Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nova the Wonder Filly

Nova has been absolutely wonderful lately. She must have heard me thinking about selling her, because she really pulled her act together. We went on a super fun 5 hour trail ride this weekend. She was fabulous. We stopped to have lunch, and I tied her to a tree long enough to graze, she stood quietly the whole time. Offered no bucks, kicking, bolting, didn't spook at anything. And we even got a video of part of the ride!

So super cool to get footage of a trail ride! Nova and I are the second horse in the group.

The next day I thought that Nova would hate me and be angry. Nope. She couldn't keep her eyes off of me! She wanted to get out and go for a ride. I was thrilled that she was such a happy filly.

On Saturday I noticed that Roxy was lame. Which is super weird. Roxy is always really sound. I had my first horsemanship meeting for my pageant on Sunday, Roxy is my pageant horse. So I put Roxy up for the day, and hoped that she'd be sound by tomorrow.

I got out there Sunday morning, and Roxy was worse then before. Great. So I figured that I needed to take a back up horse to my meeting. Nova it was. I had a friend picking me up so we could trailer down together.  I really hoped that Nova would just get in the trailer. She'd only been for a ride once before. And that was the 2 hour rough ride when I brought her home. She hoped right in like an old pro. I was absolutely thrilled. The trailer training has really paid off, Nova trailered well and hoped out sweat free.

Once at the practice she was equally wonderful. She's just such a quiet filly, a few things bothered her, but it was really impossible to tell without being on her back. They were impressed with her, and the fact that I was training.

Naturally Nova didn't hit her centers, didn't have even round circles, much speed control, slide stops, or spins- but she was obedient, quiet, and not a nuisance. I was very impressed by her, and thankful to have a capable back up horse. Nova has surely been earning her keep.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fabio is Home! And 100 Posts

This is my 100th post since starting Grace Equestrian! Since starting this blog I have gone from 1 horse to 3. I have had 5 different touching horses in my life. From my sweet Roxy mare who I will have the rest of her life. My Gideon came next. He is the most special little gelding I have and probably will ever meet. Next came Nova, who is my Roxy replacement and perhaps my parade horse. After was Blossom, the pony that loves me such an incredible amount. Unfortunately due to her tinny tiny size I just needed a pony that was a wee bit bigger, so enter the newest member of my herd- Fabio. Fabio is so sweet, I can already tell he is just a very gentle, methodical pony. I am excited to have a project pony and I see a lot of potential in this little fella.

We went for a hand walk yesterday, and he was a little anxious when we left the property, but did fairly well. I think he's used to driving and pulling because he'd just lay down on the lead rope and tuggggg. Hopefully we can break that habit. He is going to spend the rest of this week just cuddling with me, following me everywhere that I go. I am excited to finish up this cute pony!

Fabio's cute little blaze! 

In 100 posts from now I hope to have very little herd turn over, happy finished horses, and maybe even a Rodeo Queen. Where do you hope to be 100 posts from now in your own life?

Monday, January 28, 2013


Today's post is a rather short one... As posted recently, Blossom is for sale. I don't like 'flipping' my horses. I want to find a herd that I am happy with and stick to it. But Blossom just doesn't work out for me, and I think that she could have a much happier life.

I was offered a trade for my little Pony, a Haflinger gelding currently named Spider. Spider is 2 years old, and it sounds as though he is saddle broke, ties, has worn a harness, but hasn't actually been started under saddle- which I like. 2 years is too young to be started under saddle in my opinion. Especially on a slow maturing breed like the Haflinger.

Blossom would live in a pasture with other ponies in beautiful southern California wine country for the majority of the year, going to events a few times a year. She would give pony rides in one of those hot walker type things- I forget the name of those things.

So assuming that he isn't too awkward, friendly, easy going, and calm, I might just be the owner of a Haflinger 2 year old. Hopefully he'll be very sweet and kind, and he and Nova can be best buddies living together.

The first thing I plan on doing to his mane

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Boarding Options

I live in southern California. Despite my personal obsession, this is not horse country. Pasture boarding is pretty much unheard of down here. As my specific barn (which I have now come to terms with the notion that I will stay here until I purchase my own property), we REALLY don't do pasture boarding. But what we do partake in, is 2 or 3 horses living in a very over sized stall. Why am I talking about over sized stalls you may ask? Surely Roxy is too nasty and aggressive to live with anyone else. Oh yes, Roxy would not be a good stall mate, but Nova sure would be.

I think that Nova would really benefit from living with another horse. After owning Roxy; who was raised in a pasture in Washington with other mothers and foals, and then having Nova- who was raised with turn outs with her own mother, and other foals; I see the true difference in having a baby raised in a true pasture. I think that she missed out on many social skills. After selling Blossom, which I am in no hurry to do, my plan is to purchase a very kind large pony to live with Nova, maybe something in the 12 hand range.

When I did research no one mentioned injuries as a concern. I am personally slightly terrified of letting Nova live with a super kind quite little horse, and it gets angry kicks and permanently lames her. Does no one else have this fear? The number one 'con' that I read was your horse will get dirty. Dirty is not my fear. Nova is filthy, I have given up. She gets this filth spot on her hip THROUGH A BLANKET. She wears a sheet 24x7! I never want to own a light colored horse again. I hear that's what all light colored horse owners say though. But back to pasture boarding!

Does anyone know of any good resources about boarding with horses sharing an over sized stall. Personal opinions, and experiences would also be highly valued.

This is the only source that I found, most people here thought it was pretty much fine, however they didn't really give much good information.

Monday, January 21, 2013

First Post All Year!

Oh my goodness, it is already the end of January and I haven't made yet! I have been so nice and busy! I have been riding a TON. My main goal of the year is to get Nova really broke. I am not certain that I will be keeping her. That's right, I may sell my little filly. It depends on where my personal goals take me.

I bought Nova to be a barrel filly. But when I got her home I realized that she just is not as fast as I'd like a barrel mare to be. But I am currently running for a Rodeo Pageant, and Nova would make a great pageant and parade horse. She is so mellow, and NOTHING scares her at all. Roxy is pretty hot headed and spooky lately. I also have a baby craving. Not so much of the human variety, but the weanling type. It is a bad craving.

In other news, I am now an official horse purchaser. Not for myself (I wish buying horses was a legitimate hobby), but for my friends and ranch-mates. I have recently found 4 wonderful very sound horses. The first was Nova, my sweet little filly whom I love so much. The second was Belle, a friend's DEAD BROKE bomb proof trail mare. She's an amazing Appaloosa, and PERFECT for her. Then I recently found a new friend a little abused mare. Very sound, and super cute red dun quarter horse. She wanted a horse to bond with, and use on trail, this is a mare that will form a very tight bond quickly. Then the 4th horse that I've found recently was Blossom, my darling pony whom loves me so so much.

Unfortunately Blossom is just too little, and she hates arena work. So she isn't working out in my lesson program. She needs to go be a horse family's trail pony. I am hoping to get a slightly bigger pony that may or may not live with Nova in a pasture stall. I really want to get Nova into a large stall with another horse. I think she would benefit from it socially.

So that is where I'm at currently. Buying, selling, training, lessons, the usual.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Deep Feel

Today I had a magic ride. It was cold- low 50's, and near raining all day, naturally the horses were a bit on edge. I thought "Eh I gotta work Nova anyway". So out of her stall she came, and I turned her out in the arena for a good half hour maybe longer. She was out a while. I considered putting her away, but then thought "She will really never be broke if I don't ride her". So I tacked her up.

I mounted quickly, not giving her time to realize what was happening and walk off. Score one for me, no argument today. We headed into the arena, where I began a stressful and uncomfortable ride. I found myself holding my breath, and very tense. Nova was acting up too, which didn't help much. I don't really trust her yet, but I eventually realized who I do trust- myself. I took a deep breath, and let it out. Nova did the exact same. I kid you not, she was holding her breath until I stopped holding mine. After that she was wonderful. She stayed on the rail, she was obedient, she gave me beautiful round circles with great flexion. And best of all, she was breathing so well.

For a few moments during this ride I felt a deep connection with this filly. I would think "Lets whoa" and her feet would freeze. It was as if we were the same body, so in tune and synced up. We were doing things that she had never done before, pivots, working in the box, circles at the lope, and she excelled as if she had been asked these new challenges a thousand times.

I have this sort of 'magical' connection with Roxy, where I can ride her for the most part with my thoughts. I think something and she does it, but it doesn't seem so special on her. I have had so many years to establish a deep feel with Roxy it's only natural that we work well together. Really it's just the consistency of riding her, that she feels my subtle changes and knows what I'm asking before I ask it. But Nova has under 40 rides on her, Nova has had hardly any action under saddle, let alone much deep bonding time with me. So to be able to feel her reading me is just plain cool. I am ever amazed by this filly. She is an excellent little horse, that is so open and has such an impeccable willingness to learn. I wish I was still wired to learn like this baby is.

Have you ever had that magical deep feel connection with a horse?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Every Girl's Best Friend

I am in love with my pony. When I got her she was monstrous and terrible. When looking to buy her I was stepped on, and even bit a few times, naturally I thought to myself "She'll be the perfect children's pony!" She has become such a happy little pony. She loves me to pieces, gets along with all her neighbors. Has the pony next door calling to her when she leaves and arrives, and has stolen my heart. I have thought before that I want Roxy to be the horse that my children ride, but I change my mind. Blossom is my future children's first ride.

It seems silly, yes I know this, but a pony has to get out! So I do ride her. All 36 inches of her carries me well - and I'm atop her under 10 minutes. The little horse that went from not trotting, is currently loping. That is something I really didn't think that she could even do with a rider. I try to pay especially good attention to when she's getting tired, and she doesn't ever exhibit any. No huffing and puffing- not even heavy breathing, she never breaks gait, and she doesn't feel or look as though she is struggling. My little Blossom loves to be ridden, she stands at the gate, whinnies, and paws when she sees me coming to get her.

I have this secret plan of making her a really bad ass little pony. I want her to run barrels, and do reining. Although I question if she is physically capable of reining, I think a little gymkhana pony is very much within her range.

I would love for a child to lease Blossom and show on her. She is such a wonderful and loving pony. She does not have a pony-tude at all- only love and sweet pony kisses.

What horses in your life have unexpectedly captured your heart and held it hostage?