behavior


I’ve been exercising using videos. Some cardio. Some easy yoga. I’ve tried at least a dozen YouTube channels and have checked out many others. The instructors are super upbeat, but there’s something they all do that is insidiously counterproductive to their optimistic you can do it tone. If only these […]

Turning Don’t Into Do


Tonka and I continue to take our weekly jumping lessons. It’s fun for both of us, and something I know we’ll keep doing, so I purchased some new (used) gear for it. I bought a buttery-soft French saddle.   It’s half the weight of my dressage saddle, and I have […]

March Thaw Fun


As a rider, I’m always second-guessing myself. Is what I’m asking for physically fair and possible for my horse? I have a lot of clues to answer my questions. How willingly my mount moves forward (or stops) and how they respond to my aids are important pieces of information. So […]

Horse Ears At Work



All of the horses were in their stalls, eating their late afternoon hay. All but Tonka.   He was looking out. With his panoramic vision, Tonka could see the whole sweep of the property, all the way from the barn on one side to the field on the other. His […]

What’s There, Tonka?


A horse’s tail can be as expressive as their ears. The tail talks, but like with ears, you need to know the context. You need to know the horse. A swishing tail can mean I’m eager or I’m frustrated or I hurt or there’s an annoying fly or you’re annoying. When […]

Tail Talk


The nature of science is that we build on what we know. Sometimes we have to discard ideas when more solid information comes along. Sometimes what has been researched is very, very complex, but the popular press gets hold of it, someone writes a best-selling book inflating it into a […]

Your Horse’s Brain (A Myth Debunked)



When Tonka shakes his head, something is going on with him, and I’d better listen. I first noticed this early on, when on a trail ride a friend who was up ahead put too much distance between us. Tonka wanted to trot to catch up. I wanted him to walk […]

What’s Bothering You, Tonka?


There are many reasons to train animals. It allows pet owners to get along with their furry friends by teaching them basic manners and how to get along nicely with others. Training can also be done for cooperative care, so that you can do husbandry and medical procedures without causing […]

Karen Pryor and Creative Animals


Your horse has a reason for everything that they do. I have a good story about this. After six years of riding Tonka on the flat, I’ve decided that jumping little cross-rails might be fun. Tonka agreed. During the first lesson he was a bit of an over-achiever!   Although […]

There’s a Reason Why