Navigator's Progress - Page 61 - The Horse Forum
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post #601 of 639 Old 05-13-2019, 11:54 AM
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It has been so nasty & wet here too lately. Ugh. Glad you got to the barn safely, driving in those conditions is not fun. Nav is really looking good, especially weight-wise. :) He looks very healthy.

Glad to hear he's not stiff anymore, and that it was just some muscle soreness. He will definitely adjust & get stronger in no time. So glad you enjoyed the day with him. <3 He is so cute! His coat looks so shiny and smooth now that he's shedding out!
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post #602 of 639 Old 05-14-2019, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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I love how shiny he's looking! Of course, I also love fluffy winter coats, but there's something magic about a smooth, shiny horse in his summer coat. :)

I had my first ride back in almost two weeks yesterday! Just due to being out of town and then the weather acting up. Nav was just fabulous though! Like, I realize more and more that I definitely got what I paid for as far as an all around and safe horse. I hopped on and took him out on a trail first thing. He was a little nervous about a wheelbarrow that was turned on end near the driveway, and somewhat looky as we walked down the road, but he settled really quickly and we had such a nice ride and enjoyed the weather!



After we came back to the arena we spent about twenty more minutes working on things from our last lesson. Mainly worked on getting that mid-gear, slow and short trot. It was hard for both of us. We definitely need to keep working on it, but I kind of expected that after not riding in so long! The next thing we spent time on was our leg yield along the long side. It was challenging, Nav was a little sticky both ways, but I also think I was not totally clear in my aids. After we worked on it some though we got better. Doing at the trot is still really rough, but we had a bit of a break through on his "bad" side - we actually did it! Instead of him just bulging out his shoulder and turning his neck, we actually had the angle through the whole body, and the most exciting part is that I could really feel him engaging his core and really stepping under and across. He was so lifted! I haven't felt him go like that in such a long time, and especially while doing a hard move on his difficult side!

I was so happy with him that we actually ended just after that - I had planned on cantering but it was just such a high point that I thought we should quit. We had also been going for about 45 minutes at that point. I have a lesson tomorrow so hopefully that will go well! We didn't get as much practice in as I wanted to, but I think it will be good to be instructed again and get some help with our mid-gear trot.
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post #603 of 639 Old 05-15-2019, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Lesson Recap

So today I had another lesson! And it was extra early (for me) at 9:15.

But it was good! The weather is really nice so it was a good time to ride. We started off the lesson working on getting Nav focused and balanced. He was SO looky today, like, he thought he needed to check out everything going on. We got him nice and focused and then began on the trot work. On the circle I got him going and then alternated between our long and short strides. Nav wants to pull down still in the down transitions. Rather than the too big steps with his hind legs, lately he has taken to shortening his hinds and then just pulling down and on the forehand when I ask him to slow and shorten. I am getting a lot better at feeling him start to do it though and then making sure I sit very tall, keep my leg on and remind his hinds with the whip. So it's getting better.

We then spent quite a long time on working on our canter transition. But instead of letting him do it from a long stride and fast trot, J had me asking him from the short and slow trot. The point of the exercise is to show him that he can in fact, pick up the canter from that gait and he doesn't have to try and speed into it, and it helps us go into the canter much more balanced. It was really hard! Nav didn't want to balance enough to do it, so it took a lot of tries, but we did eventually get it. J is big on not getting upset or frustrated when Nav doesn't respond the way I want him to, and instead wants me to just reorganize, rebalance, and ask again. We will definitely be working on that some more.

At the end she wanted to see our leg yield and she was very happy with our progress on that. I was too! It wasn't quite as good as the other day, but both sides were decent so it was an improvement from the previous lesson. :)

After the lesson we cooled out and I hosed Nav down since he sweated a lot, did some stretches, and gave him a few treats.
He looked so shiny! He's still shedding out just a little around his barrel. Probably will be done in a couple more weeks.
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post #604 of 639 Old 05-15-2019, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Lesson Recap

So today I had another lesson! And it was extra early (for me) at 9:15.

But it was good! The weather is really nice so it was a good time to ride. We started off the lesson working on getting Nav focused and balanced. He was SO looky today, like, he thought he needed to check out everything going on. We got him nice and focused and then began on the trot work. On the circle I got him going and then alternated between our long and short strides. Nav wants to pull down still in the down transitions. Rather than the too big steps with his hind legs, lately he has taken to shortening his hinds and then just pulling down and on the forehand when I ask him to slow and shorten. I am getting a lot better at feeling him start to do it though and then making sure I sit very tall, keep my leg on and remind his hinds with the whip. So it's getting better.

We then spent quite a long time on working on our canter transition. But instead of letting him do it from a long stride and fast trot, J had me asking him from the short and slow trot. The point of the exercise is to show him that he can in fact, pick up the canter from that gait and he doesn't have to try and speed into it, and it helps us go into the canter much more balanced. It was really hard! Nav didn't want to balance enough to do it, so it took a lot of tries, but we did eventually get it. J is big on not getting upset or frustrated when Nav doesn't respond the way I want him to, and instead wants me to just reorganize, rebalance, and ask again. We will definitely be working on that some more.

At the end she wanted to see our leg yield and she was very happy with our progress on that. I was too! It wasn't quite as good as the other day, but both sides were decent so it was an improvement from the previous lesson. :)

After the lesson we cooled out and I hosed Nav down since he sweated a lot, did some stretches, and gave him a few treats.
He looked so shiny! He's still shedding out just a little around his barrel. Probably will be done in a couple more weeks.
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post #605 of 639 Old 05-17-2019, 09:44 AM
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You really did, he is such a good boy. You can trust him. & the fact you can go awhile without working/riding him, & he bounces right back is awesome! Glad you were able to get out & enjoy the weather! I think that was a perfect note to end on too. I know that felt great finally feeling him get it!

Sounds like you had a good lesson also! That is great!! Wow, he really is super shiny. :O I love it! So handsome. What a good boy Nav!!
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post #606 of 639 Old 05-19-2019, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Had a nice ride on Thursday evening. I haven't gone out to the barn in the evenings very often because I get really anxious about driving in rush hour traffic (which goes from about 4:30 to around 7 here...). But I was determined to go, since it had been hot all day and I had waited with the intention of going. Traffic wasn't awful so I will probably do it again sometime!



Looking cute before we started!


We worked in the arena at first, mostly on our trot gears. It was alright, I felt like Nav wanted to hollow more than round up, but we had some good moments. I also think he was a bit tired after having been ridden three days in a row, which is not our normal. But he still was pretty good. We then went out on a little trail to cool down, and caught the pretty Texas sunset. :)


One thing I need to keep an eye on is Nav's eyes. He's had a little runny/watery eye on both sides for a while now. Not sure what the cause could be (maybe flies?) but he hasn't ever had it before so I definitely want to get to the bottom of it.
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post #607 of 639 Old 05-21-2019, 11:41 AM
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Rush-hour traffic is HORRIBLE here too. I can't stand it. Ugh! But it's the only time I can get to the barn (after work).
Glad traffic wasn't too bad for you so you could see your boy! He is too handsome for words! Look at that sunset too! He was probably a bit tired but he will get used to it. Nice pictures!!
It could be flies irritating his eyes. Could you maybe put some SWAT on his face? That seems to keep the flies at bay for my mare. How is he doing though, any improvement (with his eyes)?
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post #608 of 639 Old 05-22-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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@PoptartShop I usually do turn him out with SWAT under his eyes (the pink kind, so it looks like he's wearing blush, haha!) and I do think that helps but it can't last for days. I haven't seen him since then - work schedule was awful this week, and an extra inservice day caused me to lose a day that I normally go - but I am going this evening and will see. We've had some rainy days lately so at least that should have kept some of the flies away!

I'm super excited about my summer schedule though, it looks like I should be able to get out to the barn at least 5 days a week which will be excellent!! We don't have another lesson scheduled until June, so the next few weeks will be practicing and trail rides, and maybe a tiny jump school thrown in for something different. :)
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post #609 of 639 Old 05-23-2019, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Had a nice evening with Nav! I was supposed to meet up with barn friends to ride but, to make the long story short, it didn't work out. There's always something it seems! Still had a good time with my favorite ponyface though.

I checked Nav's eye first thing and it didn't look as runny as it has been. But still a little watery. I think I am going to invest in a fly mask, and see if that helps clear things up. If it turns out flies have just been irritating him then that will be the solution, but if his eye is still runny after being protected from flies then maybe it is a blocked tear duct or something else. In the mean time, I covered him with SWAT under his eyes. I'm going out again soon today so I'll see how that lasted overnight. As for fly masks, any recommendations of good brands?

Anyway, our ride was pretty good. I wanted to focus on canter, since that's a weakness of ours. First we had to get a nice trot going. He did pretty well, but he wants to try and hollow when I ask him for shorter strides. It's been really hard to get him to still be round but take those shorter steps. We can get it here and there but it's not super consistent yet. I know it's something to work on but I just get worried that he'll build up the wrong muscles from going around hollow some of the time.

His canter was nice though. He picked it up pretty easily from the slower trot (when ever we got a nice enough slow trot) and actually went around pretty nicely, not too fast or unbalanced, pretty light in the bridle and not heavy on the forehand. I didn't canter him for very long at a time and we mostly stayed on the 20 meter circle, but I did let him go down the long side and we did about half of the arena at a canter and he still stayed pretty consistent. Such a good boy! We ended after that, didn't do laterals this time.

I think today we might mix things up a bit, maybe do raised poles. That would be a little different and should help Nav lift a little more. It's a nice day today - mid 80s so not too hot. A little humid but I really shouldn't complain. I am not ready for the 100 degree days of summer!

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post #610 of 639 Old 05-23-2019, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Today we tried something different - we worked on jumps! Really it was just a crossrail, a glorified trot pole if you really want to get down to it but it was fun to do something different. Of course, we did a good warm up and then spent quite a bit of time working on our trot and then canter. We also did regular trot poles first before making it into a little jump. Nav did really well today. His trot gears are coming along well and his canter is getting better. I got some video clips of the "jump". We are so out of practice! The first time over Nav just locked on and barreled down to it, and you can probably see it's a little frantic. The second time was slightly better. And then we trotted it a couple times but we had a hard time getting good striding. It will be something to work on from time to time. I think Nav enjoyed the break from just working on dressagey things.


After riding I had to put up the poles and Nav followed me around as I did that. I felt awful though, way too hot. I don't think it was true heat exhaustion but I felt really weak and hot and just bad. Wanted to just sit down but made sure to get Nav to the barn and untacked. I felt better after having some water and sitting down, and then I got sprayed a bit while hosing Nav off and that helped too. It was a little worrying. I'm not ready for summer when it's going to be so much hotter. Nav didn't seem phased by it at least! But I'll definitely need to be careful in the future.
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