smiling goats
We get a lot of joy from our animals, from their companionship, to their antics, to the attention that they give to us. There’s also the joy of touch – for them and for us. Back when I thought I wasn’t riding anymore I got two goat brothers, Pip and […]

Grooming Goats/Grooming Horses

Maggie's help
Tonka is not a horse that likes to get his feet wet.  Some horses like to roll in mud. He does not. As far as Tonka is concerned, dust is fine but muck is yucky. It’s not that he’s scared of water, he just doesn’t like it. When on the trail, […]

Water Play

Tonka was sold to me as a horse that was safe out on the trails alone and that’s been mostly true. Of course, no horse is spook-proof 100% of the time. It turns out that although Tonka doesn’t bolt at the sight of deer, he is afraid of hopping frogs!   I’ve […]

Tonka Frets and What To Do About It

I grew up with cats but the first year that I went away to college I developed an inexplicable and permanent allergy to them, which is why my children have had many animals in their lives, but never felines. My son, Daniel, always said that as soon as he could, he’d […]

Training Cats and the Incompatible Behavior

After yesterday’s long post, I thought I’d do something fun and quick. But be forewarned – there’s a link that has the potential to take up a lot of your time! Dover Saddlery is having their yearly photo contest and Steve entered three images. Being an engineer, the site itself […]

Horse Photos

thumbs up
We’ve all had them – the riding instructors that yell, harangue and nag. In 1975 I went to riding school in England. Gerry was one of my instructors. He was tough and wiry and had legs like nutcrackers. He could sit on anything. He pushed me hard to improve. Modern day […]

Teaching Riding Without Yelling

Scooter nurse
I recently wrote about the zen of hand-grazing a horse. It’s a centering activity for you and contributes to your relationship with your horse and their emotional well-being (as well as physical health if it’s the only source of fresh grass that your horse has.)   I failed to mention something. […]

Wear Boots

Letter Perfect Farm
2016 USEF/USDF Recognized Level 1 Show #1
Competition # 329242
Tonka is a laid-back guy and he travels well. Some horses kick, fidget and work up a sweat when on the road. Not Tonka. He arrives at the destination looking as if he’s only just stepped onto the trailer. While I get things organized, Tonka, bright-eyed, looks around.   Sometimes […]

The Nose Knows

The work that I do with animals uses, what I call, the clicker perspective. It’s not, however, always clicker training per se. Much of the time I don’t use the clicker – a sharp sound that marks the moment the animal has done the right thing, which is then followed by a […]

Starting From a Safe Place