Navigator's Progress - Page 60 - The Horse Forum
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post #591 of 638 Old 04-25-2019, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, both of you! :) Yeah, we have spent SOOO much time on geometry so it's nice to see that it is paying off, haha! And yes, I love how that pad looks on him, to the point where I'm nervous to use it too much so it doesn't get too dirty! Nothing stays clean for long with horses though, so guess I should just accept that!

Anyway, I have ridden a couple times since my last post, just haven't done any updates. I'm disappointed today though, we've had SO much rain and everything is just mushy, so even though I've had a couple days off of work, I haven't been able to go out and ride. :(
And I feel bad because like today it's sunny and kind of nice, but I just can't bring myself to do a round trip hour long drive just to go visit him for 20-30 minutes - there are just too many things in the day that I should be doing. I know he's being taken care of (and the vet came today so he's probably had enough poking and prodding) and I know he's happy, but I feel guilty.

At least my schedule is different tomorrow so I should be able to go. And in June I'll get a new work schedule that I *think* is a little more open for me, so that should help too. And maybe I'll go this weekend. I typically don't ride on weekends because that's some of the only time I get to spend with my husband - he works until late so we only get a couple hours together before bed, and that's only on nights when I don't work later than him. We probably get to hang out together 3 nights of the week during weeknights, which just isn't enough because he is my favorite person and best friend. But maybe an early ride would be ok to make up for missing out on my weekday rides. Or maybe I can get him to come along with me to the barn, hehe.

I guess really things will be better when rainy season finally stops too. :P
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post #592 of 638 Old 04-26-2019, 12:07 PM
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Seriously, they never stay clean. You wash them, put them on the next day & bam, they are dirty again. Ugh! Especially during shedding season! The worst.

Ugh, that sucks about the rain. It's raining here today too...& the ground was just starting to dry up. As usual. I understand about the long drive. Don't feel guilty, it's okay. There are nights where I don't go to the barn because the hour drive home kills me & sometimes I get home so late.

It'll be nice once your work schedule changes though. Hopefully it'll be more flexible so you can go see him more. I know it's hard to juggle everything.
Maybe go for an early ride then spend the rest of the day with the hubby? I try to get to the barn early on weekends so I have the whole day to do whatever else.

Things will definitely get better when mother nature decides to stop being such a jerk!
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post #593 of 638 Old 04-26-2019, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, @PoptartShop , it's just so hard for me to not feel guilty, just my personality. :P But I'm working on it. The summer schedule will be good I think.

I only had a half day of work today so I got to go out to the barn today. But, Nav didn't quite seem like himself. He was a little lethargic and just didn't have much go. So we just did a short ride, some trot work and then a little bit of the lateral work. As we went he perked up a bit, so I'm wondering if he was just kind of hot and/or sleepy at first? It was a lot warmer today than it has been, and I was at the barn at an unusual time (afternoon naptime, perhaps). He also had spring vaccines yesterday so maybe he's just feeling a little off from that.

We didn't ride long but I noticed he didn't really get sweaty. He was damp under the saddle but nothing really on his chest. Kind of concerned about anhidrosis, but can horses really develop that so suddenly? He got very sweaty at our last ride, slightly lower temperatures that day but not more than like 15 degrees. I will be monitoring him closely. He had gut sounds and regular appetite for snacks. :)

Selfie, brought to you by carrot!


I also braided his mane today - because if you have a horse and never play hair salon with him, what are you doing? But here is the messy result. Those baby hairs are just out of control!
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post #594 of 638 Old 04-29-2019, 12:01 PM
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You are welcome!

I was going to say, it could definitely be from the vaccines. My BF's horse was a bit droopy the next day. My mare wasn't, but every horse is different. That makes sense as to why he was a bit more lethargic than usual. Hopefully he will be feeling better next time. I know it's hard not to worry. Maybe because you didn't ride long he didn't really sweat much? Like if he wasn't really worked that hard?
Keep an eye on it though.

Love the braids!!! That will help keep him cool too. LOL so many baby hairs haha! So cute though.

Have you been out since? Let us know how he's doing, hopefully better. Fingers crossed!
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post #595 of 638 Old 04-29-2019, 01:58 PM
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Aw my favourite navman!

Those circles are amazing holy crap, only in my wildest dreams!!!
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post #596 of 638 Old 04-29-2019, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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@PoptartShop, it's good to know that a little lethargy after vaccines can be normal. I think you're right that he didn't sweat much because we didn't work hard. But of course, I will be keeping an eye on him and I know the BO is too.

While bringing Nav in today he was totally goofy, trying to bite the lead rope! He's done this once before, but it's strange. I don't know if he's just feeling mouthy or playing or what, but I caught a picture of him doing it this time:


I rode this morning, Nav did ok... He was a bit of a freight train, really bearing down on the reins at the trot and canter. So, since I didn't want to fight it today, we just didn't do much at the trot and canter. We spent a lot of time working our leg yield along the long side and Nav did really well! I could feel him really reaching across with his hind legs, we had a good angle and he wasn't overbent. Even on his stickier side he had a decent reach and bend. I was so happy with him! We did it a little bit at the trot, on his easier side. Still needs work but we had some good steps here and there. :)

After the ride I tried doing some carrot stretches with him, and this is when I realized he's SUPER stiff. Like, he used to be able to reach back toward his hip during carrot stretches, but today he could barely reach to his shoulder :( So that kind of makes sense that he wasn't riding very well and just wanted to run, he probably didn't feel very good! I don't know what the cause is, could be anything - rolling weird and pinching something, playing with his pasture mates - you know how horses are. So I'm finding out if there is a normal chiropractor who comes out to the barn and if there isn't I'll look into finding one. I'm going out of town for a few days this week so he'll have a good 4-5 days off, so maybe it will resolve on it's own, but if not I definitely need to have someone work on him.

Anyway, I also found out today that Navigator likes oranges! So here's a little clip of him trying one for the first time :)
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post #597 of 638 Old 05-01-2019, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Had a lesson today. Nav seemed perky and alert when I came to get him from his field. :) He's shedding out really nicely, hopefully he'll be all shed out within the month of May! I don't know if I will roach his mane this year - typically I do that in spring and then let it grow out over the summer and winter, but I don't know. I just like the look of his long mane right now, and like last ride, I can braid it up if I want the short look.

Anyway, lesson went pretty well. Right away I let J know that Nav had been stiff and resistant during our last ride, so we took it pretty easy throughout the lesson. J said that it could be since Nav and I have started working a lot harder and I'm asking him to do more difficult things and use muscles he doesn't normally use (or work hard), he could be a little body and muscle sore. Most of the lesson today was working on loosening him up - by asking him to flex both inside and outside as we rode a circle. That was actually really hard for me to wrap my mind around how to have him look to the right (for example) but still travel to the left. Nav did pretty well, and it did seem to loosen him up quite a bit and help him lighten.

We spent most of our lesson today working on developing Nav's slower, shorter stride trot. J said that Nav is kind of missing his middle gears - he's got a 1, a 4, and a 5, but no 2 or 3. So to work on that, first she had us do a medium circle and alternate between a working trot and a slower, more compact trot. Nav's tendency is to go from working trot to a walk, when I ask him to slow. He's very responsive in that way! But I don't always want him to do that. So when I asked him to slow using my seat, I also gave him a little tickle with the whip, just behind my leg to remind him to keep his back legs rhythmic. After a while of that Nav settled into it and was doing pretty well! So then we added the next level of difficulty by going from slow trot to walk and back. Nav really wants to pull into those downward transitions, but this exercise is meant to help him learn not to do that. He's trained me into letting him after many years of riding incorrectly. Something that helped was making sure he has a nice bend from nose to tail, which didn't allow him to lean straight down onto the bit. Again, as we went he got much lighter in the slow trot and the trot to walk transitions lightened too. This slower trot is something that can be used as a middle gear. It will take time to develop but it will be worth it!

We did just a little canter, transitions were ok, but it was also pretty muddy so we didn't do very much. She mainly wanted to see how we were doing. We ended with just a little bit of the leg yield along the long side, and Nav did SO well to the left. He's really gotten good at it, and right was sticky but it was a big improvement from my last lesson so J seemed happy with us. :)

I was so pleased with Nav today, he's such a good horse, he tries so hard and really wants to do what I'm asking him. He stretched a bit better after our lesson, so maybe he is just a little tight and muscle sore. In any case, he will be getting a little vacation of 5 days since I'll be out of town, so the rest should do him good.
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post #598 of 638 Old 05-03-2019, 11:43 AM
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Omg, he is such a goober. I love it! So cute, the video of him eating oranges is just adorable. I like his long mane as well. It looks good. Exactly, on hot days you can just braid it up!

Glad you had a good lesson! That makes a lot of sense, he could be a bit sore from using muscles he hasn't used. Kinda like us, if we do new exercises or something, then we find ourselves sore in places we wouldn't be usually. Glad you have some new exercises to get him to slow down at the trot. It will definitely be worth it!! So glad you guys are making such good progress.

That's good that he stretched better after the lesson. It could've loosened him up a bit. Hopefully after his little vaca he will be even better!
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post #599 of 638 Old 05-08-2019, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Just a quick update from today.

As usual lately, rain ruined my plans of riding, but I missed my boy so I made a drive out to the barn! Well, I stressed myself out so much during that drive! We had been having thunderstorms all morning, and though the radar looked fine when I left, it was still raining and pretty windy! While on the road I realized it was WAY windier than I initially thought, and some suspicious looking clouds. We have had some tornadoes in the area lately so I was a bit nervous about that. I actually almost pulled over twice to check the weather on my phone again, but didn't. By the time I got to the barn it was fine, the weather was definitely not coming my way, but it did spook me a little.



At the barn it wasn't raining, just super wet. The arena was so waterlogged. It is fast draining so it might be good by tomorrow afternoon, but definitely not today! I was expecting to see a rain soaked pony too, but they were all warm and dry in the barn. They were brought in this morning for breakfast around 7 (before the rain) but when it started storming they stayed in. So when I got there around 1:30 they had been in quite a bit longer than normal - the BO was actually just letting them out when I arrived. Instead of keeping Nav up even longer I decided to just give him his dewormer, an orange treat, and then let him go. He seemed pretty happy to have a snack, and he's very good for deworming! :) He was super antsy in the cross ties and I didn't have him stretch today, but he didn't seem obviously sore or stiff. He did have a tiny sore on the hard bone below his eye, but it looked scabbed over and I just put a little neosporin on it before letting him go. He was happy to be out and promptly went over to the mare that he likes to boss around and nipped her on the tail - Nav! They grazed together after that though, no fighting. It's just odd to see him as a dominant horse!

Hopefully things will dry out and I'll get a good opportunity to go out and ride soon!
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post #600 of 638 Old 05-10-2019, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Went out to the barn again yesterday, but didn't ride. It was just too wet still. But it was nice to just hang out with Nav and bond.

I spent a looong time grooming him and really working on his coat with both the shedding blade and one of those grooming pumice stone things. I think my blade is a little dull - have had it for a few years and I guess it's one of those things that can wear out. Might need to get a new one for next year. Anyway, he's shed out quite a lot but still holding on to some winter coat around his barrel. That is usually where it takes him the longest to shed out from. He's looking good though! I also peeled off nearly inch long ergots from his front legs. They came off with almost no force other than a slight twist so I guess they were ready? So odd though!

After a good grooming I had him do a couple carrot stretches and he was just about back to normal! No stiffness and he was able to reach back to his barrel. So I'm relieved that it wasn't something more serious than (apparent) muscle soreness from working harder. So we'll make sure to have long enough warm ups to hopefully prevent this. And with regular exercise he will get stronger. :) I then let him graze in the paddock while I was sweeping the barn aisle, gave him an orange, and then took pictures of him (of course!)



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