Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All from one side.....

Today was GORGEOUS for November 5th in the UP of Michigan!  The sun was out, the sky was clear and the wind .... well, there was no wind!  If my husband wasn't at camp with the truck getting ready for deer camp, I would have been playing hookey and loading a horse in a trailer to ride somewhere!

About mid morning I decided to introduce Willow to the other 2 horses.  I opened the gate and everybody stayed on their own side for over an hour!  No interest.  So I helped things along and told Corky to go over there and then led Willow over.  Then the other 2 horses decided to play meet and greet.

Now, remember yesterday's meeting with Corky was uneventful.  So once again I was surprised when Willow started being a girl and squealing when Lance came near her.  Corky just stood in the background and watched.  Willow gave little kicks but nothing serious.  This sort of dancing went on for about an hour and after not hearing anything for an hour, I looked out and this is what I saw.

Go figure.  Now, in the dog world that means she's trying to dominate him and he is a 16 hand horse and she's about 14 hands, so that's a stretch.  I don't know if it means the same thing in the horse world but she didn't act like this with Corky at all.

I made the best of the weather and no trailer and decided what challenges I was going to work on today from the ground!  I got Willow out to roach her mane and start the "treatment."  She greeted me and came eagerly out of the pen and wasn't acting all insecure.

Before roaching
I got the scissors out and proceeded to cut.  She didn't seem to mind at all, which is a good thing, because I was remembering that black and white gelding you just saw won't let me near him without a hassle with scissors.  So good girl, Willow!  I gave her the treatment, which she didn't mind either.
After roaching
My goal for today was to pick up all four hooves from one side on Corky, but I thought Willow might as well learn too.  Well, we need to work on picking up her feet period!  While I eventually got 3 up and cleaned, she is very impatient and moved side to side and I gave up on the last one.  She never tried to hurt me like kicking or anything, but just wouldn't stand still.  So back to basics with that exercise!  After picking her feet I took her for a walk down the road to see how she did away from Corky and the other horses.  She did fine, but if they called she immediately turned around and I had to get her attention again.  We worked on trotting at the end of the lead and whoaing and backing up.  She did good despite her being distracted.  I put her back in the pasture and Corky was looking at me with jealous eyes.  I don't think he likes this sharing business at all.

I haltered him and was leading him out and even though there were other horses, Willow followed us.  I told her to get back when I opened the wire gate, which she did, but once I shut it and started to walk off with Corky I heard "zing" and Willow had broke the bottom wire gate to stay with Corky.  I hadn't had a chance to turn the fencer back on, so back in went Corky and then Willow discovered there is grass still on the other side of the fence and wouldn't come unless I haltered her.  So I spent the next hour fixing the gate handle.  Normally that's my husband's area, but since he wasn't here I did the best I could.

I was still determined to see if I could teach Corky to pick up his feet from one side, so I went and got him and this time went out the red gate with the fence still on!  Ms. Willow stayed put.  I brushed out Corky and proceeded to clean his feet.  On the first few attempts of picking up his far feet from the side I was on, he was REALLY confused.  I would touch the far foot and he would lift the inner foot.  You could hear the wheels turning, "What the heck does she want me to do?"  Then it clicked and he picked up his far foot for me!  I went to the back feet and once again, it puzzled him, but that foot came much quicker than the front.

It's very hard to figure out how to take a picture of this exercise, but I'm hoping you realize that his inside leg  is what you see first and then my sleeve, hand and outside foot!

After that Corky and I worked on trotting, halting square and backing up!  He did much better than today, but I wouldn't say it's totally in the bag yet!

I'm thinking the garbage can exercise is next on Corky's list!

Janeen, Corky and Willow from the UP of Michigan


  1. Wow you're really off to a great start!! With BOTH horses!! It's kinda cute that Corky was jealous! You'll have to teach them to cross the wire gate with it on! It is tricky, but if they'll do it it makes life easier! Depending on where the cows are pastured I don't always have the option to unplug it for as long as I am working. Way to go working at keeping them separated too!! That was my biggest mistake when the second horse came along. I should have taken Linus out immediately and keep our routine but I gave them a few days to bond and they did like crazy glue!!
    I am with the others, I can't wait to see how she looks in the spring with a winter of your TLC under her belt! (and on her ribs, lol) She really is a beauty! Her expression kind of reminds me of Jessica's Voelie.

    1. Actually all the horses cross with the wire gate on! It's me that doesn't like to do that because I'm afraid I'll get the handles too close together and get zapped! Haha! Thanks for the encouragement! When I seen the challenge list, all I could think is "This is going to be fun!"

  2. Oh! Lol, sorry!! Yeah I know what you mean! I'm always scared if hit it we're both gonna get it!! So far we've been lucky!! : )

  3. Good job Janeen! Sounds like a very productive day! Willow's mane looks SO much better after the trim!! Can't wait to see how it grows over the winter time. That's so amazing how she buddied up with Lance so fast. Maybe it's because she is low on the pecking order and knows who to cling to for security since Lance is top dog? These curlies are so herd smart..they know what it takes to survive! =] I am glad you are enjoying the challenges.....cant' wait to hear more!

    1. Thanks, Denise. Willow is very herd smart indeed.

  4. HAHAHAHA! Tall, dark and handsome Lance is boyfriend material whilst Corky is best friend material. I love it! Willow is going to blossom under your care. It almost hurts me to look at those ribs and know she was much, much worse. That's good that Corky is a little jealous because he will be more eager to please (if he is anything like AhD). These games are going to be great for you to discover Willow's personality and bond more with Corky. You are doing a FABULOUS job!

    1. She's a little young, don't you think, Susan? lol! Yes, Willow is a teenager and showed her rear to me today when I told her to move out of my space. I believe some lounging is in order! It would have happened today, but it's raining, cold, dreary and reminding me that winter is coming! Yes, she is thin, but her attitude is all in one piece! haha!


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