feeding


I recently started working with four horses. Three are minis. They were rescued from a hoarding situation. The other is a BLM Mustang, which means she was collected on the open range, shunted from holding pen to holding pen, shipped across the country, put in yet another pen, then finally adopted by her […]

To Click or Not?


The horses have been out all day with their friends. While in their paddocks, their hay nets have been filled twice. They’re brought inside late afternoon. There’s more hay waiting for them. They’re not desperately hungry, but that doesn’t matter. The arrival of the dinner buckets is eagerly anticipated. It’s like […]

Dinner Time


I use food rewards when training, but not in all scenarios. Here’s why. I train by identifying the behavior that I want, setting up scenarios that make it doable, and then rewarding the animal when it happens. I want to be able to get that behavior numerous times, the more […]

Training With Food – Sometimes



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…


Some people meditate. I graze horses.   There’s something about a horse eating grass that is calming and centering to me, which is ironic because a horse has huge teeth that he uses to rip and tear. It’s noisy and there’s nothing dainty about it.     At Tonka’s barn […]

Hand Grazing Zen


I can’t give my horse the physical space that he’s designed for. I don’t have a hundred acres of grassland for him to roam across and graze at will. I don’t have a band of horses for him to bond and travel with. But I do understand what he emotionally and physically requires […]

Affiliative Behavior (or, Let’s Drink Together!)



Horses are designed to eat constantly. When they don’t have forage (hay, grass and browse) in front of them at all times, they suffer from stress, stomach ulcers and social issues like resource guarding. Most of us don’t keep our horses on acreage that can satisfy our equines’ need  to […]

Tonk’s Hay Net Solution


There’s nothing interesting under the snow in Tonka’s paddock. It’s packed dirt.   A horse’s digestive system is designed to have a constant influx of small amounts of forage, and ideally that would be consumed while walking – about fourteen miles daily! Obviously, this isn’t possible for our horses. With animal care there […]

A Browse Walk With My Horse


I am a reward-based trainer, and although horses respond to scratches, movement, access to things they want (etc., the list is long), most horses love, love, love cookies. Tonk’s favorite flavors are mint and apple (yes, horses are particular) and so I came  up with this recipe. I warn you […]

Homemade Horse Treats