Friday, April 23, 2010

Lola is improving!

Lola has been making steady progress. We really haven't had a step backward yet, and every day I've worked with her, she has gotten a little bit better (knock on wood).

She is a big pain in the rear to catch, however. Emma, my trusty mutt, helped me herd her into a back paddock, and from there she gave in to being caught easily. But she will not be easily caught on my back 2 acres. I resorted to giving her a treat after I caught her today, and hopefully, that will help me catch her the next time. The frustrating part is that all the other horses were habituated to coming in when called. But Lola is infecting the herd with her reluctance to be caught, and bringing in the herd is proving to be a challenge.

Once caught, we headed to the round pen. We did some light longeing and some round pen work, concentrating on speed transitions and maintaining gait. After some work, she was walking, trotting, and cantering, up and down through her speed transitions, easily and with little energy from me. What a difference! Just a few sessions ago, I was working like crazy to get her canter and maintain even her trot for one complete turn around the round pen. Now she is cued into me, and we are communicating more effectively. I made sure to be able to walk her around the round pen for a few revolutions.

Time for the trail, and I was looking forward to her first trail ride with me. She was just great, walking and trotting EXACTLY when I asked for it. I avoided the canter on the trail this time, just to ensure a successful trip, but she will be asked to canter on the trail next time. Her only reluctance was in leaving the barn initially, and she kept looking back. But once we were a good 100 yards from the barn, she settled in.

She's not butter yet, but at the pace she's learning, we should be right on track to finishing her out in a few months. Still lots to do, but I'm very encouraged by her steady progress.

3 comments:

Kate said...

I'm enjoying reading about your progress with Lola - she sounds like a quick study.

Breathe said...

I'm glad she's doing so well! I'll be interested to see how you deal with catching. You might take her out a few times for something other than work. I suspect that's the issue.

Trailrider said...

Actually, most of the problem is that she isn't part of the herd, at least not the 3 geldings that constitute my herd at present. She spends most of her day along the fence, "joined up" with the neighbor's palomino mare. She is very reluctant to leave her. So when the boys come in, she doesn't, and has no herd attachment to bring her in because she's part of ANOTHER herd.