January 3, 2008
We started it off today with a bang... Or should I say a tarp? Yeah, the tarp is more accurate. On a different forum it was mentioned about desensitizing youngsters to many different things - and what better to do with Nova when it's cold and frozen out? So today was the first day: the tarp.
If you recall, back in September of '06 I took Nova to a clinic, where he had to walk over a blue tarp with branches on it. Which he only looked at briefly before trusting me to go across. Well, today was no different. He walked right up, eyed it, pawed at it, and then delicately walked across. Well... That was boring. The second time across he paused and gave me some passive resistance (pawing at it), but with encouragement he moved easily across it. We proceeded with that a few more times before moving on.
I then picked up a section of the tarp off the ground, and let him sniff it, and I wiggled it around, dragged it across the ground (beside and infront of him) while we walked... During which, he was not scared, merely just curious.
So, trying my luck, I then put part of the tarp up beside his neck and rubbed him, then put it over his withers and held it. He did move around, but did soon settle down and let me do it again on the other side. Matthew then folded up the tarp for me, and I did the same thing again, and he was more relaxed. He was still not totally, but he also wasn't trying to escape it either. To finish, I put the tarp back on the ground and had him walk over it one last time.
I'd like to have him more relaxed with it all, so I will be doing this again with him. Maybe soon I can have pictures of him with the tarp over him like a tent. Just maybe. (:
And proof that he does indeed let you touch him with a tarp!
January 13, 2008
The weather was gorgeous today! So of course, we had to go for a ride. And Nova got ponied again today.
He did quite good - as usual! Started off quite spunky and didn't want to walk beside Kaila (kept trying to jog ahead). But also as usual, after 5-10 minutes he did settle down and walked nicely.
In Spring Hills today (the mini's didn't come to say 'hi', darn) Mom took him and ponied him off of Rhythm for a little ways. And they went for a nice trot (which is a first for Nova, as Kaila doesn't trot anymore). After he figured out that he was supposed to go with Rhythm (and not drag behind) he trotted out nicely with her (alas, I had to watch from a distance because of Kaila). After the trot I expected him to be a bit worked up, but instead he actually started to drag behind a bit. Not horribly, and if Rhythm walked behind him he'd jog back up beside Kaila.
On our way back through the Village we decided to play it risky and went past the skating arena where people were shooting pucks. I wasn't too worried, because Kaila could care less about the noise of the pucks hitting the boards, so I figured Nova would do alright. And, I was right! He hardly got nervous (did get a bit chargey, but not bad) but settled down almost as soon as we were past.
After we were back I tied him up, brushed him down (found a few itchy spots) but didn't have to do much because he was hardly sweaty at all. I also picked up his feet. He only fussed a bit with one hind leg, and otherwise was pretty good.
January 14, 2008
Two big days in a row for Nova! Woooo.
Bright and early this morning (okay... after 9am) we had our wonderful horse chiropractor (Dr. Rod) come out and work on the horses. Nova got his first adjustment, and I was happy with how well he behaved. Though, after my TB mare, Dawn, it doesn't take much to please me. When Dr. Rod was checking him out to see what appeared to be out, he did move around a little, but I think most of that was confusion as to why Dr. Rod was pushing on his neck. When we put him beside the stool to adjust his lower back he stood pretty well, only moving his hiney away a couple times (pretty good considering this was the first time anyone's hovered over him and pushed around on his back). He also does appear to be scared in any from that, because he proceeded to follow us around the pasture as we worked on the other two. Poking his head over Rhythm's back to sniff Dr. Rod's fingers, and also being VERY curious over his stool. Of course, he had to paw at it once and attempt to tangle his foot in it and then spooked... But then came right back over and sniffed it again. Such a goof.
And in the afternoon the farrier came out to do their feet. Nova was first one up and behaved quite nicely. Wasn't fussy about his feet at all, except one front one when Rod was trying to rasp it (for which he got a light bonk on the nose which smartened him up). After that he stood wonderfully and I think I can say he was the best he's ever been. Of course, as you know, it's not like he was a monster before! And today Rod complimented Nova's feet by saying that they are very healthy and perfectly shaped! Yay!
January 23, 2008
I'm almost ashamed to post this, as my normally wonderfully little guy had a really bad day today! Can we say... TERRIBLE TWO'S? Ugh.
First, I didn't post this because I sort of forgot, but late last week we went for a short bareback ride, and Mom ponied Nova instead of me. And he was horrible for her. I had just put it down to her being a different handler and the fact that it was dark out (the other two horses are used to going out in the dark and are relaxed). Anyway, Mom said he kept trying to bite Kaila and shove her over into the ditch (which I admit, he tries to do sometimes with me if he can get far enough ahead), and he would not settle down to walk for most of the ride.
So, now fast forward to today, when it was again nice out (and not windy), and I decided to take the two of them for a ride. It started off interesting, with Nova attempting to take off when we reached the end of the driveway, but I managed to hold on to him and a moment later we were back on our way. He settled down and we walked nicely for oh... 3 minutes before he once again tried to take off like a bullet away from me (thankfully he waited until after the cop car had passed) and we repeated what had happened at the end of the driveway. He got pretty excited and I had to get a bit forceful to get him to walk, but after a few minutes he did once again settle down. And he then walked like an absolute champ for... 5 minutes this time before he got excited again, but not as bad as before. A few minutes after that he once again bolted and this time managed to get the lead rope away from me. Thankfully he didn't take off, really, and just trotted down the road a ways (yay for not very busy roads) and because I was on the old girl I had to do stealth mode and just wait him out. Finally caught him again a minute later, but he would not behave, and I ended up actually getting off Kaila to deal with him.
I was quite ticked at him by this point, because he was being unreasonably bad for no reason, so yes, I'll admit it, he got the leadrope across his hiney a couple of times. But! So you all don't think I'm horrible, it did the trick because he then walked very nicely beside me the entire way home. Since I was bareback I could not get back on, so was stuck leading him home. He did walk very nicely beside me, no pulling and no jogging (maybe the death glare I was giving him clued him in on how mad I was at him). (And I love Kaila, because I left the reins over her neck, and she walked herself home. At one point she got ahead of us a bit, but still walked along the edge of the road right into the yard. Yay for good old girls!)
When we got home, I used the mounting block and got back on Kaila and ponied Nova around the yard for a minute... Of course, he was perfect. Ugh! Next time I go out, I'll be taking a saddle and using a rope halter.
So, he got to stand tied to the hitching rail for the next hour, in which he did just fantastic. I cannot complain, because he stood just wonderfully. After that Matthew arrived, and we grabbed Rhythm, the lunge whip, and a video camera and went down to the arena. On the way there, Nova walked beside me very nicely. The two of them got to enjoy a nice romp (and roll) in the fluffy snow and good footing in the arena. I think he had some fun, he even bucked! After 15 minutes or so, we headed back home and he finally got to go back into the pasture!
Whew! That was a long one. But I just have to say that while he did behave uncharacteristically bad for him, we did end on a very positive note! He just had a little too much energy to burn today, I think.