Tonka feels good.   This is a lovely, forward, rhythmic trot. Note that the photo shows Tonka’s moment of suspension. All four are off the floor. I’m really happy to see that. Outside it’s been snowy and bitter cold. Tonka gets turned out in a paddock, but doesn’t move much […]

A Respite From the Indoor Arena


It’s the end of January. Here in New England we have a couple of months of bitter cold weather yet to come, but the horses are shedding. That’s because the trigger that tells their bodies to start to lose their worn-out old hair and grow new is not temperature. It’s […]

Horses Shed Butt First


I’ve set myself a goal to blog twice weekly – on topic. I achieved that for a decade when I wrote about chickens, and I’ve done that since May of 2016 here at Cooperative Horse. It’s a challenge to come up with ideas week in and week out. This morning […]

Metaphors



Can you go into a tack store and come out empty-handed? What is it you can’t resist buying? For some people it’s saddle pads. For me, it’s brushes. Grooming is not only a means to an end – love that shine on a horse – but it’s a process that […]

Horse Grooming Brushes


Tonka has been going really well. After way too long (a couple of years!) with cascading soundness issues, we’re finally out from the other side of the neck/back/sacroiliac saga. Tonka enters the indoor arena (it’s winter, it’s Maine, we’re in a ring, but at least we’re in the saddle!) with […]

Tonka Gets Hock Injections


I recently had a master fitter come out to look at Tonka’s saddle. Saddles are stuffed (flocked) with wool, and even the perfect saddle needs to be checked yearly because the wool compacts, your horse changes shape, things happen. Nancy Shedrick pronounced my saddle to be exactly the right one […]

I Need A New Saddle



For most of my many years with horses I didn’t think much about cross-ties. All of the barns that I’ve been in have them. Cross-ties keep the horse centered in the aisle. With lines clipped to both sides of the halter, a horse will stand where needed while the farrier […]

Teaching Ground-Tying


There’s anecdotal evidence that horses colic more in winter than in other seasons. I don’t know about winter in areas where it remains balmy, but I know this is a concern here in New England. Perhaps horses colic more because of reduced water consumption – water sources are frozen over […]

Keeping Things (Poop) Moving In Winter


2019 was quite a year of change for me. Steve and I moved from our wonderful home in Massachusetts to an equally wonderful, but quite different, home in Maine. Instead of chickens in the backyard, we now have bald eagles hunting in the wetlands in our front yard. Instead of […]

It Was a Good Change