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.