I took Lola for a hand walk in the woods last night, off-roading here and there, over huge downed trees, through the brush, crunchy leaves, etc. (no real trails) - she is like a bulldozer and ripped out several saplings! She was incredible and not nervous at all. To give you an idea of our location, we had to walk down the long gravel driveway (2 tenths of a mile long) through the woods past a small pond to the house, go behind the house which meant her ducking under some pine trees and squeezing through a small space, and then off into the woods behind the house. She never once acted concerned and never called to the other horses who were left behind at the front of the property. We were following Rick who was headed for the ramp patch while Lola found every grass patch to munch on! (Ramps are also know as wild leeks. And they are delicious! The word ramp is derived from "rams or ramson", an Elizabethan dialect referring to wild garlic. They grow from South Carolina to Canada.) Image from: http://www.psycomp.com/images/ramps.jpg
Once we were near the barn, I allowed a little munching of the grass but, worked on telling her when it was okay and when it was not (working on leadership). Then, I took her in the large from paddock, played more on the ground, mounted again and we rode bareback, one-reined all around. She did extremely well listening to my cues and we ended on a very good note. I groomed everyone, checked and cleaned hooves, fed them, and went back to the house feeling very satisfied. I realized that Lola and I accomplished a great deal (she had never even been back to the house before, only down the driveway once and definitely not in the woods--especially woods lacking trails).
We were successful...I need to give myself a break sometimes...geeze! When I was at the barn with her, she layed her head on the back of my neck and just hung out, I love her so much, she is adorable!
Tonight's forecast is rain, I hope I get home in soon enough for horsey playtime tonight! :) Keep it natural folks and have fun with your horses!