Spring is in the air and Lola has been blossoming. This last month has been busy with many trips to our local park for trail riding. These trips are very important for Lola and her future. She is learning to stand quietly tied to the trailer, ride out alone and in groups, and to have confidence with anything she might encounter along the way. So far, we have come across deer, wild turkeys, hikers, bicycle riders, dogs, vehicles and other horse back riders.
Lola’s arena work has also been steadily improving as we add more technical elements into our training like working over poles and obstacles as well as some cantering to help her gain balance and strength. I have also started her free jumping once a week in preparation for jumping under saddle. I alternate our rides between bitless and with a bit. I like to ride all my horses bitless as much as possible but there are some disciplines that do not allow bitless riding when competing. I plan to show Lola in Dressage which requires a bit and Jump and trail ride bitless. Alternating between the two gives the horses a well-balanced education and prepares them for many different careers.
(Lola jumping for the first time. The jump is a cross rail set at 16 inches)
Lola and I are signed up to compete in two schooling shows this month, and our first clinic in the beginning of June. I’m hoping these will be great experiences for Lola in low key and supportive environments. It will also give us the opportunity to share about Off-Track Thoroughbreds and what great riding horses they can become.
(Road riding with Lola and Mimbie)
As Lola’s exercise and fitness steadily increase so does the health of her hooves. We have added 2-mile walks down our gravel road 2-3 times a week alternating between riding with her Scoots and barefoot which has helped to make some very positive changes to her hooves. It has also added lawnmowers, motorcycles and cows to our list of encounters! We are also clocking 10-15 miles on the trails each week as well as arena time and hope to continue to increase our mileage as the month progresses. (At the park)
I will be sure to have lots of pictures from our upcoming events and hopefully some positive experiences to share with you all in my next blog so stay tuned!