behavior


When it comes to taking medication, Tonka is cooperative. It’s no problem giving him injections, or squirting paste wormer into his mouth. But, these are behaviors that have to be maintained. A couple of months ago, for the move to a new barn, Tonka was on a one-week course of […]

Training For Oral Med Dosing


I’ve been looking into horses’ eyes lately. Literally and figuratively. In November, l’ll be talking at Equine Affaire about the horse’s senses, how their view of the world impacts how they behave, and how we can use that knowledge to interact with them with understanding and effectiveness. Sight is the […]

Your Horse’s Vision


Behavior doesn’t happen out of the blue. Spooks don’t happen for no reason. You – the rider – might not see, hear, smell, or otherwise notice what your horse is reacting to, but it’s there. Sometimes what the horse is worried about is something harmless. If you have a good […]

Spooking Is Communication. Listen!



I’m giving four talks at Equine Affaire, Springfield, MA, this November. I need to provide the organizer with a small, square photo for them to use in the program. I thought that that a candid barn photo would be appropriate as I’ll be presenting about horse behavior and communication and […]

Head Shot With My Horse


After a horse gets joint injections, they’re supposed to remain quiet for four days. No galloping about in a field. No riding. Tonka was restricted to his in/out stall. He could look out in the aisle, see what was going on, and chat with friends. He could walk into his […]

Variety Is The Spice Of Life


We all do it. We question whether we’re doing right by our horses. We question whether we’re riding them in a way that’s fair to them. We worry that their lack of physical perfection is due to something we’ve done, or haven’t done. We agonize over any pain or momentary […]

Self-doubt and Second-guessing



Susannah called me in because she wanted to be able to tack up her mare, Fawn, without her horse showing signs of worry. The first thing that I do is watch the baseline behavior, and then tease apart the components. Here is how Fawn reacted when Susannah stepped towards her […]

Standing Still For Saddling


Susannah has an OTTB mare named Fawn. Fawn raced, not brilliantly, then was purchased by a family inexperienced around horses. A few years later Fawn went to a similar home. Then Susannah bought her. After a few months of getting to know Fawn, Susannah was ready to get to work […]

Catching A Horse Is In the Details


The woman who sold Tonka to me told me a story about him to explain his temperament. Her horses were turned out in big grassy fields in rural Maine. It was deer hunting season and shots were fired in the woods. All of the horses startled and bolted away from […]

Horse Temperament Test