April 23, 2011
Nova turned SIX today!! The time has sure flown! It seems like not that long ago he was the little weaner-head that I brought home, and just yesterday he was three and we were putting the first rides on. I cherish every moment I spend with him – he never, ever, ever fails to make me smile. Even when he’s been a total turd during a ride he manages to redeem himself after I get off. To celebrate his birthday this year, Nova got to go out for the first ride of the season. Lucky boy! He was fantastic for me, even after six months off. There was still snow in the arena, so we didn’t do much more than some trotting and a brief canter each way.
Happy 6th Birthday, buddy!
Keepin' it real. :)
April 27, 2011
It was our first lesson of the year, and we had some positivies, and some not so positives. Diane said that our main focus on the flat this year is dealing with Nova’s resistance to contact. It’s time for him to put his big boy undies on and deal with it. We started out at the walk with me just taking contact and being steady with it. He didn’t like that and proceeded to put his head up and jig about. I did realize that when I do this I often tighten my body up and start to resist against him a bit – so once I made a point of loosing my movement and going with him again he relaxed and started to think about walking forward with the contact.
We then moved into the trot, and as usual he did some pogo-stick trot and the head up thing, but being steady and just pushing him forward he slowly started to think about things instead of just having a hissy fit. We worked on asking him to leg yield his hindquarters off of the track going both directions. Things were going pretty well until we moved into the canter. He was a bit tired by this point, so he decided that he would prefer to go up and down instead of forward at the canter, and then resist any effort of mine to steer him. We had a discussion about that, and Diane did have to remind me not to let his hissy fits bother me – he knows how to push my buttons, which is why this is why we still have these issues now. We did canter and while we did not work on contact we worked on ‘forward’ and turning where I wanted him to go (which usually isn’t a problem for us). We ended on a positive note, as we always do, and considering it’s the second ride of the year and he got tossed into ‘bootcamp’, I can’t complain too much.