Scoping update and vitamin/mineral supplement recommendation?

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Someone now has a corner feeder because he liked to dump his food on the ground… 

Nay Nay was scoped this morning.

The good news? We both lived to tell the tale.

The bad news? He was a complete turd requiring 2 tranquilizers, 1 twitch, 3 of us to hold him, and 2 to navigate the scope (4 people in total as 1 tech was holding and guiding the scope).

The very good news? His ulcers have healed. There was redness where they were (so evidence that he has had ulcers), but no actual ulcers. His gut looks good. We’re going to start tapering down the ulcergard… After 2 full months, I’m not upset about this.

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Ornamental grass tastes really good… 

But, he is looking at a life without grain.

But, a life without grain is better than a life where I dumped him on the side of the road. And that almost happened on the way to the clinic. That is how bad he was from the time I turned Subi and Jiminy out to the time I got to the clinic. So, between 9:50 and 10:20. It was a 15 minute drive. I wanted to murder him. My trailer has never rocked that hard. He screamed so loudly that other cars were likely trying to let me know my horse was…distressed? I ignored them. I got to the clinic and told them he might be injured and that was his fault. I never got his boots on because he was acting so out of control and I valued my life. Basically, he decided his life was over when Subi left. If I had walked him down to the field with Subi? All would have been fine. But, I was trying to avoid any chance that he’d get anything to eat and… All hell broke loose.

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MUST EAT ALL THE GRASS

But, we both survived. Somehow.

So there we go. Current plan is to add in a vitamin/mineral supplement. I can up his rice bran too know that I know it’s approved and keep him on all the alfalfa pellets he can eat.

Vet suggested Platinum Performance as her preference. She’s open to a ration balancer, but would rather I not go that route as we’re not exactly sure what he’s reacting to in the grain so if we go that route, we’re limited in lbs/day. Plus with his alfalfa, he doesn’t exactly need the protein. Any product suggestions?

All suggestions are welcome. At this point, Nay Nay is pretty open to food. Upon returning home, he even ate the crappy hay vs his preferred hay. So…

Angry Horse.

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Watch out buddy, your life is changing!

In a brief update on yesterday’s post, I just wanted to let you all know, Nay Nay is tentatively scheduled for at gastroscopy on Thursday morning. However, if someone cancels prior to Wednesday at 5pm for next Tuesday’s Gastroscopy Clinic at my vet office, we will take their spot and go on Tuesday instead. Basically, the 2 appointments are close enough that I’m OK holding out until Tuesday, but no longer. The price next Tuesday is $240 vs the $385 I’ll pay on Thursday so… But, he needs to be scoped ASAP so… We’re basically waiting on one client who may no longer need the scope hence the potential for Tuesday, but…

That said, Nay Nay’s life is changing and he is NOT happy about it.

We have pulled all grain from his diet (he does get a handful with his sucralfate 2x/day because he’ll eat it that way) effective immediately. He was NOT happy when he walked into his stall last night to discover he was on a forage only diet. His grain meals have been replaced with alfalfa pellets (he’s not crazy about them, but alfalfa = good so the vet advised me to offer them anyway), Purina Outlast (I can’t remember if I was to keep him on it or not so he’s on it until the scoping), and chopped hay.  At Michele’s suggestion, I bought Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage and dumped a bucket of that in his feed bin. It’s fortified and grain free and he could live on that if needed (but $$$$). He was angry last night, but his feed bin was empty (he was gifted a corner feed tub last week because he liked to dump his bucket on the ground with his head… he was super pissed that he couldn’t do that with this).

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Grazing, the BEST part of the day

As angry as he was, the bin was empty this morning of all forage and powders. He didn’t eat as much hay as I’d like, but… He’s been pigging out on grass for 6+hours/day so… My vet feels right now any weight loss associated with cutting grain would be made up but possibly eliminating his daily colics. So, we’ll see. Still, he is ANGRY.

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Former home of our culvert if you remember that saga… Very green this spring. Still haven’t heard from TPTB…

This morning, he was less than impressed that his bucket contained the same crap as yesterday night. I’m sure he won’t eat much (and I left his stall door open so instead of eating, he’s looking outside). But, he was hunting for carrot pieces so maybe he’ll eat the some.

But, Nay Nay should enjoy life because Wednesday into Thursday is going to suck. He must be off of all food/meds 12 hours prior to the scope. So, I’ll bring them in for dinner at about 8 to give him 2 hours to eat and then pull everything from his stall but water. He can drink water until 6 am and then nothing. I need to figure out turnout but I’ll either keep them all in until I’m ready to take Nay Nay to the clinic or we’ll turn him out with a muzzle taped closed. This is going to suck and there is a chance I might die. LOL.

 

Morning Snack and Feeder Update

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It appears I skipped this gem the other day… Smile! It’s your birthday!

Blog content is slow around here. Honestly? There’s not much.

But, I have my boys and I’m super thankful for them.

A couple of times a week I started morning snack right after I turned Nay Nay and Subi out. A couple times turned into a few which turned into daily. Honestly? It’s the highlight of my day. Snack is usually peppermints. Sometimes hard starlight peppermints but sometimes puff peppermints. Somedays snack is carrots and other times includes apples. If I ever take the nickermakers out of the truck, they’ll also be included in morning snack. Jiminy sometimes partakes but is usually still in his stall. I’m mean! But he also doesn’t need extra sugar… A few times a week he does get a small snack (he also sometimes doesn’t realize snack is happening and gallops off to the hay feeder so there is that too).

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SNACK! Catch a Jimmy eye… 

Snack consists of the thoroughbreds mugging me for treats. Snack consists of me getting coating in licks and slobber. Snack consists of soft thoroughbred noses in my face. Snack is AWESOME.

Yes, people will saw mugging horses is bad, but they are SO HAPPY and they happiness makes me happy. And right now? I need all the happiness and smiles I can get. So snack continues. For a while, I doled out snack from the other side of the fence (Nay standing appropriately far away from the hot fence wire), but I missed those soft noses. So I’m back to bad habits and providing snack from inside the field.

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I’m not sure if he’s licking hot wire… Freak. 

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Donkey. 

In other news, as a hay feeder update, I ordered Nay the Slow Feeder Saver Junior from SmartPak and it should be here by Monday (drop shipped from manufacturer in Iowa). I also spoke to High Country Plastics who makes this feeder as well as the others I was considering and they talked me out of the CF-24 Corner Feeder as they didn’t feel it would be the best for my purpose, but said that if I did want to order the CF-32 Corner Feeder in the future, most of their suppliers can order it WITHOUT the dividers as a special order which was why I wasn’t seriously considering it. Removing the dividers would actually drop the price even though it would be a special order. So, if the Slow Feeder Saver doesn’t work out for Nay, I can transfer that to either Jiminy or Subi and reach back out to High Country Plastics and find a retailer to special order the CF-32.  I can see now in the picture that the compartments are screwed in.

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For a cheap horse, he’s VERY expensive. But he’s a good snuggler. And very goofy. 

I also think Nay needs some kind of toy in his stall to play with. He’s so mouthy. I left his halter hanging on Subi’s stall latch (vs on the ground) after morning meds pre-breakfast and where was it when I came to turn out? In his stall. I can’t leave halters on one gate anymore because Nay Nay chewed Subi’s nice halter. So maybe he’d actually like a jolly ball? Or something else? Freak.

 

 

 

Happy (Belated) Birthday Nay Nay! And a question… Stall hay feeders

Ok, yes, he’s a thoroughbred and his birthday is officially January first, but he was born on April 19th so we celebrated Nay Nay’s 9th birthday yesterday. It’s quarantine-time and what else do I have to do with my life? I mean, I “go” to work, meaning my kitchen table, I pick up orders at the feed store dock (Oxford Feed & Lumber, you people are amazing!), and I watch too much NCIS and Rizzoli and Isles. Oh and I bake banana bread. It’s pretty pathetic. Honestly, I could really do all of this for a long time if I could figure out the riding part. I don’t actually miss anything. I mean, going into the feed store would be nice and running into the grocery store would be nice, but other than that? No. I love working from home (though I’m nervous about budget cuts considering universities have lost 40-125+ million this semester and summer and fall aren’t looking good. Impacts will be huge). On that note, I’m celebrating horse birthdays because, why not?

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Face is always looking right at the camera! Birthday pictures are no exception.

img_3376Nay Nay celebrated his birthday with carrots, apples, and peppermints for breakfast and peppermints for morning snack. There was a brief incident in the afternoon where a neighbor’s visitor’s dog got stopped by and started chasing the horses around and almost got kicked in the head, but thankfully when I started yelling woah out the window, the horses calmed somewhat down (until the dog started chasing) and the owned arrived as I ran outside — this always happens when I was trying to shower (had to throw clothes back on) — and grabbed his dog apologizing. No one was hurt. Kids got some extra treats and they calmed down.

img_3395Nay is BACK ON GRAIN! And eating out of the hay feeder again though still not as enthusiastically as I’d like. Obviously his ulcers aren’t healed yet (still thinking it’s hind gut crap), but he’s licking his bucket clean. He’s showed his preference for hay on the ground vs in a net, but is a pig and pull only what he wants out and stomps the rest to death when I feed from his muck tub.

I’m debating a hay feeder for his stall. I can’t buy 2 to see which I like better so I need opinions.

First up, High Country Plastics Slow Feeder Saver Jr. Price: $195 shipped

Pros: the size is good for the stall, nylon grate vs metal, holds 1/2 bale, etc. Easy access to hay (until the portagrazer, he doesn’t have to stick his head in something. It’s flat).

Cons: Nay is just not great with slow feeder crap. Is this just another one of those things? Also, would I need to mount this thing? Some reviews indicate that it’s light so could he knock it over? But, it’s also used in pasture situations and surely no one is mounting out there…

Next: CF-32: CORNER FEEDER, 32″ Price: ~$220 plus shipping

Pros: I’m not actually considering this one because I don’t need the 3 compartments, but I I like the design. I’m mostly linking this for the pictures that are included on High Country Plastics’ website so that you can see the feeder next to a horse.

Cons: I don’t have need for separate compartments. Nay is a sloppy eater, he doesn’t always finish his feed. He tosses his grain and then eats wherever. At some point, he may go back to soaked cubes/pulp. Plus, my feed is not stored at the barn so I cart the buckets and it’s just easier to hang their buckets vs dump. I don’t need to have the extra compartments.

Final option (for now), CF-24 Corner Feeder $77 plus shipping

Pros: It APPEARS to be very similar to the above feeder but without the fancy multiple compartments. If that’s the case, the height looks good and it could be a viable option for Nay. I can put a few flakes in the bottoms and let him eat.

Cons: Will he just pull all the hay out and toss on the ground?

I may reach out to the company and ask questions. Any and all advice is appreciated!

 

 

 

Blogland? I need help.

 

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Would like this goofy boy back ASAP!

All jokes aside. Nay Nay is struggling. Really struggling. The electric fence was more than his little brain could handle and combined with his ulcers? I’m just not sure what to do at this point.

 

I chatted with the vet last night and I…don’t feel better. Her advice? Keep up with the ulcergard and wait it out. I asked about hindgut and she’s not convinced. He doesn’t have the symptoms exactly. Close but not quite.

img_3219He’s got mushy poop, but not diarrhea. He’s not exactly colicky though he’s uncomfortable whereas she’d think I’d see more definitive gas colics. He has the weightloss and the poor body condition and the loss of appetite. Without ultrasound and bloodwork, we can’t diagnose and no one is non-urgent stuff right now if it can be helped… Stupid covid…. And to just throw him on Misoprostol before we know he needs it… So yeah. That’s where I’m at. ::slams head on table since I don’t have a desk at home::

img_3218I actually just ordered a month of voodoo in terms of succeed. I’m probably throwing money away, but maybe it’ll help? If there is ANY improvement, he’ll get month 2. If not, we’ll call it a failed experiment. Dover has great and fast free expedited shipping right now…

img_3223The vet also suggested that I try to get him a nice orchard grass with a tiny bit of alfalfa. Since he lost his freaking mind on a half flake of lovely western alfalfa (Subi lives on that stuff), we figured maybe a tiny mix would be ok. So, I purchased some from one of the local suppliers this morning (the Hay Grocery Store — literally you walk around and have 30 different hays to choose from, it’s amazing — I don’t get my hay there regularly, but I do get my 3 string alfalfa and supplement as needed or special stuff–they always have hay and always have nice stuff). Hopefully nice soft, gorgeous hay mixed with his regular hay will encourage him to eat.

The vet also suggested that in a couple weeks if there is no improvement, we test for lyme. All his symptoms also mimic lyme. So yeah, there is that. In a normal world, I could hitch up the trailer and take him 20 minutes to New Bolton for a complete work up but they’re not taking non-emergencies either. Have I mentioned I freaking HATE COVID?!

So blogland? What should I do? I started by turning off the electric this morning. It’s not like he’s going anywhere near the fence right now…

#Notthesharpesttoolintheshed

Guys, I need help. Or rather Nay Nay needs help. Or an intervention. Or a tutor. A life tutor. A life skills tutor.

You see, he’s not the brightest bulb. In fact, he might have burned out?

img_3293It started the other day when he walked in the paddock prior to pre-dinner dinner and couldn’t figure out how to turn around and walk to the gate and walk out to get to his bucket. I tried to get him to follow me and leave, but he couldn’t or wouldn’t. He just stood there screaming. I had to take my sweatshirt off, put it around his neck, and lead him the 20 feet to the gate so he could leave the paddock. Once at the gate? All was fine and he found his way to pre-dinner dinner.

Nay Nay has also been slowly ruining all of my fencing. This is my fault. I should have had all the electric up and running before he got here, but I didn’t. So, Nay Nay had no issue ruining fencing. It’s gotten especially worse since spring grass. Saturday, Erik and I fixed all the electric and now it’s working.

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MUST NOT GO NEAR FENCE IT BITES (subi rolls his eyes)

Nay Nay must not be well versed in electric fencing (unlike Jiminy — Subi is just very careful as he learned his lesson once and once was enough) as he leaned right into that sucker and ZAP. That would have been fine, he didn’t know, but he proceeded to repeat that 3 or 4 times Saturday.

By Sunday he was terrified of the entire field. Because now the entire paddock and dry lot is out to get him, not just the fenceline. Pre-dinner dinner? I had to hold his bucket and feed him because we couldn’t hang it anywhere because he might die.

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Tentatively stepping forward for a carrot… 

This morning? Now we can’t even eat hay because it’s too close to the fence line (20 feet). So Nay Nay is stressing and worrying and I just can’t. This isn’t good for his ulcers, but at the same time, GET OVER IT HORSE! You don’t want to go near the wire? Stand of the other freaking side of the hay feeder and eat from that side.

Friday Faces: peppermint and coworker edition

No energy to actually blog but here are some faces for your Friday morning.

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Subi is not impressed by Nay Nay and his insistence that he gets ALL THE PEPPERMINTS. 

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He’s worse than a dog…

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Seriously, it’s gross. 

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But the old man still gets all the peppermints and carrots he could ever need.

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At least someone around here is sitting in a saddle…

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My new coworkers, hard at work, answering reference questions over chat. 

And next step… Ulcers!

Ugh. I noticed that Nay Nay had started to drop weight. It’s hard to notice these things when you see your horses every day. This is one advantage of boarding. You don’t always see your horse daily, or multiple times daily. I’ve had blankets off for at least a week and the previous weekend he looked OK. I had been taking pictures every other week for weight/muscle changes and suddenly I looked at him and his butt looked… Bad.

He was still eating and I decided I’d take my lesson. He had gone on a hay strike the week before, but I sort of dismissed it. I was at the end of one batch of hay and Nay Nay was still inhaling hay outside. It was just inside his stall. Then, he started eating hay again in his stall so I figured maybe there was something in the last couple of bales he just didn’t like and he was holding out for the alfalfa. It HAS happened before.

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Nay says, “Don’t mess with my hay!”

Except on Saturday morning? He hadn’t finished0 his Friday dinner. Or touched his hay. And then he didn’t eat breakfast. There was too much poop to be colic though he looked like he just felt crappy. Shit. Looking more closely at his stall, lots of mushy manure. Another sign. Crap.

So, we’re taking this self-quarantine seriously. I’m not scoping because, well, it’s a lot of money and he’s got all the signs. I can scope, confirm he HAS ulcers, and then treat and be broke or I can treat and be a little less broke. Either way, treating is going to happen. Plus, I really don’t want to put him through the stress of scoping, ESPECIALLY with vet offices limiting appointments, reducing contact, and all that. If I need to scope after treatment, then I will. I’m using the call for social distancing to give Nay time off and try and heal the ulcers.

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I bought ulcergard as a pre-self-quarantine stock up… normal, right? 

I’ve had really good luck with Abler products in the past. Except, shipping might be an issue. I’ve placed my order and I’m hoping I get the stuff (they have a delay warning right now). I’ve started on ulcergard now and I’m hoping the abler gets here as quickly as possible so I don’t go bankrupt. I do have Nexium on hand as well.

Anyway, since he’s been on Ulcergard, he’s back to eating dinner (breakfast? not so much) and cleans up his alfalfa. He’s picking at his dinner hay, but spends a good chunk of the time outside eating hay so that’s good. As of yesterday, he is eating a meal at 5-6 pm (pre-dinner) as I believe his ulcers are stemming from fence pacing/stressing to come in for dinner, NOT stressing about work/riding. Every night, he comes to the fence/gate around 5-6 and waits there until 8-9 when we bring in. Some days he’s VERY anxious to come in (rain). I’m hoping pre-dinner will help curb this. While he’s still happy to come in, he’s been less panicky the last 2 days since eating “pre-dinner.”

Horses, they drive us crazy, right?

First lesson in 5 weeks!

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Taking a vacation and making faces because Subi’s back smells like gold bond power

I’m going to split my blog into a couple of posts this week and start by focusing on the happy before I get into Nay Nay’s ulcer induced vacation. It probably comes at a good time with Corona-geddon, but still, no one likes to see their horses miserable. Hopefully, he’ll be feeling better in a couple of weeks and we’ll be back in light work. But, it the meantime, I’m going to take advantage of social distancing and self-quarantine recommendations and just stay home and pump omeprazole and alfalfa into his system. More to come…

But, before Nay Nay took a turn for the worst and scared me half to death by not eating either meal, we finally got in a lesson AFTER 5 WEEKS SOLO! This was our chance to see if all our hard work was noticeable or if I really screwed him up in that time… LOL

I got to the barn and it was pretty busy for midday on a weekday. Turns out all the college kids suddenly had time on their hands with our university closed to students (not staff… I was just off for the day) and decided to ride. Nay tried to take it all in stride in the outdoor, but as we walked around in hand, it was a little too much. So, we moved to the indoor for our actual lesson. **He did nothing wrong, but the goal was to not stress him out** Inside, instead of 3-4 horses canter/jumping every which way, we joined the resident western pleasure trainer (yes, I’m at a hunter barn that has a western pleasure trainer renting out stalls) walking around on one horse while his student jogged on another. Much more Nay’s speed.

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Nay Nay earthquake has arrived, taking down plants and everything else in his way

Very quickly? All was right in Nay’s world. We need to work on the outdoor and we need to work on crowds, but that day wasn’t the day. 2 quiet horses in the ring? Happy camper.

As we were walking, the phone calls started coming in announcing the end of the world (first schools were closing). So I started my own warm up. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been here for 5 weeks… And show off Nay Nay did. He gave me some of his best trot work ever. All of a sudden I hear, “Who is this horse? He is so even and balanced!” At some point we’re instructed to add in some figure eights, but otherwise, Nay just shows off what a solid citizen he’s become.

Next comes the message about USEF shows. So, follow up calls and text take place regarding that. I understand in a sense, but also, whatever. Short term plans were seeing who wanted to show this weekend who hadn’t originally planned to before no more points. Long term discussions were Devon points. Then, will there be a Devon? Nay Nay and I canter, adding circles and his left lead, which hasn’t been as great, was lovely. Then the right lead was pretty good, SO MUCH BETTER THAN 5 weeks ago, but not as nice as some of the other right lead canters we’ve had because, on a circle, I leaned it, and then we lost it… But, user error. Still, trainer couldn’t get over”his balance, consistency, and pace!”

Then it was time to really focus on me and we were asked about our over fences work. I explained that I really went back to the basics and stuck with tiny jumps and worked on asking at the base every time. Basically, micromanaging because he’s not consistent enough to get away without the micromanagement. And, he sometimes makes poor decisions on his own. [Leave me alone for too long and I get way too analytical!] I also mentioned that he loves the freaking straw bales of all things which is insane. “Have you cantered anything yet?” Gulp, no.

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It’s hard work being Nay Nay. You get hot and sweaty having to work really hard. It’s exhausting! Plus water sucks. Except when it’s mixed with dirt. Then it’s the best thing EVER!

So, the plan was to work on a figure eight. Trot down over the little plank jump (it was like 18″ around the corner and up over the pole. Next time, when I got back to the rail, ask for the canter and canter both a few times. And… we did.

Trotting wasn’t an issue at all. Cantering? Nay got pretty damn excited and launched himself over the plank because he’s awesome. LOL and then I had to work to keep leg on him while he tried to toss his head in celebration. It was cute. It took us a few times to keep the canter and canter the pole vs trot step/canter the pole but we got there. I did eventually have to hold a touch for the plank so that someone didn’t gallop, but he was very, very excited and happy. It was adorable.

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Fell better buddy!

Next, we were going to canter the straw bales. Right lead. I did interject and ask to trot first and approach from the LEFT LEAD and that was fine. See, I have to work too hard to keep him from drifting to the right and I just didn’t want to. So, we trotted it once, circled, and cantered up and over like he’s been doing it every day, cantered down over the plank, and then cantered up over his pole. And with that, Nay Nay cantered his first baby course.

You guys, the jumps were small, but he was awesome! He was so proud of himself! I can’t wait to ride again, whenever it is.

 

forward Forward FORWARD

Forward was the theme for my rides this weekend despite the fact that Nay Nay was slow and lazy.

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Mission: jump jumps and not trample cat down by in gate.

Saturday it was windy and the day started off sunny but freezing with 15-20mph winds. My favorite kind of day. My original plan was to ride in the morning before my farrier appointment, but it was so cold that… I just didn’t. So, I broke my rule of not riding after the farrier and rode after our trim. The wind died down late afternoon and things were fine. Nay was fine. Possibly a touch foot sore? But, it was only questionable when we were trotting and he worked out the iffy-ness at the canter. Again, no lameness, but a little (not even) tenderness, more just lazy, not really going to put full effort out or move truly forward. It’s hard to describe. But we cantered and even though we were both huffing and puffing after our canter (slow as freaking molasses), everything felt better after that.

I sent up some small fences (2 verticals) and decided if I felt brave, I’d tackle a gate and the straw bales. Both the verticals were part of lines (as was the gate) so I had to be strategic how I tackled them less I teach Nay Nay to go around them,  and the straw bales? Set up without standards so they were all about steering. Lol. Just 2 random bales on down the long side.

Thinking over the past week, I realized that I’ve been expecting way too much from Nay Nay. When I approach something small, I expect he’ll jump it. We’re not there yet. Or, if we do something 3 times in a row, I expect he’ll jump it the 3rd time. We’re not there yet. As a result, I don’t ride and Nay decides he needs to make a decision. Sometimes he jumps and makes the right decision, sometimes he says, “Oh! Freedom! Let’s not do this!” Right now, until he knows he doesn’t get to make that choice (unless, dangerous), I need to ride and ask at the base every time. I need to be assertive. If I’m assertive, if I add leg (or spur), I then can expect him to jump because leg/spur means forward.

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I’m very confident now over little jumps. Hopefully this will translate to less tiny jumps!

So, turning to our first vertical, I added spur because he was asleep and he immediately woke up and cantered (LOL) and I wasn’t quite ready to canter my first jump without my trainer there. So without using much hand and still apply that leg (yay for voice training trot), Nay came back to the trot and jumped the snot out of his vertical because? I rode. No pause, no hesitation. There was no way we weren’t jumping it. We repeated it several times and while the enthusiasm died a bit (he jumped and cantered out vs jumping a foot over the thing), it was all good.

We did the same thing to the next jump. It didn’t matter that this jump was in the location we had issues with. It was fine. Our approach wasn’t perfect but it was fine. Springy trot towards it, leg/spur, jumped with enthusiasm and no hesitation. Rinse, repeat.

So I was left with a dilemma. And decided to try the straw bales. We started to the left. I overrode in…fear that all my issues would come crawling back and… a little bay horse launched himself over the straw bales and cantered out. The second time? He carried himself to it while I still asked. After repeating this, I thought about ending because no good deed go unpunished, but decided to take on the other direction…

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We jumped those! This is big for me!

To the right, Nay Nay drifts in. I know this. And it was an issue. But, despite this, I caught it and we got over. Now, by calling him out on the drift, he did catch the straw bale with his left (I didn’t add as much leg here either as I was course-correcting) so we knocked a bale, but we got over. He doesn’t care. I hopped off, fixed it, and we proceeded to ride it perfectly now that I was prepared with extra inside leg and outside hand (so much work I need to do here). The 3rd attempt was even better and Nay Nay was so freaking proud of himself.

We stopped after that fence but holy crap. I think I finally get it? I could have it all wrong, but…? I ride, he jumps? Granted, everything was tiny, the straw bales being the largest, but the concepts are there…

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Such a perfect pony on Saturday!!!

Sunday my ride came early (a 1-9 workday ruining my weekend). Nay Nay was tired from his previous day’s work, but his trot work was lovely, if not slow. Things fell apart at the canter. There are days you pick your battles and there are days you don’t. I decided I just didn’t have time for a fight.

I struggled to pick up the canter. Nay just didn’t want to move forward. Like the trot, he just felt slow, but didn’t feel lame or even stiff. Once I got him cantering, the canter was completely fine, but his focus was anywhere but me. See, turnout was changing and 2 horses were face fighting outside the indoor and grunting/squeeling and I just couldn’t keep him focused. I ultimately managed to pick up the canter a few times, kept it down a long side, and asked for the trot and called bring him back myself a win. Sometimes picking a tiny victory is what you need…

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Little vertical, but we got over and entire ride changed. 

Since he wasn’t necessarily himself, I didn’t exactly want to jump much. But, thought I pop over my 2 verticals (still set at yesterday’s height a couple times each). They were small enough to walk over and mostly I wanted to reinforce the lesson from the day before. Heading to the first fence, someone was focusing on anything but me… And tried to slam on the breaks because horses. Outside. More interesting. But somehow? New found confidence? Said NO WAY and kicked and next thing you know, we’re over without actually stopping. Maybe it was at the walk, but it was moving forward. We circled, trotted over without hesitation and immediately trotted our other vertical. Lesson learned.

And because I can’t leave well enough alone, I pointed him to the straw bales. And suddenly the feeling of slow and plodding disappeared and someone woke up. I guess he likes his straw bales? We did that each direction twice and called it a day. All was good (excepted something at the end of the arena was also distracting and causing him not to focus).

While Saturday’s ride was THE RIDE, Sunday’s was a lesson in how to handle distractions and picking battles. Ideally, Sunday would have just been a flat ride (my original plan), but I needed to work on something as someone’s brain had left the building. He definitely needed an easy recovery ride after Saturday, but if he’s going to let his brain leave the building, he’s going to have to work a little harder physically. Oh well, he can recover this week.

Now that it’s getting light in the evenings, I’m hoping to eventually get a ride in during the week. We could both use it! I’ve been on my own for an entire MONTH. Hopefully next week I will finally get a lesson! Or there will be a horse show. LOL.