Navigator's Progress - Page 57 - The Horse Forum
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post #561 of 636 Old 03-12-2019, 10:52 AM
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It can be difficult to stay balanced at the canter, I tend to throw my legs forward when I shouldn't! I'm glad you kept at it until you got a nice canter. Progress!! It's good you have a mirror too so you can SEE yourself, I wish we had one because it'd make it a lot easier. So I can see what I need to work on, I'm jealous! Plus...horse selfies! I am so glad the lessons have been motivating you, you and Nav are doing great! :) He is so handsome in that bridle! Whatever works, right?! Lol. And yay for a nice trot too!!!! It will all tie together!
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post #562 of 636 Old 03-13-2019, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Had another lesson today! I feel like it's been a lot right in a row but I guess it has just been about once a week. They've been going well.

We talked about Navigator's cow fear today, and while she said that she has seen horses overcome that fear with a lot of training, I just don't think it's something Nav can get over. He's 14 and it's a really ingrained thing. Anyway, apparently there are schooling shows held often at a place nearby, but because the arena shares a fence line with a cow pasture I don't think that's anything we could ever do.

I felt a little weird after this one, just about like, what are Nav's and my goals? I don't want to go to a lot of shows, but I also wonder why I'm taking so many lessons if I'm not ever going to show? I know it is good to improve and have someone helping Nav and I. I feel like we're improving already, even though it's only been three lessons and I know we will just get better if I can ride regularly and practice the things we've learned in addition to lessons. I think I'm just in an off mood, not horse related, but it's carrying over into that.

As for positives, we did have a really beautiful and round trot near the end of the ride, and our canter got better as we went. It was incredibly windy but he focused pretty well, and even thought it rained all morning the fact that I was still able to ride at all is a great thing.
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post #563 of 636 Old 03-14-2019, 10:49 AM
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Don't give up your lessons! My husband has been taking weekly lessons for 3yrs now and he does not have any intention of showing. If you enjoy it there is nothing at all wrong with expanding your skills
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post #564 of 636 Old 03-14-2019, 11:03 AM
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I know what you mean. I also don't show, I only do trails or just ride in the arena/sometimes the fields, but I am going to start taking lessons again, at least once a month, starting this weekend I'm doing a quick, 30min lesson just as a refresher, & then at the end of the month I have a lesson with a new trainer who is more in-depth.

I think you are on the right track. It's good to keep both your brain and Nav's brain working, there is ALWAYS something to learn, and it's better now because you have stuff to work on.
Even me, I haven't taken a lesson in awhiiiiiiiiiiiiile & I feel like I can't wait until I take one, because I need 'homework', if that makes sense. Like I want to keep learning.

You definitely don't need to show, at all, if you don't want to. :) Taking lessons is good because you're learning and improving. It keeps things interesting and fun! I'm really glad you are enjoying them! Even after only a few lessons, think about how much you and Nav are already improving!!

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post #565 of 636 Old 03-14-2019, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks both of you. I'm not planning on quitting lessons, considering going down to twice a month though instead of weekly. Nav really is the kind of horse who needs a job though, he is so looky - J described him as "being a tourist" during our lesson yesterday, which is a funny way to say it but it's true, he's always looking for things to see around him. When I ask him to do harder things, such as what we work on in lessons, he really has to focus and does a lot better. So I will definitely keep up the lessons, just maybe on a lower scale. J also said that she believes Nav has the potential to go to 1st level, with regular riding, so that was nice to hear. I'd like to move him up and learn some more challenging movements eventually.

The only thing from yesterday that I forgot to write about here: Bit placement. I mentioned that the franken-bridle helps so the bit isn't so low and the cheekpieces don't gape anymore, but J actually put the bit up even higher. Because it is apparently a slightly too large bit, so the link in the middle was not at an appropriate place, and the "arms" of the bit were able to slide into his mouth too easily. She also said that when a bit is too low, the horse can tend to get heavy because he's reaching for something to hold onto. She adjusted it for him after I had gotten on, so I didn't get a good look at the placement until today when I tacked up. And honestly, I feel bad about how tight the bit seemed! I don't think I've ever had a bit so high on any horse I've ridden. I know that some people do the two wrinkle rule, and that's what I was originally taught, but lately I've had him a lot looser (mainly due to not being able to put it up at all) so this was a big change. I would like to be able to trust my instructor, since she's a professional and a very good rider, and of course because I'm paying her to teach me, but having the bit so high feels very wrong to me. Does anyone have any opinions on this? I got a few pictures:

From the front, you can see how the bit sticks out on either side because it is about a half inch too big (it is 6 inches):


Left and right sides:



And just for comparison, this is where we had been:


Maybe it's just surprising because I'm used to it being much lower, but I don't know. Nav is stoic so he didn't seem bothered but I don't want to hurt him.

We had a nice ride though, worked a little bit on transitions within trot, and then just did a tiny bit of canter. But most of our ride today was a nice little hack down the road. It was windy again so the horses we passed by were super fresh, running around and playing with each other. Of course Nav did very well and didn't get upset by the antics. :) I gave him a bunch of treats before letting him go back to his field, and then brought all of my tack and tall boots home to clean since it will probably be Monday before I go out again.

Oh, and also just got Nav's biotin supplement in the mail! He got it regularly while we were back home, and I think it did some good for his hooves and coat, so I figured since they get fed in the stalls daily it would be really easy to start getting that back into his diet.
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post #566 of 636 Old 03-17-2019, 01:08 PM
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I also am a "no wrinkle" rider. I understand exactly where you are coming from. I've known plenty of instructors who go for wrinkles and plenty who do not. So I go with no wrinkles since I wouldn't like wrinkles on my lips. I also ride with my girth looser than most people, so I get scolded about that from time to time.

One time, when I was doing a joust show, a patron came up to the arena fence and tightened my bridle without permission, saying I had it all wrong. Hmmm, that must be why I was making good money with my horse and she was not?
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post #567 of 636 Old 03-18-2019, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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@knightrider yes, it just seems like it would be uncomfortable for the horse if it's causing so many wrinkles. I think I'll probably adjust it some more when I go out today, put it down at least a hole or two. I may also try my slightly smaller bit. 5.5" vs 6" doesn't seem like that much of a difference, but apparently it's too much. Which is confusing to me because another instructor I had in the past said that the 5.5" was too small. Horses get more confusing as more points of view get involved, I guess.

Anyway, Nav's supplement came in so I'm taking that out to the barn today. I don't know if I'll have a lot of time to ride since I have some other things I need to deal with. I feel like I never have the time to do what I want to do, and the barn is far enough away that it really takes up a lot of my day if I go out and have a decent amount of time riding and working with Nav. Either I do what I need to at home/errands/work and go to the barn for just a quick visit (which seems ridiculous because it comes to a 50 min/hour round trip), or I go with the intent of riding for a while and spending time with Nav and then I'm out for a minimum of 3 hours. Which doesn't seem like much in the span of a day but it feels like it is. I don't know. It's hard to make myself go out there when I know I don't have much time, because most of that trip will be spent driving there and back. I think also I may have some amount of undiagnosed depression, as doing much of anything - let alone long drives to the barn when I have limited time - has been a struggle lately. I am working on finding a therapist but it's slow going.

Sorry to get kind of personal.
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post #568 of 636 Old 03-18-2019, 01:37 PM
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Lessons twice a month is plenty. I was also taught 1-2 wrinkles, but my horse has no wrinkles, and her bit fits fine. It's not loose, yet not super tight. It's snug.
I just don't like the look of the wrinkles.

That does look a bit high to me on Nav, but then again, like you, I am used to seeing it lower. See how it feels...but if you don't like it, you can always lower it a little. I understand your trainer thinks it should be higher, but it's really up to you.
Hopefully the smaller bit helps too though. Yeah, so true...everyone has their own way of doing things. It's confusing! One person says this, the next says the opposite. I get it! I'm glad the lesson went well though. I cleaned my tack the other day too, always something to clean!

I hope his supplement helps. That sounds good.

I totally understand. My new barn is about 30mins from my house, but on the way home it takes almost an hour, because if not I will be forced to take an $8 toll. No thanks! Yesterday, I was supposed to run errands & do chores around the house, so I planned on going to the barn for just a quick ride. I planned on being there for only 1-2 hours, but I ended up being there for like 3 hours. Then it took an hour to get home. So half my day was kinda gone. By the time I got home, it was time for dinner. Not that it was a bad thing, but I know what you're saying. It's hard to manage your time.

Here's 2 pictures of mine:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 54190756_2234598470097231_7152084132342792192_n.jpg (86.2 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 54257585_2219302004976950_5476894484283260928_n.jpg (81.0 KB, 1 views)

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post #569 of 636 Old 03-18-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Promise is so cute! That is the kind of bit placement I would like to have with Nav. It is hard having a barn far from home/work, but around here 30 minutes away is actually pretty close, so can't do much about it. Maybe one day I'll just be able to keep Nav at home with me!

I went to the barn earlier today. Planned to ride but became too concerned about not having enough time to get home and get a shower and lunch before having to go to work. I dropped off his supplement and then brought him in and gave him a really good grooming. He's shedding a lot! Can't wait until he's shiny and smooth with his summer coat :)

We did take one selfie, of course, even though I'm super shiny from sunscreen :P


I also told the person who schedules our lessons that I want to go to twice a month instead of weekly. Our trainer is super busy so our scheduler wants me to just send her the dates for the next couple of months that I would want a lesson. Easy enough, so I'm working on getting that set up and I'll have to text her later today or tomorrow. I will have one lesson this week, since it was already scheduled, but next week we'll have off. I think this will be a good schedule.
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post #570 of 636 Old 03-19-2019, 09:21 AM
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Aw thank you! Yeah, it can be hard. Especially during the week like after work, I don't get home until 8 almost 9 some nights. :( But we love what we do! YAYYY for shedding!!! & I love the selfie, so darn cute!!! That's so nice you will be able to pick the dates for your lessons ahead of time, it'll be much better!!
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