Terry Golson


Everything that we do is behavior. Even breathing – are you gulping air in a panic, or inhaling and exhaling in a relaxed yoga state? –  is a response to the environment and your interactions with the organisms in it. Before we do what we do there are antecedents – triggers […]

The Rewarding World


Yesterday I drove Tonka an hour south to the Tufts University Cummings Veterinary Medical Center Hospital For Large Animals. I’m extremely fortunate to have this world-class facility nearby. Right now, though, the parking lot is a construction site. We arrived to the sound of large and small machines and much commotion. […]

Tonka’s Prognosis


The findings from the X-rays came back and it’s not great news. Tonka has damage to two vertebral joints, one of which is where the nerves exit the spinal column and go down to the front legs. So, on Friday I trailer him to Tufts Cummings Veterinary Medical Center. It’s only an hour […]

Further Diagnosis



Something wasn’t quite right with Tonka. He trusts that when he tells me that he hurts, that I’ll listen and respond. I do. But I don’t always know exactly what he’s saying. It’s even more difficult to hear his message when it keeps changing. At the end of January I […]

Cascading Health Issues


After riding, Tonka and I have a routine. He taught it to me. The bridle comes off   and I rub the corners of his lips. They’re itchy from saliva and sweat.   He also likes the insides of his lips massaged.   Tonka tells me when he’s had enough […]

Thank You Scratches


French Manicure:   Barn Manicure: Everyday I go to the “spa.” I get a daily manicure (illustrated above.) There’s also the facial: which is a dirt mask treatment, followed by a soothing baby wipe to the face. Applying ice to joints is known to be beneficial, which is no problem when tacking up […]

Barn Spa Treatments



I grew up in a family that treated any achievement as a step to the next, more important, thing. This has its benefits. The world is a more interesting place when you take on challenges. The downside is that you never feel as if what you do is enough. My entire […]

Setting Goals


  When I was a very little girl I dreamed up my perfect horse. He was going to be black, with a white mane and tail. I even named him Midnight Snow. That color combination is not a genetic possibility, and I even knew back then that such a horse didn’t exist, […]

Dream Horse


Only in a laboratory does training happen in a sterile box. The real world is complex and changing. It’s impossible to keep the environment the same from training session to session. The list of potential distractions is long – it’s windy, a fly bites, a car backfires, a horse whinnies, someone walks by eating an […]

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