August 4, 2010

March 9, 2007
Bad news first, Nova has sliced part of his ear almost off... And when I took pictures and showed the vet, it appears that he'll have to have that chunk taken off. Thankfully though, it won't look horrendous when it happens - he'll just have one ear with a slightly different shape than the other. Guess this will make him really 'special'! It's too bad it happened, and I didn't notice until a day or so after it happened, but it could have been much worse. So, we have to make an appointment for him and see how that goes.

The weather was gorgeous today and I had the time, I took Kaila and Nova out for another ride together. I put a rope halter on him today, because I figured it might stop him from leaning on it (either trying to get ahead, or lag behind). Not sure if it worked wonderfully, but it sure didn't hurt. We started off quite well, and it was cute when we reached the first slush puddle and he eyeballed it as we walked through it - same with the first soft patch of dirt/mud on the road. I was so pleased with how well he did for most of the ride. When he got excited a couple times he would try to get ahead of us (like when the horse-eating mini ran up to the fence) for a bit, but would soon settle down. And I've figured out that instead of trying to tug him back to be by my leg with the lead, I just turn Kaila into him a bit, and her head toss and ears back gets the message across a lot faster. He walked along beside us wonderfully for most of the ride though - head even with my boot and the rope loose as he trucked along. I was so happy when he did that! (Of course, that was always when no one was around to see us).

March 17, 2007
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today was Nova's vet appointment for his ear. You know what this means don't you? It's the first trip with our new trailer! It looks so nice and shiny and new. Nova was a wee bit of a butthead about loading. He got right up there, stretched his neck out, and then almost tried to step in with his hind feet without first putting his front feet in! What a boy. With a little encouragement he did hop up and stand. There was also not pawing and fussing once they were in the trailer. (We took Su along as moral support.)

We get there, take him out, and he's looking around, but seems actually pretty relaxed. When we go to take him into the building, he had to pretend that the teeny puddle on the ground is going to attack him. Haha, but he hopped over it and a way we went. Get up there, and he takes a moment, not too sure about going in, but then followed me right in like a good boy. They have a box stall set up in there, so we just walked him in there. Poor vet (he's a newer one) tries to give him the first shot to sedate him, and of course Nova doesn't like him poking around his neck anyway, but this poor guy couldn't hit a vein for like three minutes. But finally gets it and Nova is soon pretty droopy. Not quite droopy enough, though. So we had to give him a second shot. And instead of trying again to put freezing in his ear, the vet just took a scalpel and sliced the chunk off. And then after looking at it again, took someone else and trimmed it a bit so it looks pretty darn good, actually. Of course, Nova didn't stand there perfectly for all this, but it wasn't too bad - the vet didn't mind at least!

I went to pay ($99.17) while Nova was starting to wake up. After letting him chill out for another 15 minutes or so we took him out. And he actually loaded into the trailer really well. I was in and had just walked over to make sure there wasn't anything for him to eat in the bin and I turn around and he's hopping in the trailer. He probably didn't want to get left at this terrible place where they cut your ears off.
January 3, 2007

I took Nova down to the arena by himself today. He was spunky on the way down. When we do our trot in-hand he can really out-trot me - but in my defense I had to try and run in my heavy Sorel winter boots. Haha. After I put him in the arena and he had no interest in doing anything but standing beside me. So I climbed out of the arena and ran down the fence, so he ran down the fence beside me, and then stopped and stared at me. He didn't like it that I left him in there! So much for exercising him. Anyway, grabbed him and brought him home. Speedy bugger was truckin' really good all the way home.

When Nova was finished his treats when we got back from the arena he wandered over to the tack room to see what I was up too. As I've done with most of our horses, I asked him to "step up" into the tack room. Which he does egarly for cookies. Once he was in to where he feels comfortable, I asked him to take another step in. I expected him to move his front feet, which would have been fine, but instead today he moved his back feet and stepped all the way in. Well, good boy! Only problem... His refusal to back out of the horse trailer was exactly what he did. He got a bit nervous when I asked him to back out of the tack room. He kept wanting to turn around (not an option, since there isn't room for him to do that!). I grabbed my stud chain and put that on him, since he was going to have to back himself out no matter what. Well, that chain worked really well. I only had to use a bit of pressure and he finally gave in and stepped out. Now, I'm hoping that this was a mini breakthrough for him and that he can apply that to the trailer, even though I am doubtful.

January 6, 2007
Nova went for his first 'pony ride' today! Aka, he was ponied off of Kaila for a whole ride, for the first time today - I was so proud of him.

We started off, and because it was crazy windy today, I was expecting a bit more spunk out of him. But he was really very good. I had a chuckle because I'd just finished telling him that he was going to have to walk fast today, and he took off for about a stride and a half (so, I laughingly told him "Not that fast!"). We went out back first, and of course because of the bulldozed trail, the snow, the wind, and Rhythm being a dork behind us, he was understandably quite excited. So he did a lot of trotting and I had to keep a good hold on the lead so he didn't get ahead of Kaila.

Once we made it to the road, he did settle down quite a bit. He still wanted to jog, but this first time I basically just let him go at whatever gait he wanted. Once Rhythm and our neighbour's mare, Tika, finally settled down (they were being ridiculously spooky and jumpy for a bit - thankfully neither Kaila or Nova reacted) he settled down even more. And there were periods that he was actually walking along right beside Kaila at her pace, all relaxed with a loose lead.

Thankfully he didn't really tire out until we were almost home. It was quite an exciting day for him, so I'm really surprised he made it as far as he did. I'll definitely have to work on building up his stamina (though he wasn't breathing very hard, nor did he get sweaty at all).

January 14, 2007
Today was a pretty special day - it was the first time horses have been put in our new trailer! (4 horse, angle haul, Trails West, brand spanky new) Well, I'm not sure how thrilled Nova was with the trailer... Certainly not as much as we are. Anyway, he was a bit reluctant to hop up. And given the fact that the back of this trailer is way higher up than our other trailer, and he had snow in his feet, I can grant him a smidge of leeway for that. In the end it took Mom and Dad hooking arms behind his butt and giving him a bit of help before he hopped up. What I love about him is that once his front feet hit the trailer, the rest of him is coming in. (I can't remember how often I've said it, but it strikes me every time.) He got to eat some oats out of the feed manger, and just chill out for awhile with the divider closed. I love how he will just stand there, completely unconcerned (and not really impatient) when he is in the trailer. Because I haven't worked on backing him out of the trailer yet, I did let him turn around and come out frontwards.
December 7, 2006
What cute babies I have! Every time I work with them I love them even more. I just let them loose after I get them out of the gate, so they can walk up to the hitching posts by themselves (I have to make sure the other four horses don't come out of the gate as well). Well, today they wandered up, but when I got up there and called for them, they both walked right up to me. Awwwwh.

After Nova was done with his treats, I took him down to the circle to lunge him a bit. He was good, as usual, and also as usual... He was a bit lazy. He does really well lunging though, and impresses me every time. (As I mentioned above.)

We took the babies for a walk after that, seeing as it was gorgeous outside today. He ignored the dogs (since he had backup today), and trucked like a champion all the way down to the arena... Once we got past it, his pace slowed riiiiiiight down. But once he realized that yes we were continuing, he started to walk a decent pace again. He was really good today - having Sudha come with him helped, of course.

December 12, 2006
After seeing pictures of Nova's mum (Pavane/Savannah) undersaddle just this morning, I got the idea to put my saddle on both him and Su. So, while Nova was munching away at his treats, I tacked him up. He didn't even bat an eye at the saddle and me fiddling around with it and doing up the girth. I've placed the saddle on him before, but never did up the girth on it. Of course, knowing Nova, I expected no less from him. When he finished, and I asked him to walk away, he was more interested in trying to scratch himself under the saddle pad than anything else. But, I did get him moving and he wandered after me without a care in the world. Let's hope he's that nonchalant about the whole deal when I go to get on him the first time.

After that I put his new boots on (and got whacked in the head by his knee for my efforts - he has to learn to keep his feet on the ground) and the three of us went for a jaunt down to the arena. I was pretty happy with both of them and how they plowed right over the snowbank and down the ditch to get to the arena, as well as how they both walked through the deep snow. In the arena, Nova just basically stood with me and followed me wherever I went in the arena - no desire to run and frolic like a normal yearling. It was in fact Su who was the one who as being all crazy. Of course though, when I went to bring them back, both of them got all excited and did their best to drag me home. This did give me the idea to see what Nova thinks about being ponied off of Kaila in the near future.

December 30, 2006
Just a really quick little update. Grabbed Nova out of the pasture today after our short bareback ride, and Mom ponied him for a few minutes off of Kaila. He did really good! All the work with having him give to halter pressure (from Veronique, Anna and myself) has worked wonders. When he'd fall a bit behind, he'd soon give and jog a bit to catch up with Kaila. He made Kaila a bit spunky because he had so much energy while he was out and about there. He was so adorable when they were going around.

November 20, 2006
Today was one of the last nice (warm) days we're supposed to have for awhile, so I decided I'd better spend some time out with my babies! I decided to take Nova for a walk. We started off doing the old 'start, stop, start, stop, stop, start, stop, etc' routine. I feel he is doing it mostly because he thinks he can get away with it, rather than being that concerned about what is over the hill. Heck, the stuff at the top of the hill hasn't changed in the year he's been here! He is still concerned about those german shepherds, in that they seem to be the turning point in the walk. Before we reach them, he doesn't want to walk forward, but after we are past them, he puts on an awfully big walk. We just went a bit further, and while he did stop a few times, he was quite good. Well... Except for the bucking and dancing around like a goof a bit. He was worse on the way home though, because by then he was really quite excited. He did get into a bit of trouble when he tried to give a half-rear right beside me. Stuff like that is for the end of the lead rope, thank you very much (if at all). And we did have to take a couple short breaks - to allow him to gather his thoughts again. For a horse that can be the laziest thing on four legs sometimes, there are times when he's just a maniac. I guess we could say that's because he's only a year and a half old, and hasn't been handled much this summer, and hasn't been out of the pasture doing fun things in... ages.

Anyway, he settled down on the way back down the hill to our driveway - which is what he usually does, and it's nice because it allows you to end the walk on a positive note. But, by that time I was thinking that maybe he needed a bit more work since he was so spunky. So I ran up, grabbed the lunge line and whip and we went back down to the circle to do a bit of lunging. I'm always impressed when I go to lunge Nova about how well he listens and how quick he has figured out the whole idea. I got him out and moving around a little bit - we did some walk/trot and trot/walk transitions. He's going to be easy to slow down... "Nova, walk" and you get an instant walk most of the time. And the bonus is, he gives you the walk, not a whoa! He was really good and listening to me, so we ended it after a few minutes and I just put him away in the pasture.