spooking etc.


Although a horse’s safety can depend on putting distance between themselves and what scares them, it’s not true that they take flight without thinking. Blindly taking off carries risks – of running headlong into a worse danger, of injuring oneself, and of being separated from the herd. A horse prefers to assess the situation […]

Not “Bombproof”


As much as I enjoy working Tonka in a ring (click on the dressage category to the right to read posts about that), I believe in balancing that schooling with time on the trail. Not only is it good cross-training, but it makes both of us happy. Even when there’s snow […]

From Fearful to Calm


A round pen is an enclosure for horses that can be quite useful. It’s usually about 50 feet in diameter, big enough that the horse can move, but small enough that they can’t get too far away from you. It’s a safe place to start a youngster or do trick training. I […]

Joining-up or Giving Up?



I’ve been working with a clicker-savvy horse and rider. The horse has a history of being balky and unwilling. The previous trainer had the owner use a whip and spurs to get him “motivated.” We have a different method. When I see the horse going forward at the walk, I […]

Respect?


Note: this blog is the third in a continuing series about training Bailey, and her person, Lisa. You might want to start here. It was a month before I could return to work with Lisa and Bailey. It was a hot and humid August, not the best riding weather, but the pair […]

More on Retraining a Barn Sour Horse


Note: this blog is the second in a continuing series about training Bailey, and her person, Lisa. You might want to start here. Lisa’s barn is a 2+ hour drive from mine, so I can’t get there on a weekly basis. My first visit was at the beginning of July. […]

Retraining a Barn Sour Horse



Tonka was sold to me as a horse that was safe out on the trails alone and that’s been mostly true. Of course, no horse is spook-proof 100% of the time. It turns out that although Tonka doesn’t bolt at the sight of deer, he is afraid of hopping frogs!   I’ve […]

Tonka Frets and What To Do About It


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 first thing that a new rider wants to learn, once they get up on this big, powerful animal, is how to stop it. (Well, there’s always one in a bunch who wants to gallop off, but not long after that they wish they’d learned where the brakes are!)   At […]

“Ho” on the Trail