomorrow so we’ll see if I get any updates for the next week or so…

Ranger Recap: getting back into the swing of things

I took the week off of work and a side bonus was I was able to move my evening lesson to Thursday morning. It was a gorgeous day. Sun, light breeze, and relatively warm (well, it would be, it was still in the 40s when I rode). Regardless, it’s SO NICE to ride when you’re not stressing about work!

We warmed up on the flat and my legs were not cooperating. Ranger was sleepy so I was finding other methods to get him going. Like using my shoulders to post. Needless to say, this was NOT successful. Eventually though, I figured out how to ride, but the shoulder thing came back to haunt me here and there.

Over fences, we started on a circle over the jump on the end, working on pace and distance. It is SO NICE to ride when Ranger hasn’t been ridden yet. Typically he just does a beginner lesson, but still. He is SO MUCH more responsive. Anyway, the fences were easy and we hit our spots nicely.

Next, we started over a few mini courses. Basically, down our outside single (away from the road), up the inside line, and down the outside line. The outside to the inside were fine, perfect even. The trick with the inside was to maintain pace as we were passing the gate and the lines were forward moving. The outside line was…less great as I didn’t have a straight line to the in and took a long spot, but the out was nice. On reapproach, the course was good.

We did a few more courses, ended with our outside single towards the road around to the straw bales, the inside line, outside line, and inside plain straw bales.  The first time we did the course it was pretty nice except we didn’t maintain a consistent pace. We got a little quick heading to the first inside single (straw bales) though for the most part it was decent.

Being the idiot that I was, I decided to attempt the course again, and have video proof of my worst course of the day. Ranger was tired. I was tired. And well… We ran into traffic heading to the first jump because the only horse in the ring didn’t realize we were heading towards the fence and then I wasted lots of energy circling. By that point, Ranger was dead and… Yeah. But at least there is media? And pretty boots?

Sorry Ranger…

Freaks.

I have the big guys in the round pen this morning waiting for Subi’s 11:30 vet appointment. I thought this would be an easy solution. But, no, they’re freaks. They’re lunatics. They’re idiots. They’ve never seen the round pen before.

But, since I need sedation to get them moved, they’ll stay there until I transfer them to their stalls and Subi gets drugged. Idiot boys.

Collective age? 40.

Really?

Grow up.

Update tomorrow post vet regarding his eyes. He’s also getting his teeth done so I’m going to enjoy the sedative…