Navigator's Progress - Page 59 - The Horse Forum
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post #581 of 638 Old 04-09-2019, 10:18 AM
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That is great that his canter is improving! I think his weight looks fine, he does need more muscle but that will come, since you guys are working on a lot of things. He looks good to me.

That's good he is finally starting to shed.

Horses definitely can sense things & smell things way before we can. Sounds like he got a bit anxious because of the longhorns. Understandable, although I know it's frustrating when they have that quick tick-tock prancy trot/walk. I'm glad you came back and worked him in the arena though. What a good boy, ALWAYS important to end on a good note. :)
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post #582 of 638 Old 04-16-2019, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Well, we're finally having another lesson tomorrow! Had a few weeks off just because I'm only doing the every other week schedule, and then my last lesson had to be canceled due to a conflict on J's part.

I haven't ridden since last Monday, so we're going into this lesson a little rough. I think Nav will do well, he is smart and retains things and our last few rides have been good. Hopefully he won't be too squirrely or fresh!
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post #583 of 638 Old 04-17-2019, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Quick Lesson Recap

Things went surprisingly well considering we hadn't ridden in a week! I got on about 15 minutes before my lesson time so we could warm up and not be too wound up. It was windy, so of course he was a little looky, but not too bad. There wasn't a lot going on to distract him.

As usual, started with our trot circle, and we made it small enough that he had to have a bend through his body. He did well to the right but was pretty resistant to the left. He really didn't want to bend through his ribs or look in the circle. I usually just need to do a little wiggle with the inside rein and press with my inside leg to get him to do it, but today J had me do a strong one or two second pull/ask and then release. And when I say strong, it's not like I'm yanking him over, more like I'm closing my fist. It's stronger than usual but usual is pretty light, so it felt different. But we had to keep coming back to that because he really didn't want to bend. I've heard that this can mean that his outside (right) muscles are tighter so it will take repetition and stretches to help him loosen up, so I need to start doing carrot stretches more frequently.

Our canter today was nice! Especially the up transitions, he just really stepped into them, no running or disorganization. Down transitions were not as nice, he got heavy a couple times - this also happened a lot in the trot. J reminded me that this is why I need to make sure I keep working really hard with him on the transitions within gaits and shortening his stride. He got better as we went but still was pretty heavy. It will get better with time and practice. She also said that he likes to get heavy and fast and that I don't always try to stop him, so I need to be much more deliberate with telling him "hey, I know you're ready to go but you can't just take me along for a ride". To make sure I sit back and that I am the one driving instead of letting him autopilot. He's pretty forward which is good but I need to start working on asking him to shorten stride and put a little more weight in his hind end instead of plowing along with long strides but on the forehand.

We ended the lesson with working on our leg yield/haunches in along the long sides. He does pretty nicely to the right, actually had some nice moments when our coordinations all came together and we were on a bit of a roll, we were even able to do it at the trot! To the left is a lot harder, and we did it at trot and walk but it was much stickier and not as much angle or bend. Again, just something to keep working on. This exercise requires him to do a slower trot too, but still with energy so it will be a good one to work on.

Our lesson finished just in time before the rain started. Good timing! The rain has stopped as of now but apparently we have a super storm headed our way, which is super frustrating because I have extra time off this week and was hoping to ride the next couple days in a row. Maybe it won't be as bad as they're saying but we'll see. I'm so glad I got to spend some nice time with my ponyface though!

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post #584 of 638 Old 04-17-2019, 05:36 PM
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you have the prettiest smile!
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post #585 of 638 Old 04-18-2019, 02:06 PM
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Awww I love that picture! SO cute!

Glad you had a good lesson again, exactly, the more you work at it, the better it will be. You are already making good progress. Even going into the canter! That is awesome!!
Ugh about the rain, it's supposed to rain all weekend here too. :( Of course when we have some extra time off, right?! Fingers crossed you get to ride this weekend!!
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post #586 of 638 Old 04-18-2019, 05:26 PM
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I feel like I should tell you I started reading your posts a few days ago at work. My employer wants half our time here to be 'down time' to keep us 'fresh' and allowed to do certain things during this time. I found this Googling 'horses'. I started out reading threads about grain and then came across this. I enjoy reading it, thanks! I'm more of a novice, leasing to own my first horse in my mid forties in Wisconsin. Prior to about five months ago, it had been about thirty years since I was on a horse besides one of those trail rides that the horses could walk it on their own. I started doing morning chores for some extra money at a 35 horse facility about six months ago and the rest is history. :) The love for them never leaves ya! Now I spend a lot of time wishing I hadn't wasted those thirty years and was at the same place so many people I see daily, are at. But we will get there! Thanks for the read! I just finished your first year. I will look through all the threads on here on all topics eventually.
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post #587 of 638 Old 04-19-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Aww, @tinyliny , @PoptartShop , and @BeckyFletcher , y'all are so sweet! :)

About the rain - it ALWAYS seems to come at the worst times doesn't it? Yesterday ended up being a fail for riding because it did end up raining! Thankfully the ring dries relatively quickly so it should be good for today - fingers crossed! I'll be heading out a little later because I have Friday off for once, yay!

My plan today is to do a bit of work on the trot and canter - especially trotting on a circle to the left and getting a good bend - and then spend a lot of time working on the lateral work. We probably spent the least amount of time working on that before our lesson, so I want to put some more time in on it this time. Plus it's fun, and it gives Nav a little more of a challenge which is good for his pony-like mind. :)

Becky, welcome, and I'm glad you've enjoyed Nav's and my journey so far! I don't think it's ever to late to get back into horses, sometimes we just have to wait for the right time, and it seems like you're there! I'd love to hear about your horse sometime :)
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post #588 of 638 Old 04-20-2019, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Meant to do this when I got home from riding, oops!

Nav selfie!


Yesterday's ride was really good! It was a beautiful day - bright and sunny, mid-60s - just a little windier than I would have liked but it didn't phase Nav. :) Nav is still shedding. I know it will be a while before he's all shed out but I can't wait to be able to groom him and not be totally covered in horse hair by the time I'm done!

We rode in the big arena and even though we had rain the day and night before it was pretty dry and good footing. We warmed up, and then worked on our trot circle. Nav did a lot better to the left than he did at our lesson with bending through his whole body. I still had to remind him, but not nearly as frequently or strongly as on Wednesday. Our transitions within trot are getting better and less heavy on the forehand too! It still happens sometimes, but he's doing a lot better about staying light in the bridle.

One of our trot circles:


Canter was nice today too. Left lead was easy, prompt to pick up and no running, but right was a little harder. Not sure what the problem was, but I had a hard time getting him set up for it and then he wanted to run into it or just trot faster. We were able to end our canter work on a good transition but it was still not as good as Wednesday. He may have been a little tired, but I'll be interested to see how he does with it on our next ride. Either way, he didn't get too heavy, so I also consider that a win!

We worked on the lateral exercise at the walk only. As with our lesson, he did well to the right, but stickier to the left. He did have a good series of steps on the left a couple times, but it still needs a lot of work.

Nav checking himself out after our ride:


He is such a smart little horse, I feel lucky to have him!

I also tried out his new saddle pad! I think it looks so pretty on him :)
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post #589 of 638 Old 04-23-2019, 09:23 AM
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Love the trot circle pattern!!

That is awesome! He is really starting to get it! There is always one side that is worse or harder when it comes to cantering. He will get stronger though. And yay for him not getting too heavy - that is definitely a win! Omg, the picture of him looking in the mirror is just adorable. <3 So cute.

Ah, Promise is still shedding a bit too - I can't wait until that summer coat comes in lol. So much hair everywhere now! Grrr!
I love the new saddle pad on him too - great color!!!
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post #590 of 638 Old 04-23-2019, 12:21 PM
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I wish my circles looked that clean! I think I make more ovals and octagons! Haha! The new pad is GORGEOUS on him! Love it!
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