Terry Golson


Tonka rarely reacts dramatically to the new or the suddenly frightening. He’s a horse, so things will scare him. But if they do, after a brief startle, he’ll thoughtfully assess the situation. Usually he concludes that all is well. Partly this is do to his innate personality. Just like people […]

Tonka Mentors Youngsters


There’s not much that truly scares Tonka on the trail. He’s a confident, curious horse who likes to go places. We go out on our own, and even without the companionship of another horse, Tonka is levelheaded. Once in awhile he’ll spook at a sound or unexpected movement in the […]

Trail Tadpoles


In the more than seven years since Tonka and I have been a team, we’ve had niggling issues with soundness. Except for a couple of specific instances, it’s not been dramatic enough to come up with a clear cause or cure. I tell my veterinarian that he’s not 100 percent, […]

Hoof Prints Tell All



Recently I pushed myself to go out of my comfort zone and go to a fancy show. That required a multi-night stay for Tonka at the showgrounds, and me in a hotel. I like small schooling shows. An easy day drive there and back. No braiding. No pressure. Not much […]

Our First Overnight Show


Last week Tonka’s veterinarian, Monika, and her vet tech in training, Sara, came out to do some work on him. Tonka was due for maintenance to keep his body functioning well: shockwave over his back, and hock injections. Because Tonka recently has shown signs of that intermittent left-front lameness returning, […]

Training Horses for Veterinary Visits


Last week I gave a private clinic to three wonderful clients. Only one of them had ridden when young, the others started riding after their own children had grown. Age isn’t an impediment to catching horse fever, and they all seriously had it. Not long after getting in the saddle, […]

Grooming For Happiness



Tonka had four days off last week, and when I got back on him he was gimpy. He mostly worked out of it, but if you looked closely you’d see a small head bob when he tracked left at the trot. This intermittent lameness is so frustrating! It’s difficult to […]

Not Quite Sound


I named the eleven acres that Steve and I own in southern Maine, Turtle Hill because it’s prime real estate for these animals. The field has sandy, pebbly soil, with bare areas, but also a wide variety of plants, from native blueberries to grasses and wintergreen. It has sunny slopes […]

Prime Porcupine Real Estate


It’s almost summer in Maine. Which doesn’t mean that we go right into sandal-clad beach days. Sure, there will be a day or two of that, but we haven’t put away our cold weather gear. A week ago the sun was shining, the temps reached mid- 70s F (22 C) […]

Weather Dependent