Navigator's Progress - Page 56 - The Horse Forum
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post #551 of 636 Old 02-25-2019, 03:18 PM
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Woohoo!! Congrats on the lesson! I've watched a few of your riding videos and Im sure you did really well! She's right that you have a great position despite the saddle. I wish I could learn to sit up that straight in the saddle! Sounds like Nav did a really good job too! It always helps to have someone on the ground guiding you despite your level of experience. It's really hard to see and feel what you may or may not be doing. So glad you had a great lesson!

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
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post #552 of 636 Old 02-25-2019, 03:36 PM
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So happy to hear your lesson went well. That is GREAT!! And that is great she is encouraging, that is super important when it comes to an instructor. They have to be encouraging.

It's awesome you have such a nice seat in that saddle. I am pretty jealous. LOL! It sounds like you both did really well. Now you know what you need to work on, and you will improve a lot!
It could definitely be the winter. My mare was 'thicker' in the spring/summertime. She's on more hay now than grass, so that could be why too. The grass will grow back in the spring & she will get thicker again, but it makes sense about Nav too.
It's good your BO will also keep an eye on him. :) It sounds like you two are in a great place!

I am looking forward to hearing about your next lesson already! It will make your rides more fun now, since you have things to work on. So exciting!!!!!
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post #553 of 636 Old 02-26-2019, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks both of you!! :) I am excited for the next one.

I went out to ride yesterday and decided to just do a trail since Nav worked really hard in our lesson. It was super windy but Nav was very well behaved and relaxed for the most part. We went farther than we had before, but Nav caught sight of a longhorn in the distance, so we stopped there and went home - after I had him halt facing away from them and flex his neck both ways for me, so he didn't think we were leaving because he was being nervous. ;)
A little clip from our ride, where we came across some other horses who were really excited!


I had a weird interaction with BO after my ride though. She caught me in the barn and said she'd heard through the grapevine that I thought Nav was too skinny, and that he's my horse and if I want him to be fed more I need to just tell her. I said that I didn't think he was too skinny, just that I agreed with J that I wouldn't want him to lose any more weight, and that I thought he'd probably start gaining again once spring grass comes in. She just said again to tell her if I want him to eat more. I don't know, it was just a really weird exchange, especially because we had pretty much talked about this same thing the day before? So I don't know why she thought I was talking behind her back or had a problem with Nav's feed situation. :/ But anyway, I'm still going to keep an eye on his weight and we'll up his feed if needed.

Hopefully I can get out and ride a few more times this week!
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post #554 of 636 Old 02-27-2019, 10:55 AM
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I'm sure he loved going out on the trail! Such a nice reward. Looked like a beautiful day. It does look pretty windy, but I am glad to hear he was relaxed. :) I know the wind can make them spunky sometimes!

Awww they are so cute running along the fenceline! What a good boy to keep walking and not even let it bother him. He is so good!

That is a weird conversation...hopefully she understands & doesn't think that, because exactly, you were JUST talking about it with her the other day! She should leave it at the fact you'll tell her if you want him to eat more, otherwise...he's fine. :)
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post #555 of 636 Old 03-05-2019, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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@PoptartShop yes, it was such a weird conversation! I looked pretty closely at Nav today and measured him with a weight tape. The tape came to about 1020 which I believe is at least 100 lb lower than I want him to be, but he also doesn't look especially thin. I'd mark him as about a 5 on the body score scale. It would be a little easier to tell if he wasn't so fluffy with winter coat - he's starting to shed though! Last time I taped him was last summer when he had been out of work and was pretty overweight, at about 1285.

Anyway, we upped his feed a tiny bit, don't want to upset him with too big a change quickly, so he now gets about 4 lbs a day (split between two feedings), plus a couple flakes of hay in the stall with meals, free choice hay in the pasture, and what little pasture we have right now - I can't wait for spring to get here! I may see if I can get some good body photos of him to post for critique. I know it's easier to tell about those things in person, but couldn't hurt to try and get some other opinions.

I rode today, Nav was really good! We reviewed some of the things we did in our lesson, mainly the transitions within trot, and energetic walking on a loose rein. I hadn't ridden since our trail ride last Monday, but we have another lesson this Thursday and I didn't want him to go into that without some warm up rides. It's been cold here lately and between that and work I haven't ridden much. :( But I made myself go today, it was in the mid 40s and sunny so not too bad, and it's just supposed to get warmer this week! I will update with how the lesson goes.
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post #556 of 636 Old 03-06-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Went out today and decided to do some ground exercises instead of riding. Thought we could take it easy since our lesson tomorrow will probably be a work out!

We mainly did some practice on having Nav walk at a good pace along with me instead of lagging behind, halting when I stop, and trotting in hand. We also did some trot poles, and worked on backing with minimal lead pressure. Nav was great, he tried very hard and responded very well. At the end we tried some trotting around and halting without the lead rope. I got a little video of that. Nav was pretty good, especially since we hadn't done it before. :) He focused on me and listened. It was fun!

Sorry about the wind noise!
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post #557 of 636 Old 03-07-2019, 12:00 PM
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I think Nav looks pretty good weight-wise. & it's not uncommon in the winter for them to lose a little bit of weight too. It's good you did up his feed a bit though, he should be just fine.

It sounds like you two are doing great! It's fun to work on new things from a lesson. I love the groundwork video too. He is so in tune with you! I hope today's lesson goes well, can't wait to hear all about it!
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post #558 of 636 Old 03-10-2019, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Lesson went well! I don't have a lot to say this time, we worked on many of the same things, mainly keeping him bent properly on the circle, and also a lot of time keeping him focused. It was a super windy morning and I warmed up with a couple others who left when it was time for the lesson, so Nav was looking for the other horses a lot of the time. But he's coming along! She said his canter seemed a lot better to the right (which was very unbalanced during our first lesson) and I kind of had a breakthrough moment of understanding about how to keep him balanced on the circle. I have to be very in tune with him, but I just have to be ready to use my outside rein to bring him straight onto the circle, instead of overbent and unbalanced, but also keep him bending with inside rein and leg. I don't think I'm explaining it well, but it's something I know I can do while riding. Still really need to work on feeling the up/beat 1 of canter and influence him at the right time.

I want to do some pole work with him this week, and do a lot more with our canter. I've been putting it off because it doesn't seem great, but it won't get better unless we work on it!
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post #559 of 636 Old 03-11-2019, 11:58 AM
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Yay! Happy to hear you had another great lesson. I know the wind can definitely make them more prone to distraction. Keep working on it! It will definitely get better. I know the whole outside rein/inside leg thing is hard to explain but I get it! I have to do that with my mare, sometimes she tries to cut corners in the arena & I have to make sure she doesn't. Very good that his canter is improving!! It will only get better!

So glad you started taking lessons again!
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post #560 of 636 Old 03-11-2019, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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@PoptartShop yes, starting lessons again has been really good for me and Nav I think! We've actually got goals to work on and I now have a plan whenever I go out to ride. I know what we need to spend more time on.

I actually spent a good amount of time on our canter today, for the first time in a while! I was a little discouraged because Nav wanted to run and didn't want to bend very well, and for whatever reason our transitions to canter were really blah... but we kept it up and eventually got nice transitions and a decent, not rushy canter. One of the hardest things for me is learning to sit up with my shoulders over my hips. One of my big bad habits is leaning forward when cantering. It just feels easier. I think it's kind of a compensation I developed since I have a long torso, but I really tried sitting up tall today and it felt like I was leaning so far back! Really though, I could see in the mirror that I was just sitting up tall! It will take time, but knowing that I have to show my instructor that we've been working on things outside of our lessons is a big motivator to work on the harder stuff!

Nav's trot was just really lovely today, he settled into that really well and our transitions within trot were really prompt :) I also tried out our "franken-bridle" today. I'm not really in a place to buy a new bridle right now, but my instructor has said that his bit needs to be a little higher. Apparently it's just a little too loose, the cheek piece gapes if I pull the rein at all. But it's already done up on the top hole... So I took the cheek pieces off of my other bridle, and used them on my dressage bridle, since they're shorter. It seemed to work fine, although it might look a little silly on close inspection, haha!

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