Monday, November 4, 2013

November challenges!

Well, I was almost finished and hit the wrong key and my whole post was deleted!  How frustrating!  I probably won't be quite as thorough now!  Ugghh!

Before I get to the November challenge I want to tell you about Kirk meeting Willow this morning.  He met her in the dark after work last night, but this morning I went out to take pictures of him and her since she's supposed to be his riding horse when he does ride.  Willow met us at the gate and was eager to see us.

Kirk this is Willow; Willow this is your Dad!

Willow likes the camera and sets herself up nicely when she sees it.  She was enjoying the attention.  We decided to let Corky in for formal introductions and as we were walking over to the gate I heard Kirk tell Willow no and was chasing her out.  I asked what she had done, because I hadn't heard thundering hooves or anything and he said she bit him on the elbow, that she definitely was a teenager.  I asked if it was a serious bite or a nibble and he said it was more of a nibble, like "Hey.  I like you.  Don't go anywhere."  But in any event we can't let her think that behavior is okay.  After he chased her out, he asked her to come back in, which she did, and then he proceeded to back her and walk with her, repeating that a few times.  She needs some work on backing up, but was trying the best she knew how.

When we let Corky in, it was an uneventful meeting.

I watched the 2 of them this afternoon as I was working and it was interesting to watch, because I really felt she just wanted to be close to him, but whenever she went to go in the shelter with him, he would leave and then she would follow him.  Corky is used to our bossy mare and just avoids Willow now, thinking she's the same way.  So maybe Willow is just feeling insecure right now and wants company.  Susan had wondered about her being food protective and so far I don't see that.  She doesn't seem to be bossy at all.

The winds have been gusting up to 35 miles an hour all day here, so I thought today would be a good day to work on the wind challenge!   I went and got Corky and took him to be brushed out.  All I could hear was Willow whinnying.  Good grief!  She's been with him for 6 hours and you'd think it had been 6 years!  Corky never answered her and quite frankly it surprised me because Willow never said anything when we loaded her alone in the trailer and she rode all the way home that way.  So for her to be separated from him and worried about it surprised me.  As I groomed Corky I realized his winter coat is coming in and I can see his waves.
Also as I was grooming him the sky darkened up and the wind got worse.  In the pasture Corky wasn't comfortable with the wind, but with me he was a perfect gentleman, which made me happy that he trusts my judgment.
I decided our simple task would be to take a walk down the road with the wind blowing around.  Corky was handling things well, but not Willow.  She ran the fence line and didn't like when Corky became out of her sight.
Willow running the fence line
We continued down the road much to Willow's dismay, but to my pleasure Corky did just fine and didn't even flinch when cars went by.  He trusted me even in the wind.
On our way back to the house, after a 1/4 mile, I thought about the trotting exercise along with halting and then backing up, so I started to work on that.  At first Cork didn't trot, but caught on quickly, halting square will be a challenge and while he does back up, he doesn't back up without me touching him or if he does it's just a couple of steps, so that's something to work on!  As we came back into sight, poor Willow was glad to see us.
When I put Corky back in the pasture with Willow I had treats this time and gave Corky and Willow a couple each.  I started touching Willow around her chest and belly again to see if that caused a reaction like this morning and it did not, but I found that she's been taught to flex and touch her nose on each side.  Because she thought I had treats she easily put her nose in the middle of her side and I repeated on the opposite side and the response was the same.  You just touch with your forefinger and she flexes!

I think it's going to be fun to figure out exactly what Willow knows and do this month's challenges with both horses!  It will continue to build on mine and Corky's relationship and help Willow to get to know us!

Janeen, Corky and Willow in the UP of Michigan  (I'm not proofing this because I've wrote it twice now!  So if there are errors, oh, well!)


  1. She really is beautiful Janeen! Did she ever take to Corky fast! How cool that you can now do the November challenges with BOTH horses! Can't wait to read more. I'm anxious to see how she does when you work with her and leave Corky behind!

  2. Good Job Janeen getting after the challenges!! I am so surprised with the other horses being there that she attached herself so fast to Corky. But I also think it's so cute! It will be interesting to see if she whinnies for him when you take her out. So cool that Corky did so well with the wind challenge today. I am hoping it is drying up some of the mud!! Keep up the great work...and I LOVE the pic of her and Kirk together...!

  3. She is sooooo beautiful! I love her color and pretty face. I am not surprised that she bonded so quickly with Corky. Who wouldn't? All kidding aside, she is in a strange place with strange people and horses...and then the horse who has been there for her during the night is now on the OTHER side of the fence. I am really impressed that she stayed in the fence and behaved herself. Boy, what a nice horse she is going to be for you and your husband, Janeen! Perfect timing to get her just as we are starting the November challenges. I haven't looked at what they are yet; I'd better get going!


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