, no, I wasn’t using a clicker or anything, just a verbal “good!” when he touched my hand. I have been wanting to get a clicker to use, I think it would be much clearer than something verbal, but I just haven’t done it yet – I’m sure I could pick one up from a pet store super easily! I like the idea of getting him to somehow sunscreen himself though, maybe if I put a treat or something in a shallow bucket and then put a little sunscreen on the sides? Will have to try some things. He actually was less nervous and let me touch the sunscreen to his nose on Monday!
yes, EcoVet is smaller and more expensive, so I think I am going to go back to Pyranha next time. At least to see how it works on the flies here, if it turns out to not be as good as I remember then I can always go back to Ecovet or something else! Right, they can be so silly about things going on their faces can't they? Nav is totally fine with me wiping down his face with a washcloth to apply flyspray, but sunscreen is like nooope! Haha, I think he'll get used to it eventually, but yeah, I don't want his little nose to get burned - well the white half anyway
This was from Monday, he saw me coming and walked right up to see me!
Anyway, I am so exhausted at the moment – work has been crazy busy and I’ve been making an effort to head out to the barn more frequently, which has been great but it’s a lot of driving on top of somewhat stressful hours at work. I rode on Monday, it was a beautiful day! We’ve actually had really good weather lately, not too hot and less rain. Nav was good, we spent a good amount of time on our canter. It’s getting better each time!
Today we had a lesson and it was ok. I actually felt a little discouraged during it, Nav was so wiggly and looky and we had a hard time staying on a circle. J was very encouraging and just kept reminding me to use inside leg to outside hand, and that whenever Nav gets wiggly – like moving his neck around, trying to speed up, looking around – I just need to stay steady with my positioning and he will come back to me. He did, but it was just frustrating since he has been better in previous rides.
We also struggled with getting our canter transition from the shorter stride trot. Nav kept extending and running when I asked for canter, and it was a little embarrassing, I thought my instructor might think I hadn’t been practicing. I just couldn’t get him to want to do it! J just told me to stay calm, just ask again, a little firmer if needed, but no reason to get upset. If horses are anything it’s consistent. He’s not thinking of doing something because he’s trying to be bad or sneaky. He just wants to do it the easiest way for him. Which is fine when he’s out in the pasture, but when it’s time to work he just has to use himself differently, and it’s my job to teach him how to do that. It will just take time. We were able to get it eventually, both directions, and we ended on a good note.
She reminded me at the end that during lessons she is pushing us a little harder than we would have done in a ride on our own, so it’s normal for things to be a little rough. And even though he kept wanting to run into the canter, she said that the quality of his canter has improved a lot, and she can tell that we’ve been working on our transitions and creating a better canter.
I know he is already getting stronger and better, even though we’ve only been doing lessons since February, but I also know that it is a slow process. It’s just hard to not get a little discouraged when it feels like we take so many steps backwards, or when we had such a great ride on Monday and then just and ok one on Wednesday.