dressage


Our second outing of the season was another schooling show. A recognized show is under the auspices of the United States Dressage Association, and people vie for points and regional and national championships. Schooling shows are run by clubs or venues, are more relaxed, and are a place to try […]

Looks Good In Red


There’s an expression about horses, and it’s always a compliment. That horse has the look of eagles. In 1937, a racing writer, Joseph A. Estes wrote a poem about Whirlaway, the famous racehorse: He was marked by god’s own giving And winged in every part: The look of eagles was […]

The Look Of Eagles?


On Sunday, Tonka and I entered our first dressage competition since this past August. We spent most of last year dealing with difficult to diagnose and treat pain – it started in January of 2016 with bursitis in the poll, moved to damage to neck vertebrae, and continued on to […]

Getting Riding Fit



For me, the joy of riding is that mind-meld that happens when my horse and I are in sync and communication flows between us with subtlety and nuance. To achieve this, not only do I have to listen to and understand what Tonka is saying, but he has to understand me. […]

Saying “Thank You!” From The Saddle


Horses carry more than half of their weight on their forelegs – about 60%. But sometimes the scales tip even more to the front, and the horse ends up pulling themselves along. Going like that strains the front legs and causes the shoulder to work too hard. Put a rider […]

Reworking the Engine


You can train a horse to get on a trailer without balking, but for me, that’s not enough. I want Tonka to get on and have a cheerful, Where to? demeanor. And, I want him to arrive relaxed and ready. That’s asking a lot. Trailering means that Tonka is leaving […]

Happy Horse Trailering



It’s been a tough week. On Monday I had a 3.5 hour dentist appointment. I’m still achy. Don’t ask. Then I got a sore throat and sniffles. And had more snow to shovel. Today my landscape crew is here to remove the trees that came down this winter. I don’t […]

A Content Countenance


The best trainers, the ones who successfully teach others to do challenging behaviors, do it in a way that gives the learner optimism and keeps them engaged. Frustration is rare and the sense of accomplishment is pervasive. This isn’t because the teacher is a cheerleader that says good job! irregardless […]

Domino Teaching


It takes me upwards of 40 minutes to drive to where I board Tonka. Every day the drive feels like too much, but then I arrive, see that my horse has been cared for impeccably, and get to ride in this: This indoor is big, airy, and filled with sunshine. […]

The Indoor Arena Lean