This is Tonka’s happy face when he heads to a jump. Up until now, Tonka and I have done dressage and trails. We’ve tried to keep all four hooves safely on the ground. That said, we’ve been doing ground pole exercises to strengthen his stifles, and he was so cheerful […]

How High, Tonka?


When Steve and I met, I was leasing a horse, so he knew that horses were part of the story of who I am. Your significant other might get that you’re “into horses” but at the beginning they never really know how that affects the relationship. In our case, it […]

Horse Husband Training


Yesterday Tonka and I had our fifth jumping lesson. Outside it was miserable. Sleet was pelting down. He’d been standing in his stall all morning. So we did a warmup walk for fifteen minutes, followed by a good trot, and then we trotted and cantered over a few ground rails. […]

Tonka Wants To Fly



I follow Denny Emerson on Facebook. He’s a true horseman. Not only is he a gold medal Olympian (in eventing when it was long-form), but he has also completed the Tevis cup. He’s full of wisdom and opinions. I love that he writes about how he’s become more patient, empathic […]

Walk to Warmup Synovial Joints


One of the things that has held Tonka and I back from going up the levels in dressage has been the recurrent comment from the judges on our tests: needs more energy. He does the patterns correctly, precisely and with a willing fluidity. But my horse just hasn’t had that […]

Full of (Jumping) Beans


I have a banana.    Yes, I’ll share it with you, Tonka.   All gone. No, you don’t like banana peels.   Ewww. Banana snort snot.   No, that wasn’t funny.   Yes, we’re still friends. No, there are no more bananas.    

Banana Story



It’s been grey, cold and dank. January weather.   Then it poured rain and sleeted, which saturated the snow and turned everything into slush and then crust. The last few days, though, we’ve had a respite. Above freezing temps for at least part of the day. The paddocks went from […]

January Thaw


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