• Sue Steiner

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

and even more so in horses….

This is the story of Willow.  I was first made aware of Willow when a friend who was horse shopping on facebook asked my opinion of her.  I watched a video, sent the owner a couple of questions and commented to my friend that she is certainly a pretty horse and the price is low, but she appears to be wearing a harsh looking bit with quite a bit of contact so she may not be as ‘beginner friendly’ as represented.  Then I didn’t give it much thought after that.  My friend went on to get a different horse and that was that… or so I thought.

I got a message from the owner asking if I was still interested in her horse months later.  

I refreshed my memory by reviewing the video and general information and asked the owner some more questions.  The low price was lower.  The mare WAS pretty…. isn’t that always where we get in trouble?  I thought since she is such a pretty mare, I could buy her, spruce her up and resell her.  Hah!  Famous last words, right?? 

Willow when she arrived at my place. 

I discovered that Willow is a sweet, kind, people friendly horse but not confident at all around other horses, or her new surroundings.  In fact, she is one of the most timid horses I have ever owned!  She took MONTHS to get acclimated into my very small herd.  She hung back and did not go anywhere near the other 3 horses for MONTHS in spite of no one bullying her.  I was told she lived as an only horse so believe she lacked some socialization skills.  She was extremely skittish and fearful even being led around the barn or in the barn aisle.  I told myself she just needed to settle in….

Willow, winter 2017

I rode Willow and it became very clear she was going to need quite a bit of work.  She was terribly barn sour.  I mean, terrible, awful, no good, bad, barn sour!!!  (Early blog post on her barn sourness

And I didn’t mention, she is small…. barely horse size.  No one, and I mean no one, wants a small horse that is poorly trained and wants to run back to the barn!  My pretty horse was going to take a lot of time and effort!  

Below are some links to earlier blog posts about Willow, our obstacles and her training.  

First Spring with Willow

Curing a Barn Sour Horse Part 1

Curing a Barn Sour Horse Part II

Willow, Scary Corner and Lawn Mowers! 

Just so you don’t think I regret my decision, I really like this horse!  I like that she is a people horse and like that she is smart, not pushy (she is the opposite of pushy!!) and best of all, she is responding to our time together!!  We aren’t making any speed records but we are progressing and that is really what counts! 

I like that I have taken what would have likely been an auction bound horse or one that’s passed around and passed around or sits in a pasture as a pasture potato….into (almost there) really nice trail horse!!   

As skittish, inexperienced, timid and barn sour as she was, she was at risk for not a very good life.  I like that Willow and I are making progress!  That feels great!  


Pretty Is As Pretty Does! 

Willow’s transformation

Happy Trails!  


#prettyisasprettydoes #barnsourhorses #gettingyourhorsereadyforthetrail #trailhorses #prettyhorses #gaitedhorses #loudcoloredhorses

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© Copyright 2023. No animals were harmed in the making

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