horse body language


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. When I train a horse to do a behavior, I care about more than whether they accomplish the task itself. I want them willing, relaxed and […]

The Horse’s Bigger Picture


When I purchased Tonka (not quite six years ago), he went in a simple double-jointed snaffle with an oblong bean in the middle. This is considered one of the least intrusive bits that one can use. Tonka didn’t come with tack, so I tried to find a similar bit. After […]

A Change Of Bit


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. I’ve been looking into horses’ eyes lately. Literally and figuratively. In November, l’ll be talking at Equine Affaire about the horse’s senses, how their view of […]

Your Horse’s Vision



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


I’m giving four talks at Equine Affaire, Springfield, MA, this November. I need to provide the organizer with a small, square photo for them to use in the program. I thought that that a candid barn photo would be appropriate as I’ll be presenting about horse behavior and communication and […]

Head Shot With My Horse



In my last blog, I wrote about how I felt that something wasn’t quite right with Tonka. He wasn’t lame. He was still letting me on (when he’s really hurting, he doesn’t), and he was game to do what was asked. But something was amiss. Was it how I was […]

Self-doubt Leads To…


Susannah called me in because she wanted to be able to tack up her mare, Fawn, without her horse showing signs of worry. The first thing that I do is watch the baseline behavior, and then tease apart the components. Here is how Fawn reacted when Susannah stepped towards her […]

Standing Still For Saddling


Susannah has an OTTB mare named Fawn. Fawn raced, not brilliantly, then was purchased by a family inexperienced around horses. A few years later Fawn went to a similar home. Then Susannah bought her. After a few months of getting to know Fawn, Susannah was ready to get to work […]

Catching A Horse Is In the Details