behavior


I’ve been asked why Tonka wears his ear bonnet in the winter. Good question! It’s something that horses usually wear to keep flies and gnats out of their sensitive ears. It’s a simple solution to a pesky (pesty!) problem. Although there aren’t bugs in New England when it’s cold, Tonka […]

Ear Bonnet


It can be aggravating when you’re just setting down into the saddle and your horse moves off before you’ve even slid your feet into the stirrups. If that’s the case, your reaction might be to pull back on the reins and say something in a harsh voice. That can set […]

Mounting Block Manners Quick Fix


For the last few weeks there’s been a lot of activity near the horses’ paddocks. A crew of two men have been putting up a new fence. First there were the piles of posts and rails in places where there had never been posts and rails. Then the guys got […]

Losing Fear By Making Friends



As promised in my last post, here is a link to a new piece of writing by Karen Pryor. It’s about her time on board a tuna fishing vessel. She was there to study dolphin behavior so that better ways to fish could be implemented so that dolphins wouldn’t end […]

My Takeaways from Karen’s Writing


When I arrived at the barn this afternoon, the ground was frozen hard. Tonka was way out back in the furthest paddock, and he was on the far side of that. He came when I called. (Here’s how to train a horse to come.)   Honestly, he doesn’t always have […]

Clean/Dirty


My clients come to me with a mix of experience and training knowledge. Many of them are doing, or want to start, clicker training. Some have done a lot of research and have read books and watched videos. Some have found this training methodology on FaceBook. Almost all have heard […]

Horse Training Starting Point



Five years ago, I brought Tonka into my life. Since then, he’s lived at four stables. The one he’s currently at is perfect, and yet we’re looking for a new home. I’m not a difficult boarder and my horse is easy to take care of. So why all of the […]

The Perfect Boarding Barn


Sit in a field with horses. Listen. You hear them tearing up grass with their teeth and chewing. A swish of a tail. A hoof stomping the ground to shake off a fly. There’s rarely verbal communication going on, and when it happens, it’s brief. Perhaps a horse is out […]

Train Quietly


At one time, Dolly was the pony of every horse-crazy child’s dreams. Snow white with big dark eyes. Petite. Pretty. Likely purebred Welsh. You could imagine her a unicorn. She lived in a small field behind her people’s house. The children rode her, but didn’t do pony club or 4-H, […]

Touching the Uncatchable Pony