horse body language


Hey, Tonka, let’s take a selfie. Hmm, maybe not so close to the camera.   It’d help if you didn’t lean quite so much on me.   Maybe I could get into the photo, too?     I guess this will do. 

Selfie With Horse


When Tonka and I are in sync, he’s flowing with energy and cadence, and I can talk to him with a the most subtle of body language, like by relaxing a ring finger, or by changing where I look.   But it’s not always pretty. What matters is what you do […]

It’s Not Him, It’s Me


This was my first impression of Nate.     Note the pinned ear, tense eye, wrinkles around the narrow nose and the clenched corners of the mouth. This is a horse with a message. He couldn’t be saying it any louder. DO. NOT. TOUCH. ME. If you did approach, more likely […]

Loving on Nate



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?


Take a poll of horse people and ask what’s the favorite part of your horse? This is the answer:   The nose and lips are rubbery, flexible, soft, and expressive. Above that, nostrils flare, snort and snuffle. Horses greet friends with breaths. They’ll say hello like that to you too, if you let them. But […]

Gelding Play and Mouthy Horses


Hayden is a twelve-year old Morgan gelding. He lives on a property with several dairy goats, a fine farm dog and a doting owner, Susan. It’s a good life. He lives out 24/7, has free-choice hay and is ridden almost daily. What he doesn’t have is an equine companion. Although horses […]

Safely Introducing Horses



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


Getting a horse to go where you want is not about respect. It’s not about dominance. It’s not about the horse fearing the rider more than fearing what’s ahead of them. It’s about clarity and trust. You build this relationship through training. Lisa asked me to help her with her […]

Training Polite Hand Grazing