I met Tonka three and a half years ago. He had a kind eye and was adorable. But he didn’t have much of a canter. After a few strides he’d get strung out, too long in front and short behind, and he’d fall back into the trot. This is what […]

Improving the Canter


This is how a horse should get onto a trailer. Blasé.   Easier said than done. A horse has good reason to be wary of getting onto a trailer. Here’s a partial list: The ramp and floor sound hollow. Horses like solid ground. Simply walking on causes it to move slightly. […]

Horse Trailer Loading


I’ve been meaning to write a detailed post about how to train a horse to load into a trailer without the use of force or pressure. I’ve recently been working with a couple of horses who have a history of refusing to load in ways that were dangerous to themselves and […]

Distractions From Blogging



The first evening at the new barn, Tonka did not eat all of his grain. The owners and staff were concerned. I took Tonka’s temperature. It was a healthy 99º F. Other than ignoring his meal, he looked okay. By morning, the grain was gone, his manure piles were normal, […]

Settling In


I have two homes. The one I share with my husband, and the barn where Tonka lives. For the last 2  1/2 years that second home has been a lovely small stable. Tonka’s care has been excellent. There are only ten boarders, and every one of them are nice and a […]

Moving Day


Tonka is going so well that I’ve entered him in his first dressage show of 2017. It’ll be his First Level debut which asks more of the horse and rider than Training Level, which we competed at last year. The show is in five weeks, which is barely enough time […]

Our Fill Of Happy



The forecast for the next couple of days is for high humidity, full sun, and temperatures in the mid-90s. Here in New England that’s considered HOT. The animals know how to cope. The little dog sleeps in.   I wilt in this weather but I need to ride Tonka. After […]

Heat Strategies


Quick recap: In January Tonka, who is usually a totally willing horse and happy to take contact with the reins,  started twitching his head when asked to arch his neck under saddle. His teeth were checked. A new bridle, that wouldn’t pinch his ears, was purchased. The behavior worsened. A […]

Back To Work


Last week I was driving down the middle lane of a three-lane highway on my way to see a new client. A semi was in front of me and there were cars to my left and right. Suddenly, I heard a loud thwunk, my pickup truck lurched forward – as did […]

Horse Therapy