I’ve been thinking about horse stall design. Not all horses have to live in stalls. When I found Tonka, he was living in a huge grass pasture with another horse. They had a shed for shelter and could come and go as they pleased. I like the idea of a […]

A Stall for Tonka


We teach our dogs to come. Even the little ones will rush towards you with a bit of training. (Scooter has a hard time putting on the brakes. He stopped just behind me.)   Like dogs, horses can be taught to come for treats. However, a horse is a grazer, […]

Come! From Turnout


I just returned home from four days in Houston, Texas. I was there for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) annual conference. There were three full days of lectures about the science of animal behavior (with ethology, physiology, and a few other ologys thrown in.) I go to […]

IAABC Conference Conversations



It’s still so cold that Tonka is turned out in a sheet or blanket.   But it’s been warming up to above 40° F in the afternoons. That’s a good thing/bad thing. The trails are clear of ice!   But the ticks have woken up. The other day, scratching the […]

Hands On Grooming for Tick Season


I think that the big picture is cute.   The view from on top gets even cuter. There’s a whorl in that skunk mane. It’s a part of my horse that cannot be tamed!   As a trainer, I’ve learned to break down behavior into the smallest possible components, find […]

Seeing The Details


When my son was little, there was a book that we read over and over again. Goofy’s Big Race. It’s a retelling of the classic turtle and the hare tale, but with Disney characters and cars. Goofy, of course, is the turtle. As he perseveres through set-backs he repeats this […]

Slow and Steady, Steady and Slow



Humans find symmetry beautiful. (Google this. Fascinating research!) We also equate symmetry with athleticism. Oh, to be an ambidextrous baseball batter! But most of us are either left or right-handed. Beyond that, wear and tear alters our posture. Perhaps a shoulder droops a little, or we’re stronger on one leg […]

Counting to Position Success


It takes just one bad scare to change how your horse behaves from then on – for days, maybe months, maybe years, maybe forever. With observation, management and training, you can alleviate some of your horse’s fear, but you might not be able to “fix” it. I’m in this situation […]

Overcoming a Fearful Incident


Steve and I have been doing the sort of thinking that went into deciding what’s right for the Goat Boys, for ourselves. In the last few years, much in our lives has changed, but our physical space has not. It’s better to be proactive about these things than to have […]

A Move To Maine