Loba was adopted around the year 2001 into a loving home, along with her friend Wiley. She grew up (to a whopping 13.3 hands) and went to the trainer, but her owner was a busy woman and as the years went by she had less and less time to ride her. Soon Loba began to get bored, and so she came to visit Wild Ones for the first time. This was about six years ago.
I volunteered to ride her; she looked like a fun horse! She was full of energy! Turns out there were a few things I didn’t know about Loba. I got on and began riding her around the arena, and then Tejon came toward her. That’s when I found out Loba didn’t like other horses coming towards her head on. She began to buck. Yet, I still had one thing left to learn about her. I yelled “whoa” as she was bucking, never betting it would actually work. That’s when I learned important item number two about Loba: she’s verbally trained, extremely well. That is when I got reacquainted with the ground.
Not long after that, Loba went home. We had decided she would just be too much for the kids. She stayed home for a few years, and played with her owner and the neighbor girl before her owner decided that it was time to move her horses to a new home. She was just too busy. So Loba came back to live at Wild Ones, this time for good.
This time around, I was a little more prepared in my horse knowledge and my Loba knowledge. With the help of Laura and Mariah I began slowly introducing her to walking straight at another horse. We started on the ground, and then moved to under saddle. In just a few months Loba was fearlessly riding towards other horses. In the meantime she had begun to trust me and a young lady who participates in the JUMP program. That young lady used her for Wild Ones drill team, what a pair! They are both very energetic and were both excited to get moving. Finally Loba began to find a purpose!
After the drill season her job ended. She is a very sensitive horse, and so the number of people who ride her is very limited. Loba and I went back to work learning some of the finer points of riding and playing in the obstacle course, where she excels and fearlessly tackles any obstacle.
Summer came around and it looked like Loba would have a lazy few months since she still wasn’t ready for camp kids. We finally decided to try her in hand with the day campers, who tend to be on the younger side. In that capacity, Loba found a job. When being led by someone small she lowers her head and walks their speed, carefully behind them. It’s quite amazing to see that from a horse that is always in high gear! It may be a small job, but it’s an important one. She is extraordinarily kind to the small kids on the ground. She will stand still to be brushed, washed, and even painted by their little hands!
Loba found a purpose in this and is learning how to be a calmer horse under saddle. She and Jeanie are getting to know each other now, and I can see a friendship growing. I recently rode her in the Oregon Horse Center trail course, where she completed nearly every obstacle I presented her with. As she learns to be calm, she is also teaching our more advanced girls a valuable lesson: to ride with a calm body. Loba’s purpose just keeps growing and growing. She is a little horse with a big heart.