spooking etc.


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


When your horse is worried, it’s never nothing. I’ve written about this before. Tonka and I have ridden here a gazillion times. From the field, he can see his barn and his friends in their paddocks. It should be a worry-free place to do conditioning sets up and down the gentle […]

Tonka Knows More Than Me (continued…)


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!



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. Even Tonka, a most sensible horse, will spook. When I first got him, when scared, he’d scoot sideways, then, after a high-headed giraffe imitation, if he […]

Riding A Spook


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


I have a couple of adages that I ride and live by. One is ‘the slower you go, the faster you get there.’ Another is ‘the more you do, the more you do.’ I’m not a bold and brash rider. It’s all too easy to stay in my comfort zone. […]

The More You Do, The More You Do