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?

Friday, December 21, 2012

The SidePassing Baby and Great Rains

My lack of blog spots has been due (in part) to the major rain storm that we've been having. It rained all last week, and most of this week. It rained and rained and rained. Which is fine with me, I put a synthetic saddle on my horses and ride in the rain all the time. However, when it rains a few days in a row, it creates deep slick arenas. I have never had a horse injure themselves in wet sandy arenas, because I have never ridden or turned out my girls in one. We have an open track that stayed dry, but I don't feel comfortable riding or lunging a hot Nova without some walls keeping her enclosed. So Roxy and Blossom have been out plenty, but Nova has been penned up.

Prior to all this rain Nova has been getting really good at side passing, and separating her body. Lots of great fluid movements and leading by the nose and shoulder. Here are some great pictures of her side passing the last time I rode her.

I love her baby face when she's trying to figure things out. 

She'll need a refresher on work after all this time off, but after that she'll be ready to start getting a headset put on her. I'm tired of her head flying in the air every time I ask anything of her- specifically backing up. Nova could use a lot of work on her back up.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nova Needs Work

Managing 3 horses and a pony is quite a burden. The pony is currently going online for lease sometime this week. I even got her her own pony saddle. It's the most beautiful saddle I own, and actually fits me quite well on the saddle rack, despite being a 12inch- I have very little booty. Burden number 1 lifted.

My plan for getting the girls more work is ponying. Lots of ponying up the mountain. Nova needs to see trails, Roxy loves trails, I love both of them, why not combine all these needs and loves into one action. So Nova will be traveling via Roxy up the mountainside for some time.

In the arena we continue lunging over ground poles. Under saddle Nova is working on flexing. She moves like a robot horse right now, and I'd like her to separate movements in her head, shoulder, barrel, and hip. She's taken to playing lately, and since being laid up for a cold, she's yet to get into the rhythm of work. Some trails should knock that eagerness to learn right back into her.

In other news- I have chickens! My parents brought home 3 4 week old hens! Super cute babies! We have 2 rhodesian reds, and 1 buff orpington. They don't have names yet. The Buff is the palomino (ha!). Ok that wasn't even a little funny... She's the yellow one.

Nova's feed bucket was the only tub laying around for them to inhabit. They did not like being confined and popped up onto the rim fairly quickly. Their coop was built, and they spent the afternoon outside. Where my dog eagerly, and confusedly, watched them. 

Buff girl sleeping in my lap. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My First Love

October marked the 6th year that I have owned Roxy. What a journey these past 6 years with her have been. I have had so much fun learning from, and teaching Roxy. We have both grown so much, changed, developed, maturity, and become great at our sport. It makes me terribly sad that at just 10 years old Roxy is no longer perfectly sound.

Barely into her prime years, and she's going to live with a stifle injury for the rest of her life. Thankfully it's not bothering her. We went on a trail ride, and I really pushed her, I felt terrible. We did a lot of hand galloping, and some steep inclines. But the next day she had zero swelling, tenderness, and was not lame. Today I lunged her, and she was so funny! While Dolly was obidient and well mannered, Roxy was prancing around. Her tail was held high and as floated around me. I have no clue what type of fancy trot it was, but I know that I enjoyed watching her do it. She bucked, and played with Dolly, and despite the fact that she was misbehaving I loved it.

I remember the day that I got Roxy. After my mother's year long quest to find me a horse, we finally settled on Roxy. A gorgeous dun mare, with loads of personality, and tons of potential. She also needed more work and training then we understood. I spent the first 6 months of horse ownership galloping entire trail rides with older women on experienced well broke horses. My filly was hardly 4 and 1/2 and I rode her in a full cheek snaffle bit. I ruined her. She didn't stop, she hardly steered, she had no clue how an arena horse should behave, and she had absolutely no ground manners. We needed help, so we reached out to my current trainer. Her barn was about a half hour walk away from where Roxy currently lived, so I trail rode over. My mother drove beside me the whole way, as the trail was the side of a road.

Soon after our first lesson, my mother and I moved Roxy to my current barn. This is when My mother fell in love with Dolly, but this is not Dolly's story- it's Roxy's. Roxy was obese, crazy, and had one speed GO FAST. So naturally I thought "Hey let's do gymkhana! Why not make the hot crazy horse that doesn't stop even crazier?" Well Roxy was really good at gymkhana. And my trainer wanted us to calm her down, so we also did flat classes. Roxy makes a divine English horse, but lacks in the western pleasure aspect. Despite my own disappointment in my mare, we always placed really well.

 Since stopping showing, I have spent the last few years loving my horses, collecting more, and always trying to remember that Roxy altered the path of my life. I am especially thankful for this little green mare, had I bought a finished gelding who knows how bored I would have been. Roxy has been feisty, sassy, and a challenge. Although some days I wanted a perfect, quiet horse, Roxy has always been what I needed. Now that I've learned from my challenging Roxy, I can really appreciate horse with a personality like Nova.

The first time we took Roxy anywhere was to our old ranch's Halloween show. We have not a single photo of me riding her, as I spent most of my time on my seasoned lesson horse Peaches Deck. 

Our First show was at the ranch down the road. 

My first blue ribbon! Awarded to me at the show my trainer put on for all her students. 

Roxy dreaded training for western pleasure, as this photo clearly depicts.
I spent a lot of time lounging around on his mare. 

My little girl looking quite dapper. 

She runs fast patterns.

Can't beat Roxy (or most appys really) when it comes to speed.

Roxy makes such a great trail mount. Point her in a direction and she goes over or under anything in her way. 

She makes for such an awesome mount in terms of working other horses. She ponies anyone, she acts around others with confidence that rubs off on them. It's just awesome to have a mare like this when I work so often with problem horses and babies. 

Our most recent adventure. Heading on a trail that I would rate at a 7/10 Roxy is an awesome mare! 

So I'd like to thank Roxy for all the times we've almost slammed into the rail trying to stop, the times we made my mother cringe thinking we were going to hurt ourselves, the blue ribbons, laughs, cuddles, snuggles, and all the sweet horsey things she does to let me know that she doesn't choose to kill me today. I will have Roxy until the day that she dies, hopefully in her old age she'll calm down enough to be the horse that my future children learn off of. I would love for them to hold the memories of her that I do. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Visit with Gideon

Sorry it took me a while to get this post up! I went up to see Gideon last Monday! He is doing so well, he has gained about another 100 pounds I would say. He is doing so well, and they love him so much. We arrived, and rode for a while. He lives with two Peruvian Pasos an older mare, and a gelding. They have mare motel stalls, attached to a large pasture. My mom, 7 year old nephew, and I went out to see my little boy.

He looks so good, and he rides really well! I also rode his new owner's Paso mare- so smooth! She had a crazy little lope.

Gideon is doing well, I am so thrilled for his great life! I rode him around their property, they have a big field where they grow oat hay, and a western village. The husband (Gideon's true owner) does western reenactments. They are actually taking Gideon to try out for a movie in January, so I hope that they do well. Gideon jumps in and out of the trailer for them, crosses water, and just goes everywhere they ask with grace. They told me that he loves water, he crosses it and plays in it while riding.

This is the story of a perfect rescue and re home situation. Gideon is doing so well, this is the perfect life for him, trail riding, and living with other horses. Here are some pictures of me riding him.

And to imagine, this is where he started out. This graceful and gentle natured animal, that wasn't even respected enough to be fed. I am overjoyed for the opportunities, and life that I have given to him. I saved his life, he will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Fella

I have been receiving updates and photos about Gideon since selling him, which I absolutely love! And today, I am going out to see my little fella. I am so excited to see him all filled out, and beautiful. He's been trail riding regularly, going on 16 mile trail rides through the mountains, crossing rivers, big meadows, and he's loving it. I'll be sure to take lots of photos and tell you all about it! I am thrilled to see Gideon again!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Boot Camp

So Nova started boot camp on Saturday. She's on her 23rd ride, and boot camp started on her 20th. Each session includes a different pattern/ obstacle. Each session is completed by a photograph after the work out, before being hosed down. This is so that we can judge the sweat on my little filly, and see how tough the work out was. Of course some workouts are more mentally challenging than physically challenging, thus less sweat will appear. Here are the photos, and sessions thus far.

Taken Saturday 11/3/2012
This work out was a lot of trotting and loping, and a little hand galloping under saddle for the first time.
We also started working on the barrel pattern, just walking it. She is very obviously exhausted. Also that dirt spot on her hip never goes away. I hose it off of her every day, and it almost always reappears the next day. Even worse, she doesn't have any water spots in her stall, she does have a pee spot from the horse next door... Yes, that's not just dirt, it's a pee pee stain.

Taken Sunday 11/4/2012
What a tough ride for us both. There were lots of people in the arena, which is so challenging for her. Nova just wants to check everyone out and not listen. We also started trotting the barrels! She did great. My super smart little filly.
Taken 11/6/2012
This was the first scary ride I've had on her. I rode her with running reins, trying to get her to collect a little, as she paddles out when she trots sometimes. So frightening. She would get super sketchy, balking, throwing her head up, and acting like she would rear. It was terrifying. What's confusing to me, is that I lunged her a ton with her head tied down, and she was fine. Suddenly she's started this "I'm going to rear" thing. I am not loving it. It happens when she throws her head up, and feels the pressure on the reins, she freaks out, and tries to out muscle the bit by throwing her head up. I don't think she's doing it to be bad, but I think it's a fearful response. I got a quick work out done, and then bailed, the majority of this session was lunging.

Taken today, 11/7/2012

Today the focus of out work out was ground poles. Lots and lots of ground poles. I think I lined up about 7, at trotting distance. We walked them a lot first, and then we tried trotting over she was a mess the first couple of times. She finally smoothed out though. I could really feel her lifting herself, and I loved it. She was working her body, and I could feel it. That's the type of riding that I love.

Also on the list of more sessions:

~Trotting and loping circles
~Introduction to side passing
~Roll Backs
~Backing up (gotta build up that booty!)

Once her toosh is nice and strong she'll be learning slide stops. They should come pretty naturally to her as she has a great stop already.

Today an adult friend at the ranch asked how old she was. When I told her 3 she almost didn't believe me! She thought that Nova was 5 or 6 because of how mellow and well mannered she is. I am so in love with my filly!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Most Emotional Dismount

I fell off of Nova on Friday. I'm fine today, my elbow hurts, my hip is super bore (but not bruised), and my knee is bruised, but it might have been that way before the fall. It was such an odd thing. The way down I was thinking "I'm falling off. No, no, no, I don't want to scare Nova. It's bad for babies to be fallen off of. I'm wearing white. My joints already hurt, need I really do any more damage to my body?" Thump. And off I went. Yes, all of those thoughts went through my mind, and it didn't even feel like they were rushing. I was just calmly thinking about how I might scare the poop out of my little girl and give her some issues.

Here's what happened. I wasn't planning on riding Nova, just lunging her. I lunged her with her head down, and a few times she actually balked, threw her head up, acted like she was going to rear, and I was worried that she was going to flip over. I have seen a horse flip over. It is scary. The horse was totally fine, but I was scared that they were going to have broken every bone in their body.
So I figured "Ehh I haven't really lunged her with her head down in a while, maybe I'll just loosen it up". So I did, and she was fine. I just decided hey, lets try bareback. She has never offered me one single rear, buck, running out, nothing under saddle. Her stop is better than 90% of other horses too. So I got on, and was walking her around a bit, doing some circles, easy peasy stuff. I asked her for a trot and she was nice and smooth. Her back is still so round that she's super comfy bareback. I was going to ask her for a circle, and then be done. So I did, and for whatever ever reason she freaked out, and skirted out from under me. I went one way she went another.

By the time I was on the ground, Nova had stopped to check me; which I love. To me it means that she doesn't hate me, which I sometimes question with her. Right away my elbow hurt really bad, and my hip too. While assessing myself I asked her "Did you break my arm?" I wiggled my fingers, and knew that it didn't really hurt that badly.

Like any good cowgirl, I knew that I had to get back on, for me and Nova. I was really worried that she would be terrified now. But I didn't want to get back on. I was dirty, I hurt, and it was just so extremely emotional. I don't even know why it was so emotional. It's not an issue of pride, I think falling off once in a while is humbling and we all need a little reminder once in a while that we aren't bullet proof. But I almost burst into tears after. I pulled it together, by lunging her a tad more. I had her doing a close circle to me, and roll backs. We've been working on roll backs while lunging, and she's getting better.

Then a friend came over to chit chat, and I knew that if I didn't get back on her now, we might both harbor some ill feelings towards each other. So I popped back on, and I was so relieved that she didn't tremble, run off, or act traumatized in any way. We walked a couple of circles, trotted about 5 steps, and then I happily got off, loved her down with some pets, and put her away.

In other news Blossom is getting her feet done today! Woohoo, her work starts tomorrow, with some lunging, saddling, and asking for responsiveness at the bit. Obviously I want to take some time with her training, but the vet says that she is 4, so the sooner she finishes training, the sooner she gets put into lesson to make some money.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rescue Number Two, and the Final Member of my Herd

On Tuesday I saw an advertisement for a pony on craigslist at work. She feet were dreadfully long, and what really hit home was her age. She's just 2 years old. If there is anything worse then neglecting an animal, it's neglecting a baby animal. They were asking $800, and I knew that it was going to be a rescue.
The photo from the craigslist advertisement. 

The pony was about 45 minutes north of me, and I asked my mother to accompany me. So we started the trek up after work today. I got there, and met with a very nice young lady, and her father- who spoke mostly Spanish. She's been living in a good size pen, with chain link and wood fencing, near goats. I'm happy that she had the goats as neighbors, because there are no other horses around her. They told me that they have had her for 8 months, and there 5 year old son has been riding her. It makes me sad that they rode a 2 year old.

But the father went in to get her, she was not easy to catch, but not too terrible. Her feet are so long, but she didn't seem like she was in pain. She saddles up, and leads ok, and she does takes the bit real well. She bites. She's so angry, and mean. To see a baby who is so nasty, to mean it translates to not being treated well.

They popped the 5 year old up on her, with a helmet which I was thrilled to see, he seemed nervous. The pony lunges herself if you stand in the middle. I watch for a bit, then asked to work with her.

She has no clue what the bit means, so I very highly doubt that she knows leg cues. I didn't get on her, because her feet are so bad. I looked in her mouth, and she has lots of sharp hooks and points; ouch. She rushes through everything, trotting everywhere that she goes. When I tried working with her, I asked her to flex, and she just rushed through everything. She did walk when I asked her to, and when I said whoa she turned in to me and stopped.

My mother asked about veterinary care, worming, and her feet. They said that they were done two months ago, judging by the length, I very highly doubt that. She is fat, but has not foundered! I am thankfully that they didn't starve her at least. I really don't think that they meant to be neglectful, but horses are not dogs. They need a lot more care, and attention.

Blossom comes home tomorrow. Hopefully my sweet girl will do just that, blossom into a happy healthy pony.

Just look at those feet. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Leads, and a Week of Rest

Yesterday was a work day at the ranch. Our barn manager has been out of town on vacation, so we have had to keep it up ourselves. As a feeder, stall cleaner, and slave *cough* I mean assistant, I take a lot of pride in the property, and want it to look nice. We hauled lots of big heavy rocks that had been left near the barns when the shipment of dirt came in. We loaded them into a wheel barrow, and pushed them across the ranch by the wash rack. It's about 50 feet away. They were heavy. I really wanted my golf cart, but it was a good work out. I racked up some loose hay to clean the ally ways of the barns and mare motels. The horses really enjoyed their after breakfast snack.

After that I got onto Nova to work her. I've given her a week off. I rode her really hard a few days in a row,  We worked, unsuccessfully  on leads Wednesday and Friday, and left her sweating from head to toe. Then went on an hour trail ride on Sunday. And on the next Monday she wouldn't follow me in the round pen. It broke my heart a little. So I put her up for a week. She turned out with Roxy a little, they are starting to get along better. Roxy pins her ears, but doesn't lift the hind leg or whinny anymore.

I've been very frustrated about Nova's leads, as I mentioned before. I was giving her flex tests, picking her legs up super high, listening for pops in her pastern, stifle, and hocks. Her left hind pastern does pop occasionally when I flex it a lot. Although I know that she is very sound on all of her legs, I was starting to have doubts. Maybe this lead issue was a lack of power in her hind end.

Well, yesterday when I rode her I asked a friend to take some pictures (I'll put them up here once the friend gets them to me). I mentioned how I was having trouble with the right lead, and she asked if I had tried pulling her head into the rail when I ask for it. Here, I have been so concentrated on keeping her arched properly I haven't pulled her into the rail at all, so I had forgotten this is a great training technique for teaching leads. I asked her once with her head turned into the rail, she didn't pick it up. The second time I asked her picked it up perfectly!

So yesterday was very successful in my book. Now back to some sweaty saddle pads, and getting the baby on her proper diet and work load again. I am feeling good about riding, I'll be out there tomorrow to get back on her back.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Green Broke

Today I decided that Nova is green broke. She has 15 rides on her, she has an amazing whoa. She actually slid stop yesterday a few inches! She has almost 100% steering. She stands still to mount, and saddle. She takes the bit ok. I need to bring a little honey out to flavor it with. We went out on a trail ride today.

All of my girls got to go actually! My mom took Dolly, a friend of mine took Roxy, and while I could have taken some other more broke horses, I wanted to take Nova. She did great! Nova has been on trail 3 days in a row, and she gets better every time. We usually just go around our block. Which constitutes a very quite back road, with some horse property on one side, and a very busy road with lots of large vehicles on the other side. It's perfect, you want a quiet ride go down and back the quiet road. Want to see some obstacles  go down the road side. But today we went far. We went all the way down under the highway, about 2 miles down the busy road. Nova was great. She spooked at a couch yesterday, didn't even flinch today when she saw it. She spooked at a car coming up behind her really fast once, and that was it. She amazes me. Roxy and Dolly were both great as well.

My girls before the ride.

Roxy has gotten out the last 3 days in a row, and I actually think that it's a little too much for her. Her leg seemed to bother her on Saturday. Which made her a really nice ride for my friend. Sometimes she can be a little spookish on trail if she hasn't been out recently enough. The mild discomfort kept her really calm. She was completely sound, just a little stiff. And the ride was by no means too much. It was a lot of walking, and less work then riding in the arena would have been for sure.

Overall I am super, super happy with Nova. She is amazing. However, she won't pick up her right lead. Does anyone have any suggestions for training techniques? My trainer's daughter says to ride more aggressively, but I really don't want to. Nova is so sweet, and so gentle, I really don't think riding her harder and reprimanding her is the right approach. She's not being naughty, I think she honestly doesn't know how to do it. Does anyone else have a gentle approach to encouraging picking up leads?

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Lately I have been feeling the over whelming urge to get a dairy cow. And chickens. Possibly a goat. Wouldn't it be wonderful to get fresh eggs, and cow's milk every morning? I think I need to quit my job and move to Colorado. Maybe I ought to do some more schooling first. The mini-farm will come later. Frankly- I think Dolly would love to be stall-mates with a goat.

I enjoy having my own stall, thank you very much. 

Hmm... Well perhaps I should just wait until I find a wealthy person who wants to invest in some horse property. And they want a young lady, full of passion are persistence to manage it. All wishful thinking for now. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ms. Piggy

I am having SUCH a blast with Nova! She is just amazing. Today we had a fantastic ride in the arena. We walked, trotted, and loped! A-ma-zing! This little mare is just fantastic, I am in love. After our ride I untacked her, and hung out with her in the arena under a shady tree.

I was rubbing on her, touching her all over. Nova got a little mouthy on me too, grooming me as I was her. She just lipped my shorts for a moment, and I think it's absolutely adorable when they return the favor, so I let her. I have come to realize that I own a toddler horse. Just like a young child, she's exploring everything with her mouth, and I want her to explore the world. So I do let her lip anything she wants, but once teeth get involved I draw the line. There are two things that Nova is not allowed to do, use her teeth on anything but food, and rub. I have a strict 'no rubbing until you are 10' rule. Nova has quite some time left before she can rub on me.

I have also started to document Nova's weight loss. She is still really fat, and I honestly see no weight loss in pounds, but I see her toning up. What do you think?

The day that I got her

Sometime last week. 

Last Friday (oct 5th)

Lets see just the first two
I know the 'before' picture it kind of far away, and not a great conformation shot, but it's the best I have. 

I really still picture her as this though:

So I suppose the founder neck is well on it's way to disappearing. I love appy necks, but I hate founder necks. What do you guys think? See any dramatic changes in her weight/overall condition? 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I am particularly fond of cowlicks on my horses. Many different ancient people used to give meaning to the location of cowlicks on their horses- it gave them insight about the horse's personality. So lets test their theory on Nova- who has tons of cowlicks all over her body.

Nova's forehead swirl

According to Linda Tellington-Jones a whorl above the eyes means that the horse is simple and easy going. Nova is pretty simple and easy going. Even being a youngster she doesn't try to hide her feelings (like Roxy spent lots of time doing). Nova is an open book, and so easy going.

Sounds like Ms.Tellington-Jones is pretty spot on!

Here are some photos of all Nova's other cowlicks. Remember folks! Cowlicks can be used for identification, so take pictures of them to keep in your record! Also I suggest doing the same thing for your horse's chestnuts. If it may ever happen that your horse is stolen, having all of this identifying proof will be helpful in getting your horse back.

Left side of her neck

Right side of her neck

Little wet chest swirls

Matching swirls under her belly. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Being the First

It is only natural to want to be the first at something. With Nova there are so many firsts for us to experience together- its so exciting! Yesterday I was the first person to trot Nova. She has a really nice little trot, I really like her gaits.

My mom held the longe line and i joked "You ready to hold my crazy girl?" Nova feels like a dead broke horse. She is just a natural. She turns, shes very forward without charging through me. And she has a dead stop. I just say "ho" and she stops real quick (better then some actually broke horses). I am just thrilled.

My mom asked me what i can do with her, seeing how good she is. I didnt know, so weasked my trainner. She said that when she breaks she does the same thing for 7 days, maybe Nova is a 3 instead. Wouldnt it be nice if everything i ever teach her only takes 3 rides? Here's to wishful thinking and being the first to experience Novas gaits.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Nova's First Ride

I have been getting asked all week "When are you riding her?" To me it's not really something planned. You don't set a date on a calendar. This is true with all horse related things. You work up to a goal, and when you reach it, you reach it. You always keep some sort of time in your head, but maybe it happens sooner then you had imagined. Or perhaps it's taken your horse a longer time to understand. Or maybe your goal changed all together, exactly what happens to me all the time.

So when I was so eagerly asked "When are you riding her?" I responded with "I'm not really sure." Because I wasn't sure. Nova would let me know when she was ready. I was also repeatedly told "Wow, she'll be easy to start." And I 100% agreed to that, Nova is so easy going. It is so obvious to me that some horses were built to be ridden. Nova is that horse. Everything just comes so natural to my beautiful little filly.

So today I went out with my boyfriend, who was meeting Nova for the first time. I had a little bit of an idea that I may sit on her today, but I wasn't planning on it. With my boyfriend/photographer in tow I lunged my baby and got some LOVELY shots of this mare.
I am in love with her beautiful lope. It looks so smooth.

The huge stride this mare has at the trot is beautiful. 

I love how she bolts into her lope, it just screams 'gymkhana horse'. 

A beautiful heal, toe landing. 

I also had a friend do some ground work with her. Nova needs a lot of work on the ground. She's pushy and very rude, not purposefully she just doesn't know. I tacked her up, and lunged her again with the saddle flapping all around, she didn't care a bit. So I decided to bounce around in the stirrups. 

 And then I just couldn't resist being on top of her. Her ears are back, but I think she was just curious. Because she chewed the whole time, and didn't try to walk off but once. Nova didn't balk or tremble, she's just doing what she was bred to do.

It is just impossible to be up there and not test it out. So I went around a couple of laps in the bull pen.

Nova walks, turns, she whoas, she was amazing! I have owned this mare for a total of 8 days. That is when I first rode her.

 Ignoring my awkward half step stance, I like this as a 'before' shot of Nova. It shows how fat she is, and her muscle condition (or lack there of). I can only imagine how fast, and powerful this mare will be when she's in top shape.