After yesterday’s long post, I thought I’d do something fun and quick. But be forewarned – there’s a link that has the potential to take up a lot of your time! Dover Saddlery is having their yearly photo contest and Steve entered three images. Being an engineer, the site itself […]

Horse Photos

We’ve all had them – the riding instructors that yell, harangue and nag. In 1975 I went to riding school in England. Gerry was one of my instructors. He was tough and wiry and had legs like nutcrackers. He could sit on anything. He pushed me hard to improve. Modern day […]

Teaching Riding Without Yelling

I recently wrote about the zen of hand-grazing a horse. It’s a centering activity for you and contributes to your relationship with your horse and their emotional well-being (as well as physical health if it’s the only source of fresh grass that your horse has.)   I failed to mention something. […]

Wear Boots

The work that I do with animals uses, what I call, the clicker perspective. It’s not, however, always clicker training per se. Much of the time I don’t use the clicker – a sharp sound that marks the moment the animal has done the right thing, which is then followed by a […]

Starting From a Safe Place

Years ago there was a nasty person in my life. She would call to harangue my husband and leave vitriolic messages for me. This was in the days before iPhones, when the telephone was mounted on the wall of the kitchen. I’d hear the ring, or pass by and see that […]

The Ring. Conditioned Punisher?

The type of riding that I compete in, dressage, is rather formal. What one wears is dictated by show rules and tradition. Garb is muted and includes dark jackets, white shirts and breeches, and tall and polished black boots. None of that I mind so much, in fact I like how it looks, […]


As the saying goes, You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Last July I discovered how true this is. Tonka and I were at a USDF dressage show where the temperature soared above 90 F, the sun was unrelenting, there wasn’t a breeze and there was […]

You Can Lead a Horse to Water And…

On Sunday we trailered an hour and a half to the Beland Dressage Show. Tonk and I have moved up to USDF recognized shows where the competition is stiffer and the judges are more exacting than the schooling shows that we attended last year. About 80% of the horses at these […]

Tonk’s Guy Crush

I’ve written about paying attention to body language, and specifically with horses to their ears, to clue us in on what our animals are thinking. Sometimes people send me photos and ask, what’s going on here? The answer is always more complicated than a single snapshot in time. Take, for example, […]