Riding/Horses

Little Nashers

It took a couple of weeks for the dust to settle back down on the herd dynamics. Nash still isn’t quite fully in the mix of things, but Gem has stopped being a total witch to him and is letting him graze near them now. I was shocked at her response to him. She has never once shown any proclivity towards being alpha, but then again she never had a dog sized equine to boss around either. For his part, Nash is in love with them and whinnies in his tiny voice when he is the last man standing in the pasture which is every night because pony needs to learn to not rush the gate.

Who me?

Speaking of manners. Nashville has been getting some lessons on ground work. He isn’t bad by any means, but I have gotten spoiled with having the Dynamic Duo for eight years now. They know exactly what is expected of them and what lines they can’t cross. Nash needs to figure out what I’m willing to tolerate and what I’m not and I keep reminding myself that it will take time. Stopping while being led is one thing that drives me crazy. I’ll let you know when you may graze. Otherwise keep up! I’ve been doing a lot of simple things while leading him in and out of the barn such as halting randomly, backing him up, turning various body parts away from me. He picked it up quickly and is very easy to lead now.

Tiny kissable nose 

He has been really great with Wyatt so far. He can lead him (though it hasn’t crossed over as well that he has to listen to him too), groom him, and dismount all on his own. Mounting isn’t happening yet and I’m cool with that for now.

I have failed at getting a complete tack set situated so it’s been lead line bareback rides so far which Wyatt has excelled at. It may not sound like a big deal, but Wyatt was always too scared to do it on Gem and now he hops on up and asks to go over ground poles and jumps and all over creation. He laughs when he starts to lose balance and in general is learning a lot about balance and self control. All great skills for a 5 year old to learn.

I’ve managed to grab a really nice 14″ jump saddle which is seriously one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. It fits Wyatt well with a bit of room for growth too. It was used, local and a great price. I then snagged a used pony bridle off the Tack Hunter app and we are almost all set. The bit and girth are making their way to my house as we speak and were the only new items I purchased. I love used tack!

No clue what brand the saddle is but it is in perfect condition with beautiful leather. 

I’m a bit nervous about how he will be under saddle and am hoping I didn’t make a big mistake and buy some psycho crazed pony that will scare the crap out of Wyatt. I plan to use my own saddle on him once the bit and girth arrive and put a few rides on him myself to assess his brain and bad habits. I was told he is lazy but honestly I haven’t seen that at all. We will see what happens hopefully this weekend if it comes in time!

Don’t listen to a word she says. 

In the meantime I’ve been working Nash after my Gem rides. One thing I’m a bit pissed off being lied to about is lunging (another reason I’m worried about how he will be under saddle since the seller lied about this although I have plenty of videos of him being ridden by small children so maybe it will be ok?). Wyatt takes lunge line lessons so my first question to every prospective seller was about lunging. I was told he was good.

Yeah that’s a big nope.

The first time I tried he seemed either very confused or just very good at playing the game to get out of work. He would turn and face me every time I asked him to move on and if I moved my own body he would just shift to face me again. Hmmm…

I grabbed my dressage whip and got to work getting him to understand that I mean walk when I say walk and that turning to face me was not the answer I wanted. He got a bit pissy about it, but after 20 minutes or so he was walking on going left. Rinse and repeat going right. By the end of 45 minutes he was walking on when asked and only stopping to face me when I said halt.

The walking on was in a straight line only. Boy doesn’t bend at all. Worse than Gemmie by a hundred fold.

That was Sunday. On Wednesday I pulled him back out after riding Gem and was curious to find out if he remembered what I taught him and where we would begin. Turns out he is a quick study as he walked on right away on the first ask. I still couldn’t get him to bend or move out on the circle but at least he was moving every time I asked and even offered up a few trot steps. I’m going to have to do a lot more reading on teaching how to lunge as my knowledge is pretty limited. Thankfully he seems to eat up praise and is learning fast.

So that is where we currently stand with him. Wyatt still asks to ride often and seems to be enjoying him a lot and I’m learning what it is like to have a new to me horse all over again. It’s been interesting so far and has shown me how much I rely on Gem knowing what I mean and how life works with us. It has made me really appreciate her a lot more!

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day to sign up for the 2018 Volunteer Challenge. Lots of prizes to be won!

Farm life, Riding/Horses

Wyatt Meets Nashville

Friday was a screwy day. I was expecting the shipper to come in later in the day but Thursday night he called me to say he’d be there around 9 am. I had to leave for the OR by 10 and was really nervous about getting Nash and leaving right away hoping he’d still be alive when I got home later that night.

Thankfully my Aunt and Uncle, the ones who taught me how to ride, moved down here last year and were eager to help out. They came that morning and stayed all day watching over him. I couldn’t thank them enough.

I had two surgeries to do and true to form with this OR my start time kept getting bumped back. The first case went amazing but the second fell apart a bit. It turned out good in the end, but it took all my training and skills to figure out. By the time I finally left it was 5:15 and getting dark.

Dusty was getting out at the same time so he grabbed Wyatt and I went straight home. My Aunt and Uncle were still there and my parents had come as well. It was late and it was dark.

I got home just before Dusty and Wyatt and I asked Wyatt for a favor. I told him something odd had showed up in the barn and I needed his help figuring it out. We walked into the barn and I pointed out the stall. Wyatt couldn’t see over and neither could Nash, so I picked him up and he just about lost his crap right there.

He was so excited!!

We took Nash out and Wyatt immediately asked to walk him then wanted to ride. We wandered down to the arena, threw the lights on for the first time and Wyatt climbed right up. Bareback. He giggled and laughed as we went around and then asked if he could jump. We went over a ground pole and then a small cross rail that Nash just stepped over and Wyatt was on cloud nine.

Eventually we convinced him to get down but only because everyone was leaving. He then brushed him out and picked his feet and asked to go on again. So we did.

Saturday morning he got up and ran outside to grab Nash. He walked him around then got his helmet to ride. Dusty took him all over the one pasture, up and down hill and Nash didn’t put a foot wrong. When he got stubborn and stopped, Wyatt pony club kicked and told him to walk on and he did. They even trotted some.

The best thing is how brave Wyatt is. I went back and forth with Trainer on what to get. She thought a 14h, older, been there done that horse would be best as he could have many, many years growing into it. But I knew Wyatt’s biggest issue was height and perceived speed and I was concerned that a 14h horse wouldn’t be much better than Gem at 15h. Nash has proven to be exactly what I wanted: a great confidence booster and something Wyatt would be comfortable handling and riding from the start. So far that is exactly what has been happening. He has been walking him around, brushing him, picking his feet and happily climbing up and down on his own. When he nearly fell off he just laughed.

Who knows if his interest will remain this high or what will happen, but I’m very happy I got Nashville. He will teach Wyatt a lot even if he decides he doesn’t want to ride much. And when he does outgrow him, I plan to break him to drive.

Wyatt has kept both his full name and barn name as Nashville and Nash. I call him Little Nashers. After the holidays I’ll need to find a nice used pony bridle and saddle. Wyatt has already decided his colors will be neon green and black (his favorites) so I need to get looking for saddle pad and bonnet in those.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!