Outside the Arena with Fan of the Month Denise Willard

Pogo and Denise Willard’s relationship started outside the show pen long before they tried their hand at halter and Western pleasure classes. In the last part of December’s Facebook Fan of the Month series, find out more about Denise and Pogo’s escapades at home where they kick back and relax. 

What do you and your horse do for fun?

We do like to go out on trail rides for fun, but since we were concentrating on doing our best in the show ring, that got away from us but we’ll be back at it in the spring. I like to just take him out of the stall and brush and fuss over him to show him that even though I’ve been giving him some time off (he’s going through a growth spurt), I still care. He loves to play with his Jolly balls too. I have put three of them out in the pasture for him and his brother and we find them outside the pasture that they are in all the time.

What is your dream horse experience?

I would absolutely love to ride one of Clinton Anderson’s or Stacy Westfall’s horses. Or, even better, I would like to have Mr. Anderson or Ms. Westfall work with Pogo and myself to help us to become confident enough so that one day I could take Pogo to one of the big Paint shows or Pinto Congress and/or Worlds.

What is your horse’s favorite treat?

If the box has the word “treat” on it, Pogo loves it. I don’t think that there has been a treat that he wouldn’t eat and that’s how I taught him to bough. I haven’t ever given him just one treat because my husband and I have won several different kinds of treats at either the shows that we have attended or at the P.O.N.Y. Associtaion Banquet where they regularly have chinese auctions with lots of prizes. have noticed that giving him lots of treats is not a good thing because then he gets pushy looking for them so now every once in a while, I’ll sneak one into his grain.

What’s your favorite section of Horse&Rider?

If I had to pick one section of the magazine that I liked the most it would be Clinton Anderson‘s training techniques. I love reading them, but I haven’t been too good at applying them because unfortunately we don’t have a sand arena here, we just have the ground, and I think it would be too hard on Pogo’s legs if I were to use them and I don’t want to hurt him in anyway. I do hope, if we are successful in purchasing the house that we are looking at, that I can put in a nice sand arena. But, I have to honestly say that I love the entire magazine, I thumb through it and read anything and everything that I can. 

A very special thank you to Denise for providing so many great photos to accompany this series, and for taking the time to answer our questions. We couldn’t have asked for a better first Facebook Fan of the Month! 

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