spooking etc.


As part of Tonka’s search and rescue training (we’re members of this team), we have to get used to out of the ordinary situations. You can’t train for every scenario, but you can train for confidence around, over and through novel obstacles. Last week a few of us met to […]

Combining Curiosity and the Touch Cue


I’ve spent the last six years doing lower level dressage with Tonka. He moves off of, and bends around, my leg aids. I close my fingers on the reins and he takes a steady, soft and pliable contact. As horse people say, I’ve installed the “buttons.” I’ve recently started taking […]

Too Willing?


The girls at the barn have convinced me to “horse show” with them this summer. I have a lot of show experience but not in the hunter/jumper world. I’m used to dressage and ages ago I evented. The H/J shows have a different way of running things, from how classes […]

Training for Flower Box Jumps



Years ago I read a sci-fi short story about an astronaut who lands on an uncharted planet. He knows nothing about what he is seeing. In the distance there are mountains and huge trees. Or are they hillocks and small bushes? How would you be able to judge near from […]

Be the Sentinel


It’s that time of year when up here in the north the grass is finally starting to show itself. Paddocks are greening up. What appears is usually sturdy grass and inedible weeds. And rocks and mud. This is New England. It’s not enough for a horse to live on. They’ll […]

Horse Sniff and Taste Walk


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)



On Sunday, after riding the jumper course (which for us was a series of poles on the ground) in the indoor arena at Coyote Spring Farm, Tonka and I went for a hack around the property. We were approached by a woman on her nice young grey mare. She said […]

Making It Look Easy


When riding, our view is between the horse’s ears, which makes us quite aware of their sense of hearing.   I’d always assumed that horses have far superior hearing to humans. Certainly, horses have better hearing than me! For most of my riding life, I’ve had a hearing loss (I […]

Your Horse’s Hearing


Note: This is one article in a series about horse vision. I’ve compiled all of them, including more information and references, in this blogpost: Horse Vision. Horses evolved to live in wide-open, mostly monotone landscapes. Unlike humans, they didn’t need color to determine what was ripe and edible. Their food was at […]

Horse Color Vision