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The Nashville Conundrum

Admission time. Every time I see someone write about how bad they feel that their horse is just sitting in the pasture wasting all that talent so they must sell them to a working home, I sorta kinda really want to reach through my computer and throat punch them.

I mean. Sure horses enjoy human interaction and a lot of them apparently like having a job, but you’d be hard pressed to convince me that any horse chilling in a grassy pasture eating and taking naps is secretly hating their life and wishing someone would saddle them up and make them work.

It took me for forever to find a 10″ western saddle for Wyatt. They were either all purple, pink and glittery or had not real trees. Thankfully I scored this one brand new for only $100!

And while I still feel that way…I’m sorta starting to look at Nash and get this nagging sense that maybe he should be doing more than looking cute in my pasture and annoying the living daylight out of the Dynamic Duo.

No worries about rehoming though. I’m stuck with that little adorable devil for what…like the next 20 years? Wyatt will be grown and potentially married before that thing dies.

But…

He really is a fancy little mover and when he stops trying to bite your knee caps off under saddle he is a fun ride. Trainer says that he would sweep the ribbons in both dressage and eventing with a little more training and the perfect little person to take him there.

And there in lies my conundrum.

The tiny little english saddle was cute. This thing is freaking adorable. The funniest part is that Gem’s endurance pad and mohair cinch fit him perfectly. 

I bought Nash for Wyatt to learn to not be scared around and on horses. For that Nash is absolutely perfect. Wyatt leads him in and out of the pasture and has taught him (all on his own which makes this mom’s heart swell) to not try to eat grass while being led. The other day I watched Nash get a little quicker than Wyatt while being led and saw Wyatt make a circle with him to slow him down and re group. I never told him to do that. I couldn’t have been more proud.

Wyatt grooms him and picks his feet. While Nash reared the other day for the farrier (he is a little shithead to be honest), Wyatt can grab, pull, pick, push and basically do anything and the pony just stands there and takes it. He knows why he still has a home for sure.

The stirrups at the highest hole were still a little long, but Wyatt felt much more secure in the western seat and having the horn to hold. 

Wyatt can get on him and toodle around and Nash will stop on a dime for him. Sure, he only walks and gets down about 10 minutes later, but he is 5 and is enjoying that amount of time. I’m in no way pushing him to do anything he doesn’t want to do. He will learn and grow at his own pace with it.

But…

A part of me looks at Nash and wants him to do more. I would love to see him out there winning ribbons because lord knows Gem and I certainly aren’t and he is only 9, the life experiences of training and showing would be good for him. Maybe it would knock him down a peg or two. I spoke with Trainer about it and her best barn rat was recommended as a trainer/rider. She only lives 10 minutes from me and I’ve thought about offering her a summer job working Nash a few times a week with a mix of ground work and under saddle work.

Wyatt eventually got brave enough to let go of the horn and take up the reins. Until Wyatt learns to not constantly pull, I’m keeping Nash in his halter and attaching my endurance reins to that. Nash was much happier without his mouth getting ripped off and had no head throwing. 

But…

I don’t know. Nash doesn’t need to do any of those things. He does exactly what he was added to the family to do and I don’t have a young girl to show him any way. It would likely end up with him being better trained and then just sitting in the pasture entertaining Wyatt again. It would make better sense to wait and see what Wyatt’s interest really becomes and then send him off for training at that time.

Lots to learn, but the fact he enjoyed this ride and asked for more was a really, really big step.

But…

He really is a fancy little guy and it would be so cool to watch him out there kicking butt.

See, the inside of my head really isn’t a fun place to be.

So for now he sits in the pasture, annoys Pete and Gem into playing with him, tolerates Wyatt acting the fool and scarfs down his special pony feed I buy for his spoiled little butt.

I’m not spoiled. You’re spoiled. 

I’ll make a decision eventually what to do with him and the next time I see someone lament about the waste of their horse’s potential in the field I’ll still want to throat punch them, but will maybe understand it a little better.

19 thoughts on “The Nashville Conundrum”

  1. That saddle, pony and kiddo are ridiculously cute!!!

    I’m in the same boat. I have this adorable pony who has shown he has the heart for endurance, the form for being a H/J, the temperament and patience of a saint, and for 99.8% of his life, he’s just poking around my pasture, eating and being a pony.

    I keep thinking “I should send him to a trainer and teach him to do….SOMETHING! He’s cute!” But, for me, I don’t want to teach him to do something my daughter has ZERO interest in doing. Teach him to do dressage and she doesn’t want to do it? Okay, good knowledge for him, sure, but what a waste. Teach him to jump and she would rather be out doing endurance or NATRC or ETS? What if she gets to where she’d rather do cow work?

    For now, I’m content to let him sit, be her faithful leadline pony, and let her decide what direction she wants to go with him herself.

    Like you, I know he isn’t complaining about the sweet life.

    And I figure, when she’s older and can either figure out how to saddle him herself, or get on him bareback, she’s going to ride the hide off him, so he should enjoy this down time now. LOL!!!

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    1. This has been my thought process. Why teach the pony to jump when Wyatt decides trail riding is the best thing ever? Plus I’m not even sure Wyatt will ever want to do more than leadline for 10 minutes. It isn’t his thing and I’m fine with that. I just don’t want him to be scared of it or not know how to handle horses since he will be living with them until he is an adult and moves to his own place.

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  2. gosh i just love that sweet pony face tho! he’s so cute with Wyatt!! and i totally get what you’re saying too. all those sensations of “he could be so cool with the right rider to take him places” is exactly the reason why there are so many owners who provide horses for pro riders to compete. bc yea, it’s REALLY COOL seeing your horses do cool things even if you’re not the one riding.

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  3. Wyatt could end up being the kid that’s taking Nash into those shows though! I’d say wait on the tune up, or only do it if Nash stops being the right thing for Wyatt at that point in time.

    I really want to find my own Nash, honestly. I’ve got two kids who would absolutely benefit from having something more their size.

    Though it’s hilariously adorable to listen to Hazel, not yet 2, walk into a stall and yell “BACK BACK BACK!” when she’s helping me feed the horses at night. She’s got it down 😀

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    1. I can see a little 2 year old dong that and the horse being all confused why such a tiny tot is yelling at them. HA!

      Wyatt doesn’t really seem super interested in riding in general. The slow and steady bores him, but he isn’t ready/brave enough to progress much beyond that at the moment. I honestly don’t see him showing Nash ever, but I could be wrong.

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  4. Why not have Barn Rat come out and work with him? It would only make him better and maybe when Wyatt gets a bit older he’ll have the confidence to do more with Nash and Nash will have the training to do it. If pony just walks around and lives the easy life will he want to do more when Wyatt is ready? Or will he dump Wyatt every ride and cause him to lose interest in riding bc it was no longer fun? I don’t think Nash needs to go and show and do fancy things unless you want him to do that, but keeping him in work could be really benificial later on. Nash’ll still be at your place so Wyatt can do all the things he’s doing now but you’ll have a pony that will be ready right out of the starting gate to teach Wyatt how to be whatever rider he wants to be. I’ve seen a lot of kids lose their confidence and quit riding bc they were scared and riding stopped being fun bc the ended up in the dirt to many times. What’s Nash going to do when Wyatt’s ready to ride on his own instead of being lead around? You’ll have a better idea if Barn Rat puts some miles on Nash before Wyatt takes the reins himself.

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    1. I’ve been thinking about your comment and really appreciate the effort to write all that!

      I see where you are coming from and agree that the pony can’t really be over trained or too safe for the kiddo. My hesitation comes from two things:

      1) money is limited. I don’t have it to waste per se and would maybe rather wait and send the pony for a tune up if Wyatt starts looking like he wants to do more than spend it now, not be able to keep up with it and then have to repeat it all in a few years any way.

      2) Wyatt isn’t that interested in riding. He loves owning Nash. He loves ground work. He has a knack for it actually. But he isn’t super into riding. He isn’t a dare devil brave kiddo and I can’t see him ever running home to jump on Nash and ride until sun down. He loves other things too much and enjoys toodling around with Nash. That may change as he gets older but for now it just isn’t in the cards.

      Putting training on Nash isn’t really for Wyatt. It would be for me and since Nash is for Wyatt I’m not sure that’s where the money should go right now. I’m not excluding it and plan to see if he takes more to it now that he has a saddle he feels more comfortable in and have Trainer our for some lessons for him and see what Wyatt thinks. It isn’t off the table

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  5. I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting the pony worked a bit extra. Yeah maybe he doesn’t need to show but having an experienced pony jock up there to recalibrate him and help mold him into a great pony!

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  6. I was going to say what Bette said but now I don’t have to type it all out :). I agree with everything she said 100%.

    I also have some other ideas:
    1. why not learn to drive Nash? You all could have so much fun with a little pony cart!
    2. Wyatt seems to have a real affiinity for ground work. I think he could do a lot with that and develop his relationship with Nash. They could even do some obstacles and things.

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    1. Hmm…that’s a super good idea! I think Wyatt may really take to driving a lot and it may make him more comfortable. Plus he could compete in it if he chose. Yes! I’m going to look into it!!’

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  7. HE IS SO CUTE. Just so stinking cute. Which doesn’t help with your decision at all, but anything that pony does is gonna make me squeal like a little girl because SO CUTE !

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  8. He is just adorable.

    I don’t think it would be a bad idea to put some training into him, but would probably hold off the showing side of things. The concepts aren’t mutually inclusive either. Investing in Nash’s training doesn’t mean he needs to go out and show/compete. It just means that when/if Wyatt decides to do more he has the ability to learn on a pony that knows what more is.

    If only we were all so lucky!

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