Terry Golson


While Tonka and I did our warmup walk in the ring yesterday, we stayed out of the way of a lesson. The horse being schooled is a big, powerful mare, with a goal of competing in the jumpers. There’s a lot of energy and drama when she goes. The fences […]

Listening Despite Enthusiasm


Tonka and I continue to learn to jump as a team. I listen to our trainer, Steph, and then try to convey her advice about how to approach the obstacles to Tonka, but he has his opinions about the best way to do it. When Tonka gets frustrated, his way […]

Jumping Teamwork


Yesterday we had a fresh snowfall of about 5 inches. This is Maine, so it’s not a big deal. Our power is on, our water still flows, and the plows have cleared the roads. However, conditions were such that the horses couldn’t be turned out safely. One reason I like […]

Snow Day



Shorten your reins! I’ve heard that my entire riding life. On the most basic level, your hands hold onto the reins, the reins attach to the bit in the horse’s mouth, and how you move that bit tells the horse what you want them to do. Turn left. Turn right. […]

Shorten Your Reins



Tonka turns 15 today. In terms of age, he’s caught up with me. We’re both past our athletic prime, but we still have a lot of active years left. We’ve got arthritis, tight muscles and some twinges, but prefer to be moving and doing interesting things rather than sitting around. […]

Happy 15th, Tonka!



It’s that time of year. Your significant other is in search of a gift for you. Not just any gift. A romantic gift. Despite the fact that Steve and I have been together for about 30 years, he still gets stressed out when February rolls around. I assure him that […]

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Horse Women


Tonka sometimes feels off. The veterinarian has had a look, and then another. The slight gimpyness isn’t enough to come up with a clear diagnosis, or even to be exactly sure where the unsoundness is coming from. This isn’t a new problem. It keeps rearing its head. Or should I […]

Sound to Ride


I’ve had Tonka for seven years and there hasn’t been a day with him that I haven’t worked on a certain behavior. Actually, it’s more of a mindset. I call it connected relaxation. With attention to this goal, and consistency in training, it has come to underlie everything that my […]

Connected Relaxation