Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Willingness Factor

Easter Sunday, late afternoon, I was able to sneak out to the country to see my mare.
The storms that had been a raging all week and work also, kept me at bay.
When I arrived, my Mare was standing expectantly, at the gate. 
Once I had gone inside the barn and saw her stall and the grain left in her feed barrel- I knew why she waited there. It had been a fast- paced- Holiday- morning and she had not gotten her morning Eats in!
 At Once, I collected her and Romeo and she began to happily finish eating her breakfast remains and more I heaped on for her. She snorted a sigh in delight.
 I decided to clean my PBO stalls for her. NOW it had began to really storm outside!
As I cleaned the four stalls, I would take breaks to visit my mare, take her blanket off, and set up my grooming tools+ the clippers this day. I had to decide to give up the hope of riding..it was nasty!
As I started to groom her, finally finished with the mucking, she did something totally unlike her...she turned around and pointed at her barrel,  just near her elbow...Okay....I took my soft , red curry and circled it there for her...HA! She grew the familiar "Long Lip of delight", showing me I got it right and to continue.
That was cool, she normally does things like for herself, not being a mare that favors me brushing her.
 I have a use after all!
Another hour had passed, and as I looked outside the large, sliding barn doors, the rain/hail mix looked as if it may have subsided some...though as You all know....when you are inside a barn with a metal roof, any amount of moisture sounds like a storm outside! I checked and YEA, it actually was quite sedate and inviting.
I tacked the mare up- booted up, and mounted up in good time!
~Easter Sock-Shot~

I had not been out to the mare all week and decided that maybe a bit was in order this time...but not without concessions to the mare~ A promise from me to her for a returned willingness.... I shall keep my hand upon her wither with a slight taunt rein, for her Willingness to take my seat and leg cues only for direction and also...I want long and low trust from her.
She was Willing....Long and Low up the service road...so low, she escaped the photo, unless I put the camera almost on her neck!

She continued in this fashion past the trail Y, and I allowed her to make the choice of which one...okay the upper road~

Oh...a slight hesitation...., we turned around, and I decided to go check the found GPS note... seeing if it were still there on the trail- near the spot I found the unit, over a month ago.
This trail is very much stripped of anything to slow one down if a hoof slides...motorcycles use it to go from one dead end road to the one I board on.
YUP...note still in place...see it at the bottom of the tree base? It is a bit brighter than the pic makes it out to be.

I have to say...the mare totally kept her end of the bitted -bargain- ride...she remained long and low and I kept my hand upon her withers. She felt no resistance, if she slipped, no sudden hit.
 It is something I have deduced was a bother for her...me raising my hands when she slide and trotted downhills...I needed to trust her so much more by waiting longer...I see now that, she only does what she has to, to stay upright with me aboard. Waiting longer, trusting her motives, I see that even if she trots down the hill..it is relaxed and she stops as sooon as she regains her sure footing.
She is now WILLING to trust me!
Back up that slippery trail....

And down the road again towards home~
Long and Low she goes.

 Her Willingness Factor now raised by my apparent sign to her...
my hand upon her wither~ She high blows home...walking in peace.


  1. Oh, nice ride Kacy girl! Since the roads I tend to ride on are pretty slip free I haven't done that with Gilly but good thing to do, at times our hands do silly things that the horse doesn't understand. Like if they slip or stumble, I anyway, tend to jerk the reins; another reason I am bitless. No stress on Gil's mouth.
    Great pictures!!!!
    Jane and the Big Bay Boy

  2. great ride Kacy!!!! It's something we need to remember.. trust our mounts as we want them to trust us.

    I too am guilty of the yank at the head thing. My trainer once said that I spook more than my horse. I think she's right.

  3. Aww what a nice story!

    I like that JeniQ. . .

  4. You are so kind and good to your Wa mare. You listen when she needs an itch scratched, and you listen when she promises to fulfill her end of the bargain. Lovely photos as usual. I am sorry about your weather. It has been horrid for all of my blogger friends out there! I am glad you snuck in a nice ride!

  5. What a great story! Isn't it a wonderful feeling when you and your horse start trusting each other? I sure love hearing about you and Wa as yall grow together. :)

  6. Sounds like a great ride Kac. I braved the crazy weather all weekend. I managed to get in right before some big downpours. I have been really busy with trailer loading for the past two weeks...she is really doing good. I got my eye on the prize....being able to trailer over to see favorite riding bud.

  7. Those boots they look like Blundstones. Best boots ever.

  8. What a great ride! You are so in tune with your sweet Wa.
    What are Blundstones, as I'm now boot obsessed!! xo

  9. Awwww! This was just so beautiful, Kacy. You were willing to trust her, so she was willing to ride softly trusting you. Such a lovely relationship the two of you have. And your photos are gorgeous as always.

    I hope to try out the bitless bridle on Apache soon, too. I think she will do well, hopefully even better than Baby Doll did, because I've noticed how asoft she rides in her simple Korsteel Copper French Link D-Ring bit. I am sure that her previous owner had rearing issues with her because she rode her in that Tom Thumb with the long shanks and nutcracker bit...and all while refusing to get her teeth floated. gah! With that long hook right in the front it's no wonder she reared. I would, too!

    I spent 4 hours practicing trailering with Apache yesterday and got her in 3 times. Today I spent 10 minutes and she walked in. And then I kept her to eat her brakfast for 30 minutes. But she is worried when inside. She leans back against the door and butt bar and gets nervous.
    I'm nto sure what to do to ease her worries. I wish we had a different trailer as I think the narrowness contributes to her worries.....

  10. The mare has beautiful braids - she's better groomed than some people! I enjoyed the ride with you after the rain.

  11. I feel like I'm with you out on the trail when I read your posts!

    I'll have to remember to make deals with Grace...I think she'll be receptive she is always fair and honest when we ride.


  12. Her foot/your foot picture... I was attempting the same thing the other day, only my foot was in the stirrup. It didn't translate as well as I hoped. Yours looks good. I'll have to keep working on it.

  13. Dontcha love being in the barn when its raining or storming! Nothing better! I'm happy to see the trust...what another wonderful feeling and your "purpose" you have LOL! All in one day too! What a wonderful day! You needed that huh? Give me a call...I'm here if ya need to chat! Love you girl! email is the same Wilmoth farms at windstream dot net

  14. Jane~ Yea...I dream of the slip-free rides...so does Wa mare..issues arise because of the hills with her..so sensitive and then the saddle will move...man aside from getting rigging' and I so have a crupper now..don't know. Bitless I prefer...but if she gets strong...whoa Nelly..she is gone!

    JeniQ~ Trust..it ever evolving! I have to make myself put my hand down on her wither..yesterday..it did nt work..she wanted to race.and I had to keep a contact...good day for bad day sometimes!


    Juliette~ Well, it is such a privilege to have this mare..with all her issues I really love her. Though...would love another horse that is opposite sometimes!

    Funder~Grow we continue...it's always a training ride, my friends and I say~

    Jules ~ YEA!!!!!!!! I am already thinking of the best places to take you to...Hope it really happens! Maddy mare will be in full trust soon enough..take small trips with her..get gas..get out to eat grass...you know..fun trips.

    Sidney~ Humm...have not heard of those yet..mostly the Renegades..will look into them though- thanks... What ever I use, I either need the store I can get them from here(so I may take them back if they don't fit) or A good honest rep. to fit her for them.

    Kristen~ Looking into the hoof boots...my "DELTA" Cavallos work wonderfully though..my friend just got the leather version- Cavallo "SIMPLE BOOT" With both..you must reinforce the Velcro, for muddy terrains though...but awesome for roads. Great Traction too.

    Liss~ Pathy mare sounds as though she'll trust you soon... just make sure she gets a repeated = good ride= each time.
    I have gotten sooo picky with who trailers my mare now(since it sometimes is not me-no truck yet) Some, I refuse to go with some now...if she is sweaty at the other end of the ride...that tells me a story!
    I can't get her in a straight load..she is really claustrophobic. I did get her one...with the middle divider opened and tied to the side..that worked nicely. Sometimes I think that a straight load may not fit a horse...kinda like a saddle..it may be uncomfortable in some way.

    Barb~ My horses therapist says- "Washashe mare is the best groomed horse in Clackamas County!" I do brush her all the time!

    Heather~ Saying things out loud sometimes, makes you remember your resolve..and stopping frequently to remember them too!I had to stop quite alot to help my mare remember the deal yesterday..she was in a hurry,,and I wanted to keep my end of the deal! Every riding day can be so different from the last!

    Tammy~ haha! Funny girlie!
    Yes...last fall, is when I took the first 'Sock Shot"...fall leaves and brown boots with stripe socks..it just looked so darned pretty! A friend had sent those socks from N.Y. and I had to show her I loved them! Now...I do colors and holidays!

    Rae!Love ya..will call again soon!

  15. I really enjoyed my time visiting your blog today....and my ride. Great post,


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