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.