Navigator's Progress - Page 63 - The Horse Forum
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post #621 of 639 Old 06-12-2019, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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@tinyliny , no, I wasnt 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 havent done it yet Im 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!

@PoptartShop 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 Ive been making an effort to head out to the barn more frequently, which has been great but its a lot of driving on top of somewhat stressful hours at work. I rode on Monday, it was a beautiful day! Weve 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. Its 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 hadnt been practicing. I just couldnt 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 its consistent. Hes not thinking of doing something because hes trying to be bad or sneaky. He just wants to do it the easiest way for him. Which is fine when hes out in the pasture, but when its time to work he just has to use himself differently, and its 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 its 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 weve been working on our transitions and creating a better canter.

I know he is already getting stronger and better, even though weve only been doing lessons since February, but I also know that it is a slow process. Its 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.

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post #622 of 639 Old 06-12-2019, 06:02 PM
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I LOVE this photo !!! it is already very much like an oil painting.


You would not mind if I used it as a reference for a practice painting, would you?
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post #623 of 639 Old 06-13-2019, 09:58 AM
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Even though you had some issues in your lesson, I'm glad you ended it on a good note. It can be frustrating when they act 'different' in a lesson or you have a great ride one day, then the next day...nope. Happens to me all the time, actually. Good days & 'bad' days. But I am glad your trainer is so encouraging & is pushing you guys! It will only improve. It is hard not to be discouraged, but try to stay positive! :)

He is so cute, I love the pictures. You should frame the second one! <3 He's a model! I understand the struggle of all the driving & long workdays, then going to the barn - it can be a lot, but it has to make you feel good too! Being greeted by your horse after a long day is well worth all the trouble.

I'm so jealous that his fly mask stays so CLEAN! Promise's got dirty within the first few days.
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post #624 of 639 Old 06-17-2019, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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I've been out of town and sort of let this slide!

@tinyliny , I would be honored if you used the picture of Nav as a reference :) If you do end up using it I'd love to see the final product!

@PoptartShop , thank you! Yes, it can be a lot, especially the driving, but it's all worth it to see my favorite face! Don't be deceived by the seemingly clean fly mask, the sides are super muddy from him lying down and rubbing his face all over the ground!
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post #625 of 639 Old 06-19-2019, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Stopped by the barn this morning to see Nav and apply some fly spray. It was hot and humid, and I'm so not looking forward to the true heat of summer.

It was so nice to see Nav though! I realized it had been just about a week and I was really missing him. Nav was in a good mood when I brought him in, and he seemed happy to come in from the sun for a bit. I cleaned him up and then covered him with fly spray. Almost out of the Ecovet, so I need to decide what I'm going to use next time. Anyway, I was only there for about a half hour, but hoping to go tomorrow and possibly ride, depending on how hot it is.

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post #626 of 639 Old 06-19-2019, 04:19 PM
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Bahaha, it's like impossible to keep them clean. Gosh look at that sweet face! <3 I know he was happy to see you! I hope you get to ride tomorrow & it's not too hot. Seriously, the humidity is horrible. :( Before I even tack up I'm sweating LOL
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post #627 of 639 Old 06-21-2019, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, this past week has been the hottest so far this year and I know it's just going to get worse! I went out today to ride and it was low 90s but the "real feel" was around 100 :O

It was super windy today though, so that did help cool us a little bit. However, it also made Nav totally crazy. I know horses don't choose to act up, but he sure was doing the opposite of everything I wanted him to today! :( First he just kept trying to run and be fast and hollow as possible. We worked through that with LOTS of transitions and eventually he kind of settled. But then when I really asked him to start working at the trot he started trying to stare at his pasture mates and call to them. They were wound up and running around a bit and he wanted to be over there with them, but I really needed him to focus. At this point we went down to walk/halt transitions until he was ready to work again. We got a few minutes of fairly focused and good trot, so I decided to end our work there and go on a short trail to cool out.

Well. Nav didn't want to cool out on the trail, he wanted to get worked up about everything and spin around and spook into the street. So that was pretty bad. He was more relaxed at the beginning of our trail than the end! I had him work after the spooky moment, turn on the forehand, leg yield a couple steps, back up the slope, etc. and he kind of relaxed but was still pretty jiggy on our way back to the barn. So then we worked a little bit longer at the arena, because we're not going to end on that note.

He was pretty good back in the arena, focused on me and didn't try to look at his pasturemates or anything, and we did a tiny bit of canter work. Really just had him pick it up from both directions (and with a good transition, none of that running into it business) and ended after that.

I hosed him off, put some more fly spray on him and some sunscreen on his nose and let him go back out. I wish he had behaved a little better today. I wasn't really feeling great the last couple of days (allergies or a cold, I can't tell..) and thought a nice easy ride would lift my spirits but instead I went home feeling pretty blah about all of it. The good thing is that Nav isn't going to hold onto any bad feelings about it, and hopefully our next ride will be better.

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post #628 of 639 Old 06-21-2019, 03:50 PM
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Oh yeah, rides like that make me feel like poo also. The wind can definitely make them feel 'fresh' & crazy. Like oooh it's windy!!!!! Ooooh! Yay! Hyper hyper hyper! Hey friends! Oh hey what is that? Let me spook at it! Etc. Oh yes. I'm glad you didn't end on a bad note though, & made him work in the arena after the little trail. Exactly, your next ride should go way better. Fingers crossed it won't be as windy either!

It's hard to stay calm/focused when they are acting that way. Last week I had a moment like that with Promise. She was being sassy & got all worked up the first 10mins of our ride. It was a windy, VERY windy day. Just have to work through it, which you did. I know all you wanted was a nice relaxing ride, but sigh sometimes it just doesn't happen. I know the feeling.

He is so handsome though! How has he been with the sunscreen application?
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post #629 of 639 Old 06-21-2019, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, it can be so hard to be calm when they act so crazy! We worked through it today but there have been days when it was just too much and I'll end up just getting off rather than become more upset.

Thank you! Sunscreen application is coming along. He's quite a lot calmer than he has been and will let me put it on his nose though he'll get a little tense. He doesn't back or raise his head though, he'll just turn to the left or right. And getting a treat right after has helped! I'd like him to get a little more relaxed overall. He isn't usually spooky but he does get tense at a lot of things - fly spray, sunscreen on the nose, water from the hose spraying from his shoulder forward - and I feel bad about that, I wish he were more relaxed. Especially because he hasn't had any traumatic event or mistreatment that would explain why he feels so tense. It's definitely something to work on.
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post #630 of 639 Old 06-24-2019, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I was sick over the weekend (and actually still don't have my voice entirely back at the moment!) but I went out today to visit Nav.

I also stopped and got some fly spray on my way out. I went ahead and got the regular yellow Pyranha, which I know works, but I also got yet another "green" spray, called Fly Bye. I used the Fly Bye on Nav when I brought him in and it seemed to work about as well as any other green spray. Nothing magical, but kept the flies away while we were in the barn. Didn't smell as bad as the Ecovet either, and was less expensive, so we'll see how it works! I did apply the Pyranha before letting him out though.

Nav seemed happy to see me, even though I couldn't really talk to him much. I groomed him well and decided to trim his mane. Just took off about an inch and a half of scraggle. I noticed on our last ride that his mane was getting in the way when I tried to adjust the reins, so he at least needs a good trim, but I'm thinking I might actually roach him for the rest of summer. He gets super sweaty on his neck under the mane, and it gets in the way while riding, so I think it would help out. Plus he looks super cute while his mohawk grows out. :)

After cleaning him up I thought we could do a short little lunge session in the small arena, not realizing how wet it was. The area to lunge with the line was too small of a circle, but (as I found out) he doesn't listen quite well enough to free lunge around the dry edge of the ring! Still, got a couple cute pictures of him trotting around, and when I stopped in the middle he came straight to me from the edge, so that was nice. :)





Coming to see me


And of course a selfie!
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