Not much to see over here…

An update-non-update here. I’m still around and alive, but just haven’t felt much like blogging.

The boys are doing well. Heat wave #12 just ended (Nay and I took most of the week off to keep from melting). He’s working on his beach ball body. I’m just working. Jiminy and Subi are doing well too.

In riding news, Nay Nay has completely lost his left lead. It’s gone. I’m sure we’ll find it again, but in it’s place is a lovely right lead that requires absolutely zero set up or prep. I ask for the canter and there is a right lead. Go figure? That’s how the left lead used to be. It seems that when I lunge before riding, the left lead returns. When I don’t? We… struggle. So yeah. Saturday I didn’t lunge and it took several attempts to find it. Sunday? I just couldn’t deal so we picked up the canter over a jump… Not what I should be doing, but I couldn’t. When we lunge? It’s usually there more consistently.

My ride Saturday, despite the left lead issues, was actually fabulous. We haven’t jumped much lately, just a few fences here and there, but for whatever reason, I felt brave and Nay was game for whatever I tossed his way. Before I knew it we tackled pretty much everything in the ring and jumped around over the entire course. I mean, why not? Nay’s only rule? No trotting.

Sunday on the other hand… I seem to get intimidated by other horses. We started off with one of the junior hunters who happened to be schooling over a legit course of 3’6″ fences. She WAS nice enough to call out her jumps/course when I asked, but that sort of set me off into a ball of nerves. It’s not that Nay was up or anything or impacted by the jumps, but… When she was done, I lowered everything to a nice 2′-ish height and was joined by 2 others and just could NOT focus. Since we jumped a lot the day before, I planned to just pop over a few things and be done. We did a couple singles and a bending line and were fine and decided to tackle Saturday’s new edition. We made it through the in and then slammed on the breaks at the out. It wasn’t the jump, it was me not providing direction. So I circled back at the trot and Nay said no. So we canter and then I taught him to say no. This was the first legit NO when there was no reason (the last NOs were 100% me saying, I don’t think I actually want to this. This no? Nay decided that he got to decide). Then he decided again that he didn’t want to.

It actually took me THAT freaking long to wake up and ride my horse. I got pissed off, spurred him, and he popped up more than he should have. I actually regretted not having a crop at that moment. BUT, realizing that he was being an ass*, I kicked him hard canter a circle and did not take my leg off or lean forward until he was off the ground… Honestly, he knew exactly what he was doing…

*The popping is what he does when he doesn’t want to get into the trailer. This is NOT acceptable behavior and at this point, one tap of the crop/stick now has him launching into the trailer thanks to a few…discussions…when he pulled some crap a couple months back when he decided that he no longer loaded after all our trailer loading lessons… He occasionally forgets, but quickly remembers. This is the first time that lesson has translated from ground to riding.

Anyway, he landing through in a full change and we did the jump again without hesitation before calling it a day. I realize I created the problem entirely, but it’s nice to know that I can fix my own problems vs just creating them…

The thing with Nay is that he doesn’t stop because of the jumps. He stops because I tell him to stop at the jumps. It appears I need to not do that…

Chugging along

I haven’t blogged for awhile. I keep meaning to and then I just…don’t want to. Life and work has been getting me down and I just haven’t been up to it? Life’s got me down for no real good reason.

The horses? They’re doing OK. Jiminy has decided to get all heaves-y on me so that’s fun. I have him on zyrtec plus leftover ventipulmin as needed. It’s fine. I should start steaming his night hay but the issue is he doesn’t necessarily eat a full flake if it’s in a net so I don’t really know how much to steam. If it’s not in a net, he’ll eat too much. Dilemmas. So I do nothing.

Doesn’t get much cuter than this, does it?

Subi. Subi is currently feral. Some days he’s dead quiet and others he’s a wild maniac. So typical Subi. He’s also grown a coat for the first time ever so there is that?

This fool… there are no words.

And Nay Nay. We’ve been alternating really good rides and less than great rides. He does better when he’s ridden a lot. I’m just trying to find the right balance. We had a fabulous lesson the other week where he pretty much grew up.

Blurry video but video nonetheless

And the proceeded to have crappy rides every day after.

It’s not that they were bad. They weren’t. They just weren’t… good. They were fine. But I’m struggling to find the balance between forward and quiet, slow and dead, and spooky and stupid. Most of the time he’s been slow, dead, and stupid. But not actually dead or slow? I guess what I need to do is suck it up, get after him, and find the forward button?

I’m not exactly sure what’s going on. He’s fine. He’s not doing anything. But some days? Work is sort of, kind of optional. And then I struggle to keep him moving forward and we end up with this behind the leg crappy canter that I just can’t ride. And, instead of smacking him with the crop and saying knock it off you fool, I just sit there and don’t do anything? I don’t know. User error.

The far end of the ring has become spooky town for us (read: me). And well, that’s not helping. I mean, we’re fine. And Nay doesn’t do anything. Other than the weekend before our lovely lesson when neither of us were feeling it (and I was almost dumped 3x). But besides that day? He’s done nothing to make me nervous so who the heck knows.

So that’s where we’re at. Lesson tomorrow. We’ll see how we do.

All is quiet*

A non-update update to basically say all is quiet*.

The vet is scheduled to come out on Monday to check on Subi and do his teeth. Hopefully we’ll have a better ideas as to what’s going on with his eyes (cataracts, uveitis, etc.).

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Biscuit wearing a scarf just because

That said, we seem to have come to an understanding. My trainer suggested leading him with my cellphone’s flashlight so I tried that last Thursday and when I shined the light on the ground, he immediately dropped his head to follow the light and his body relaxed. Since then? Everything has improved. It’s as if I finally GET what’s going on. Since Sunday (well, Saturday since I brought them in early), I’ve also had daylight on my side and he’s been even easier to deal with. Relaxed, happy, and comfortable.

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Cutest Hermione Dog Ever

In fact,¬† we haven’t had any issues since all of our leading now happens during daylight hours. I do notice though that he tries to identify ever sound he hears. Stop. Stare. Breathe. Reassure. Walk on. He’s reared once since Thursday when he spooked at something (I was carrying a bucket of food AND rushing AND setting us up for failure) and jumped once when Batty spooked (a separate time), but otherwise? He’s been great. He did walk into the barn wall 2 nights ago so there’s definitely some vision stuff going on. Still, now that I know I’m dealing with something and he seems to get that I’m helping him? Everything is working out.

I also removed the chain and switched him to this snazzy new halter and he’s a lot happier. I wasn’t happy with the rope halter by itself (getting it on and off quickly was an issue plus I had some other issues), but this seems to be the best of both worlds. Overpriced, yes, but definitely worth it.

I also had my first lesson back on Ranger last week. After a month without lessons (just riding) it was nice to have instruction, but my brain was on overload. I did better with my lines vs singles AFTER lines. So… I had issues maintaining pacing. When I rode on my own I just worked on singles and MAYBE connecting a couple singles together, but…

I also did a thing and bought a new pair of boots…

*By quiet I mean sort of kind of not dramatic but not sleepy either? OK?