Friday, July 5, 2013

Willo's most excellent day

Today was a big day for both me and Willo.  I had my riding lesson at 2:00 and my instructor told me it was ok to bring one of my donkeys for the lesson.  I planned to take Mac because he's usually very reliable and not as feisty as Willo.  I laid in bed worrying about this last night.  I've never towed a trailer before so there was more to this outing than just taking my donkey to a strange place. 

Mac decided he didn't want to ride in a trailer today, than-you-very-much.  I decided to try Willo.   She cooperated but I was afraid my luck couldn't last.  Even though I sweated the whole way there, I pulled the stock trailer safely to the horse farm.  Phew.  So far, so good.  No one was there yet so we walked around and I acquainted Willo with her surroundings.  The horses were pretty excited about having long ears on their property and there was lots of prancing and whinnying.  Willo seemed nonplussed.  She was very interested in everything though.

My instructor, her children and some others taking lessons arrived and began getting their horses ready.  I had Willo tied in the barn behind the horses and she took everything in that was going on around her.  Their corgi came up to her, I held my breath, they touched noses and then the dog licked Willo's nose and walked away.  Sweet, I relaxed a bit more. 

We mounted our horses/donkey and headed up to the riding ring.  Willo had never been in a ring like this and especially not with 5 other horses.  I was shocked when she walked right in and began doing what everyone else was doing - behaving  like a horse.  Some of the horses were nervous having her in there with them.  I don't know if it's her ears, she smells unusual, or they just sensed she's another kind of animal, but they knew she was different.  We did many laps around the ring, stepped over some obstacles, changed directions and for the most part, she did everything I asked of her.  I was dumbfounded.  This may not seem like a big deal to people who've been riding horses a long time, but to donkey people who know how  a green (newly trained and still learning) donkey can be, they would understand how huge this was.  It began to rain and still she behaved.  We weren't setting any records in speed but we kept moving most of the time.  Almost every lap though, she wanted to say hi to a little girl (3 or 4 ish) named Poppy who was hanging on the fence.  Willo was fascinated by her.  She did get a little nervous when one or two horses would canter up from behind and she heard them coming.  That was fine though.  Her ears would turn to listen for them and she usually slowed and turned her butt toward them. 

I should also add, Willo was very popular with my instructor's children.  The 15 year old daughter has been wanting a donkey and I heard her say to her mom, "see?, now can't we get a donkey?"  They all thought she was so cute.  I probably heard them say so more than 20 times.  Willo liked them too.  I took a picture of the 6 year old son holding her face but it didn't turn out.  I sure wish I had a video of us in the ring so you could see what a good girl she was.

To say I was proud is putting it mildly.  Our ride home was without incident and as I pulled into our field I said a silent, thank you.  I'm sure I was smiling.  When I let Willo loose in her pasture she took off running.   I wonder what she told the others.  I can't wait for our next outing.



  1. How Exciting!! Go Willo! and pat yourself on the back too.

  2. Sounds like fun, and you did very good,showing no fear....thats why Willo was so excellent...Mike

  3. Woohoo! What an amazing experience! Yay for Willow and Karen!

  4. So impressed with Willo and you! Phyllis

  5. I think you should consider investing in a GoPro video camera. It is very small but it has incredible quality. It's made to wear or hook up to almost anything that moves.

    It would have been perfect for your journey with Willow