I met Willow in late August of 2015. She was in a holding cell next to Moon. She was looking out away from all the other horses, people and traffic. Almost, longingly looking at another life through a closed window. I still don’t know why Willow was at the feed lot waiting for slaughter. Besides her being a beautiful girl inside and out, she is an amazing specimen of her breed. She had papers and you could tell she was already worked with quite a bit. But yet she was left for some reason, in a bad situation. When I tried to interact with her I could tell she was depressed and feeling lost. I could see well past the shattered persona that was in front of me. It was just a plain mystery to me that she was in this horrible system.
The proprietor of the feedlot said, “don’t know why that girl is here”. I knew right then that Willow, which was to be her new name, had found herself a home. She would be the Second horse that I committed to lifelong care for that day. Little did I know that she would be one of four horses to be rescued that day. I had only planned on two. She loaded quite well for me into the trailer, like she knew she was going somewhere better than where she had found herself. I was happy to see her mouth chewing, with sprigs of alfalfa sticking out in every direction, her little mouth resembling a loaded pin cushion, with only a look of contentment on her petite little face. Willow is the kind of mare that just exudes feminine qualities, but has the back bone of a matriarchal warrior. She still loves her belly rubs though.
Since being here I have seen Willow really come out of her shell. She is a very personable horse. She can be cantankerous from time to time, but we all can. Almost immediately I asked Willow of her services as a range riding horse. She was very impressive in how she just kind of assumed the role as quickly as I asked her to. She didn’t go out of her way to please you right away, leaving enough edge to be spunky, but she never really argued her new found duties. Outside of being well rounded at just about everything she has another ability. You see when Willow works in the woods, she glides around and over every obstacle with the grace of a sheet gently blowing away in the wind. It’s absolutely amazing to work from her back.
Willow’s wall has dropped quite a bit since I have known her. She remains very opinionated about anything that deals with her. Her actions are like an unstoppable graceful force that must be respected and directed. But she is aware enough and willing enough to listen. She wields her subtle but steady stubbornness in a way that is quite endearing. Once you get past that unyielding mental strength that Willow shields herself in you will find my smooth friend Willow. She is the toughest girl I know, that’s part of the reason that she has the name Willow. One of the most resellent plants, you can cut a twig off a Willow tree and stick it in the dirt. Not only will it live it will grow a new tree. Willow I knew would thrive and adapt to any setting she just needed to be replanted.