Monday, July 19, 2010

The rides with Lola just keep getting better...

I tried to stick with my plan to keep conditioning Lola, so despite being tired and post-call, I got on the riding boots and headed out to catch Lola.

Remember, Lola hasn't always been the easiest horse to catch. But I'd been reading the book Breathe lent me, "Whole Heart, Whole Horse" by Mark Rashid, and I entered the pasture with a little different mind set. I went after catching Lola with absolutely no hurry to my work. I just hung out a bit and approached her slowly. She barely moved. I didn't rush to halter her, but stroked her and let her just be next to me for a while before I haltered her. It was easy as falling off a log. Victoria, my oldest and the one who SHOULD be riding Lola, broke into applause at the easy catch.

The kids mounted their bicycles and I mounted Lola and we headed off to the park. I kept Lola to a walk/trot. She stumbled softly two times, maybe three, at the start, and never stumbled again. We did a few trails, horses and bicycles together, and worked up another light sweat by the end. We spent more time on collection at the trot, and she is holding her flex at the poll with less complaint.

Well, I guess it's working. The "locked stifle" she was having trouble with seems to be responding to more frequent riding. I didn't lope her very much and I think it'll be some time before I work her in the canter significantly, but she is definitely showing improvement in many aspects.

3 comments:

Breathe said...

Woo hoo! I'm glad she's responding to this approach. It'll be interesting to see what happens to her nature. I have a feeling she'll be much more of a willing partner...

I'm also glad to hear that the conditioning is working and that you're taking time with it.

Kate said...

She sounds pretty happy with what you're doing!

Trailrider said...

Knowing her diagnosis now, it all makes sense. I was working her in circles at the canter after prolonged rest, and that's EXACTLY what her injury did NOT need. Live and learn. She is doing fine in straight lines, so I'll continue to work on straight line work: frequent speed transitions, flexing at the poll, stops and backing up, going up and down hills. I'll leave the circle work until she is better conditioned.

But I think this is going to be an issue for her unless she is ridden regularly. It's pretty hard for me to keep my 3 horses ridden. Breathe, when are you coming over to ride one of my horses?