If there’s one thing that I’ve learned working with horses, it’s that there’s always something more to learn. My continuing education takes place both far afield and close to home, from trainers that I rely on, and also from serendipitous meeting with others. At the end of February I was […]

Continuing Education


Which do you think is scarier to my horse? This:   or this? The answer is the branch! Although Tonka has settled calmly into his new home, and has seen that downed pine bough every day since he’s arrived, when I tried to ride past it, Tonka deemed it something […]

What’s Scary?


Many of you have commented on how tidy I keep Tonka’s mane. Short and straight.   Well, my view from the saddle is a little different. I have to say that this “skunk tail” of a mane keeps me from taking us too seriously!   Tonka has whorls all over, […]

Ridiculous View



For the last year, Tonka has been at a boarding barn which gave him impeccable care – a deeply bedded stall, clean water, daily all-day turnout, and excellent food. But it was a long drive for me, and there were no trails off of the property. In all honesty, Tonka […]

Tonka Moves Stables


Although snow is predicted for later this week (yes, it’s April, someone please tell Mother Nature!), it’s tick season here in New England. With the ticks come diseases. Really, really terrible ailments. The one we all are aware of is Lyme disease. That’s named for the town of Lyme, Connecticut, […]

Tick Season, Lyme Disease, and Horses


Lately, Tonka has been making faces when I groom him. He’s clearly telling me that he doesn’t want to be brushed.   I ask him questions. What about being touched? He says he’d rather I don’t touch him if I’m moving my hand the same way that I do when […]

Grooming Tension



In January I bought a new (used) saddle. It fit great and Tonka let me know he liked it by going happily forward when ridden. But, neither saddles nor horses stay static. The saddle is filled (the horsey term is flocked) with wool. The stuffing compacts and shifts. I try […]

Tonka’s Saddle Fitting


It’s been a tough week. On Monday I had a 3.5 hour dentist appointment. I’m still achy. Don’t ask. Then I got a sore throat and sniffles. And had more snow to shovel. Today my landscape crew is here to remove the trees that came down this winter. I don’t […]

A Content Countenance


The best trainers, the ones who successfully teach others to do challenging behaviors, do it in a way that gives the learner optimism and keeps them engaged. Frustration is rare and the sense of accomplishment is pervasive. This isn’t because the teacher is a cheerleader that says good job! irregardless […]

Domino Teaching