Friday, October 09, 2009

Three things Every Horse should know

This is Janow's Primary Begging Face,and below it, the Super Begging Face for when the primary one doesn't work.

The Three Things Every Horse Should Know:
1. Go
2. Whoa
3. The treats are in the left pocket

Hand feeding Janow treats is something I've had to structure. He gets them only at specific times. Still, if he gets loose, he will be easy to catch. Just stand in his field of vision and put your had in your pocket. He will come.

When we are going around the ranch, he indicates to me every person who puts their hand in their pocket. He will go up to complete strangers and molest them for cookies. It's not always cute. He asked Joe for a cookie one day and Joe put his hand in his pocket and pulled it out empty to demonstrate that he didn't have anything. Janow surprised us both with a nose butt to the 'pocket area' that was not gentle! To Janow, this hand out empty was not a gesture of poverty, it was teasing, and he was mad.

There's something unique about being attached to a horse for a long time. Sixteen years for me. I can present my horse as Janow and other people see Janow as he is at that moment. When I present Janow, I see sixteen years of Janow's life. Our times together, the small things that had a big impact on how I see him as well as the big things that are more significant to other people. They see a horse, flea bitten grey to camouflage bird poop, small in stature, with a large eye and, if they stand too close to me, a grumpy demeanor.

Roger has not met Janow yet. How do I present Janow when it is time to put Janow to a cart? Roger has asked if Janow is a jokester. I answered "no" right away because I know Janow takes himself very seriously. I don't think this was the right answer. He is a jokester. His sense of humor is not always nice, definitely self serving, but he takes himself very seriously. He doesn't always take me seriously, probably because I don't always take myself seriously.

Pretty smart for him to figure that out!


d. moll, said...

Yes, looking at that face I feel my hand inching towards my left pocket......16 years is a lovely long time! I rode until I went off to college.

Cara said...

Well, that's frustrating. I approved all the comments but they don't all show up!

OnTheBit said...

aww...what a great post! I can only hope to get 16 years with my Gen!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I enjoyed reading about Janow. 16 years is a very long time! How old is Janow now?

Baby Doll is very food/treat driven, too. She's mostly respectful about molesting anyone for treats, though.


Breathe said...

I'm adopting Kate's approach for treating since we've had our riding mishap. Step back, then you get a treat. I can see this evolving into many horses walking backward when they get a whiff of a cookie. Won't that throw people off! LOL

My horse can ALWAYS tell when I'm carrying. I must glow.

Janow sounds like a David Letterman vs a Conan OBrien (who is pretty self deprecating, don't you think?)