March 19, 2009
Nothing super fantastic today, but just a few general comments about how my horse is pretty darn good.
Today was a nice day, so I decided to take Nova down to the arena for some lunging to break the snow up down there, so you know, we can maybe ride in there before July. The last few times I've taken him out of the yard for a 'walk' he's been acting a bit stupid (bucking and trying to take off, walking faster than me, etc), so I dug out my stud chain and put it over his nose today... It was a miracle! He walked down there like a civilized (almost) 4 year old! It was so nice.
After we got there, and trudged my way through the knee deep snow, I sent him out around me (right at the end of the line). I wasn't sure how he'd react, because we've never started out right at the end of the line before. Well, he broke into a trot and stayed right at the end of the line as he made his own path around me. The deep snow (and his path as he made it) really helped to keep him out and on track. He listened really well, and I was SO proud when I asked him to reverse (from a halt), and he did it with no fuss!! He's much better about reversing, but sometimes he still thinks he doesn't know what I want. The best part was that he was still out at the end of the line - which is the farthest out that I've ever asked him to do that. We went the other way, and he decided he wanted to canter around, so I let him. Then, just to make sure the first time wasn't a fluke, I asked him to reverse again - and he did, perfectly! He then cantered around that way before I asked him to walk, then whoa. Then got him ready to head home.
On the way home he was a bit more excited (I suppose I should have let him run more in the arena), but with the chain he was still relatively way behaved (as in, he didn't jog and try to drag me home). I think I will use it on him for as long as it's needed, because it proved that he does indeed have a brain inside his head! Haha.
March 29, 2009
So, today is the day that I finally make the time to go ride Nova. I'm not the least bit worried about him doing anything really bad (like bucking, bolting, rearing, etc), but I am taking him to the arena to lunge him before I get on. This is more to get some of the excess energy out before I do anything.
He was munching on some cubes (as our hitching rail hasn't been used all winter and has deep snow around it, and there is just enough grass showing now to distract him and have him wandering away), while I brushed him. Oh, I should mention that he was COVERED in poo!!! Both sides... I have never been more disgusted with my horse as I was when I saw that! Anyway, I got him as cleaned up as I could, then threw the saddle on him. Of course, he didn't even blink. I decided to walk him down to the arena to make things easier. I used the chain across his nose again, and he behaved nicely.
I was not surprised, but a little disappointed that there was still soooo much snow in the arena. I lunged him on the circle that we've already pounded out and he did well - I hadn't taken the whip with me. Listened pretty good and everything. I then put his bridle on and hopped up. Yep, he acted exactly like I thought he would - as if I'd done it every day all winter long. He was chewing on the bit a lot again, but that's no surprise. (He will have his teeth done sometime this spring.) Anyway, we walked off and he listened really well and we went around the circle for a few minutes. Mom then mounted Rhythm and the two of us walked them around the outside of the arena... Which had super deep snow! Nova was a trouper and did quite well going around. I then got him back on the circle and trotted him around a little - he did super considering that the footing wasn't 100%. I felt comfortable enough that I would have asked him to canter if the footing had been better. I can't wait for the arena to become reasonable, and for lessons to start!
After that we decided to go out for a short ride... Well, hmmmm... He's wasn't absolutely terrible, but nor was he a superstar. Apparently he hates being last. He threw a few hissy fits because he was behind Rhythm on the road. So we are for sure going to do lots of following this year! (I think part of it had to do that he was behind, AND that made him the last horse and he was nervous about stuff coming up behind him.) Anyway, we didn't go that far before turning around and heading home. By the time we got back to where the arena was, he settled down completely (apparently that was his 'turf') and walked home with his head down and acting like the Nova he was last fall! It gives me hope that he will settle down and be the good boy I want him to be.
Here's a couple pictures that Mom snapped of us. Sorry, I totally forgot about my helmet when we left home.