Navigator's Progress - Page 58 - The Horse Forum
 866Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #571 of 636 Old 03-20-2019, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,065
• Horses: 2
Had a really good lesson this morning!

I was up and ready to ride by 9:15 which is sooo early for me and Nav. Like, I don't know the last time I was at the barn so early. I don't love waking up at 7:30 to get ready and make the drive, but it is so refreshing to be at the barn in the morning and have a nice ride, and then to still have the entire day to do other things!

Nav was super! The main things we worked on today were shortening his trot but keeping the rhythm, canter, and then a tiny bit of leg yielding along the long sides of the arena.

With the trotting, we had a really nice forward trot going along, and then she had me slow my post to get him to slow and shorten his strides. Our tendency is for him to get very heavy on the forehand and/or break to walk when we did this. She said what is happening is that Nav has a really big reach with his hind legs, and when I ask for him to slow he does a good job of slowing but doesn't shorten his back leg stride. So there's interference where he can't keep that stride but slow down because his front legs do slow down and don't get out of the way in time. Confusing. But what we did was keep working on it, and using the dressage whip to just tap his hind end at the same time as the slow post, which is meant to tell him to shorten his stride but don't slow down or lose the rhythm. He started getting it and we had some really nice and light transitions to walk after that. It will take more practice of course, and it was very clear to feel that he is better at it tracking left than right.

For canter work, we really focused on the upward transition. Sometimes Nav wants to just rush or fall into the canter, and what J had me do was get a nice trot going, ask him for canter, and if he didn't pick it up within three strides then to bring him back to a nice trot, regroup, and try again. This was hard. Cantering in general has been a little hard with Nav for the last few years, and I avoid working on it because it doesn't feel good. But I know I need to do more. Today felt good! J also said that I tend to drive too much with my seat and legs, and to sit much more still and just encourage him with legs or whip if he slows/tries to break. That was really hard! I don't even realize I move that much but she kept reminding me to sit up and less movement. I think a video would be helpful, so maybe I can get my husband to come out with me sometime soon since my tripod situation isn't the greatest! :)

Finally we ended with some work on leg yielding along the long side of the arena. We started at the walk, straight along the rail. Then J had me flex Nav toward the rail, as if the rail was the inside, and next I used my "inside" leg to push his haunches out just a little bit. And we went along the rail like that for a few steps and then straightened, and then did it again. Nav actually did pretty well with it! We tried it both ways at the walk, and then again at the trot. Trot was a lot harder, Nav either wanted to slow to a walk, or kind of refused to flex. J said that it's a lot harder for him partly because he doesn't want to adjust his stride to be shorter. This is why she had us do this exercise, and working on this along with the trot transitions will really help him with that. This lateral exercise will also be a good one to use for when Nav needs something to focus on instead of being looky. He's smart and needs harder questions than what I usually ask him. :) Wish I could have gotten some pictures or video of him today, he just felt so good!

We cooled out after that and I gave him a few treats! And then let him go back with his buddies. Will probably do an easy ride tomorrow, maybe a short trail or something. But he worked hard today and deserves something a little easier!
NavigatorsMom is online now  
post #572 of 636 Old 03-21-2019, 02:18 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 16,072
• Horses: 1
Glad you had a nice early start to the day. :) Then you have the whole day to do whatever else! So glad the lesson went well!!! It seems like each one is better than the last!
It is pretty hard to get that canter down. I am starting to work on it with my mare. Sometimes she rushes into it. But you just have to bring them back down, then try again.

It would be good to get a video, seeing yourself helps a TON! & half the time when you think you look 'bad', you actually look fine! Someone took a video of me cantering last night & I thought ew I am probably a darn mess but it actually looked really good!

I think a trail will be nice for him. Nice and relaxing. So happy that your lessons are going well. Working on the canter can be tough, but you got this! One step at a time.
NavigatorsMom and knightrider like this.

Ride more, worry less.
PoptartShop is offline  
post #573 of 636 Old 03-25-2019, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,065
• Horses: 2
Can't believe I haven't ridden since my lesson. Oops. I'm in a weird place with my riding schedule at the moment.

Anyway, I did ride today. Just a short one, because apparently the barn got a lot of rain last night! We heard the storm sirens going and it rained on us a bit, but I guess the barn was more in the path of the storm. So, the ring was pretty mushy. Decided against doing any canter work, but we did work on trot. We worked on transitions within the trot, getting Nav to shorten his stride. He felt pretty good, definitely better at it going left than right, but that's what I expected. We'll keep working on it though, he got better at it as we worked on it today.

After a good amount of trot, we did some of the leg yielding along the long side of the arena. Nav did really nicely tracking left, but he was super sticky to the right, really wanted to just bulge his shoulder out. I settled for a few nice steps of it. We didn't try it at the trot today. I have to really remember to sit back during this exercise, my tendency is to sit a little forward. I was able to catch myself doing it this time, so that was good!

About halfway through our leg yield work, a couple of the other horses were released into a new pasture, so they had a case of the new pasture zoomies. They were going SO fast from one end to the other, and Nav was very interested. I was able to refocus him by using the leg yield, but I decided not to do much more after that. Better to end on a good note than for him to get riled up by trying to do more. My initial plan was to go on a short trail after that, but I decided against, because of how rainy it had been the road shoulders would be squishy and I didn't want to put a bunch of hoof shaped holes in it.

After untacking I let Nav graze in the paddock near the barn while I cleaned up. He shed SO MUCH today, it was like a dog sized pile of Navigator hair after I swept it all up!

I also realized I need to start looking for new reins. I'm just currently using the reins that came with my bridle, and they're just rather inexpensive rubber reins. They're totally torn up and starting to fall apart, so I'd like to get some nicer leather reins. Really, I want to look at getting a new bridle, but I need to measure Nav before I just buy one, since he's an odd size somewhere between horse and oversize/draft. I'd like to just get a simple, flat noseband hunt style bridle, and since I'm not in a hurry to get one I'm going to try and hold out for one like that.

And, some pictures!
Mirror selfie




NavigatorsMom is online now  
post #574 of 636 Old 03-27-2019, 09:58 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 16,072
• Horses: 1
Even though the ring was mushy (ugh, rain sucks), I'm glad you were still able to do some trot work at least! It sounds like he is getting better the more you work on it. It can be hard not to lean forward. I have the same issue sometimes. It's just a habit.
Glad he is starting to shed too! LOL, I bet there was a ton of hair! He has such a thick coat.
Love the pictures. So cute.

As for reins, the ones that originally came with my bridle snapped (long story short, she stepped on them). I need to get them repaired, but I did buy some cheap reins from Tractor Supply...they actually have lasted a long time They were like 12 bucks, but they look nice believe it or not! https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...x?cm_vc=-10005

It will be nice to save up for a new bridle for him, but if you just want reins for now, you don't have to splurge!
NavigatorsMom and knightrider like this.

Ride more, worry less.
PoptartShop is offline  
post #575 of 636 Old 03-28-2019, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,065
• Horses: 2
@PoptartShop yes, I have so many ingrained habits! I realized the other day that I actually haven't had regular lessons since jr. high/early high school, when I had Pony Club meetings or lessons about twice a month. So I definitely have developed some bad habits in all the years since then!

I rode last night and it was a pretty nice ride. Really tried to focus on sitting tall and still during canter. I think Nav did pretty well for me overall. I felt like we made a lot of progress with the transitions within trot. And our canter transitions were TONS better, so that made me happy, even if our canter didn't feel great all the time. He still gets pretty heavy in the bridle during canter and especially during down transitions to trot. I know our transitions within gaits will help with that but it will just take time.

I got a video so I'll post that too. Cuts are just where I was out of frame. This was after about 20 minutes of warm up. It's not perfect but I think he's doing well and that we're slowly improving.


Last edited by NavigatorsMom; 03-28-2019 at 05:15 PM.
NavigatorsMom is online now  
post #576 of 636 Old 03-29-2019, 10:16 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 16,072
• Horses: 1
Wow, you guys look really good! Definitely seeing a lot of improvement. His canter looked much better, and he looks better going into it as well. So nice!
Your seat also looks good, you stayed right in the seat during the canter. Great job!!

It will take time, but you are definitely making progress. Me too, LOL I took a small 30min lesson w/ my trainer last weekend & I realized I was like pointing my hands to my stomach instead of straight back with the reins. Like turning inwards if that makes sense. Had no idea I was doing it.
NavigatorsMom and knightrider like this.

Ride more, worry less.
PoptartShop is offline  
post #577 of 636 Old 04-02-2019, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,065
• Horses: 2
@PoptartShop I know how you feel, I've been corrected so many times on hand position since I started lessons again!

Well, yesterday was Navigator's birthday! He is 14 this year :) We had a nice easy ride (we did some poles!) and then took a hack around the neighborhood. And I gave him a bunch of carrots, which he loved of course! He did great! There really isn't a lot to say, we've just been working on the same things. Making slow progress, but I feel like we are making progress. I'm pretty happy with Nav's weight - I can feel ribs if I press a bit, but they aren't visible. I hope we can start building some muscle. I think doing poles more frequently as well as hacking along the road sides on varied terrain will help with that.
NavigatorsMom is online now  
post #578 of 636 Old 04-03-2019, 02:46 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 16,072
• Horses: 1
Awww, happy belated birthday Nav! Sounds like he got spoiled! Hey, slow progress is better than no progress. Nothing wrong with going slow. Things take time, it's best not to rush anything. He does look good weight-wise, he looks healthy. He will definitely gain muscle in no time!
NavigatorsMom and knightrider like this.

Ride more, worry less.
PoptartShop is offline  
post #579 of 636 Old 04-04-2019, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,065
• Horses: 2
Yesterday's ride was allll about poles. And having a nice rhythmic and relaxed trot.

We rode in the small arena because there are more poles there, and we had a line of seven poles set out. Nav really did nicely with those, especially since we haven't worked them regularly in a long time. No missteps or knocked poles! He was a little lookier in that small arena, and we had more trouble getting nicely bent and round going to the right. Left was really nice for the most part! He did settle into something somewhat decent to the right but overall it took a lot more work. Will need to keep working on it. Trot poles were very nice and even.

Weird kind of selfie... :) His floppy crest makes his neck look a little weird.


Canter work was next. We just did a little bit of it, I mean, more than what we used to do before we started lessons, but still not a ton. Mostly worked on getting nice transitions without running trot steps and overall we had more good than bad. :) I intended to get off, set up my camera and get a clip of our canter work, but on my last canter before dismounting, Nav gave me the nicest transition and then the lightest canter. No heaviness in the reins at all! So I decided it would be better to end it on that instead of getting off, getting back on and asking for more. He's a good boy!

I took a minute to admire my horse after riding. I need to reach back into myself and remember the little horse obsessed girl. A horse of my own was a dream for so many years! And now it's finally a reality, and has been for five years. Seems crazy, but I also feel so lucky. And I'm so thankful that Nav is the horse that I have. There were people back then who kind of tried to get me to look at other horses - many people told me Nav was overpriced, and that I could find something comparable for less. But there is more to it than skill or training. Nav has a personality that really works with mine, and that I have never found in another horse. He is such a sweetheart and also a great, all around horse. Smart enough for me to ask him challenging questions that he can answer, but also gentle enough for my husband or other less experienced riders (I just recently found a video of him being ridden in one of the lessons I taught a couple summers ago, and it is so cute how nicely he's going for the young rider). I am so glad I have him, and hope to for many more years.



Side comment about his weight. How does he look? I know I've gone back and forth about this for a while, but I can't help being concerned! I wonder if I'm used to him looking fat. This was him yesterday and this to me looks ok until I compare it to a picture of him from a couple years ago...


vs. Summer 2017


vs. Summer 2018 when I know he was overweight


I think maybe it's an issue of him just being under muscled because he essentially had all summer 2018 off, and then sporadic riding since moving him here. We are only just getting into a regular riding schedule with more intense work. That said, I also weight taped him yesterday and he came to about 1,040. Which seems low for a 15.3 hand draft cross? It's just something I'm more aware of. Even though I owned Nav before moving, I really feel more like I'm on my own as an owner now, whereas before when he was at my home barn with my "horse mom" I had someone else who was always really looking out for him and giving me suggestions on what kind of care he might need. I don't know how to explain it really. But no matter how many questions I had, I never felt awkward asking because talking to her was like talking to a mom, since I had known her for so long - so no judgement for the questions I had. I don't think the new BO or others would judge me for having ownership questions, but it's just harder for me to not feel uncomfortable talking to them. I don't feel like an experienced owner. I'm sure it will come with time though.
NavigatorsMom is online now  
post #580 of 636 Old 04-08-2019, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,065
• Horses: 2
Today's ride was.... interesting.

It is warm here today, low 80s, and Nav is shedding out a TON! I decided since it's hotter than it has been and Nav still has some winter coat, it would be nice to do a little relaxing trail. Well. Nav didn't want to be relaxed today, apparently.

We went down the main road a bit, which we normally don't but we have done it before. Nav was super nervous. I wonder if he could smell the longhorns that were farther down? He was definitely on edge though. Not prancing with a high head but definitely looking around and a little tense.

I hadn't seen any longhorns as I drove in today so I planned on taking Nav a little farther down, but he spotted them! They were in a different field that we wouldn't go directly by, but he could still see them. He totally tensed up, high head and stopped to stare at them. I didn't want him to think he was getting his way in turning around because he was nervous, so I had him do some neck flexes for me, which he responded to pretty nicely, and also a turn on the forehand to turn around, and then a halt before we headed back. So not an awful experience but still. He was calmer on the way back, but then I took him down our usual trail. Again, he got super tense and nervous, and on our way back up the way, some horses in the field we were passing trotted and cantered along the fence line. Nav had had it and tried to do a fast scoot forward and then continued to do the slowest prancy trot/jig the rest of the way to the barn.

Because he had been so squirrely on the ride I did have him work in the arena. And wouldn't you know it, he had a beautiful and round trot, nice transitions within trot and trot walk transitions. He was SO much better behaved. So we kept it short and then finished on that good note.
Tihannah and PoptartShop like this.
NavigatorsMom is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My progress.... Oxer Horse Riding Critique 4 12-29-2013 10:06 PM
Progress! Ace80908 Horse Training 0 11-06-2012 12:27 AM
Navigator - Then and Now! NavigatorsMom Horse Pictures 9 05-18-2012 02:09 AM
In-Progress midwestgirl89 Art and Craft Work 44 12-02-2009 01:17 AM
A work in progress **Updated progress 7-31-07** MorningDusk Art and Craft Work 5 07-31-2007 01:23 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome