horse body language


Horses are complex, sentient, emotional, physical beings who communicate via body language. It’s usually quite subtle, but we keep these animals in situations that amplifies their interactions, which can cause some rather dramatic and potentially harmful behavior. Perhaps you know a mare that hogs both hay nets,   or one […]

Horse Behavior Problem Solving


For the last couple of months I’ve been trying to come up with a new tagline for my business. The Cooperative Horse is descriptive, but limited. Cooperating sounds great, but how do you do it, and to what end? A year ago, when I printed up business cards, I added […]

Three Words


Tonka has a reputation at the boarding stable for being a quiet, well-behaved horse. Among the staff, he’s a favorite. What’s not to love? Tonka is adorable, affectionate and easy to handle. Which is why it surprised the heck out of the barn girl on Friday morning when Tonka pranced […]

Keeping My Horse Mellow



I am always mindful that horses have the potential to hurt their handlers. There are horses who are obviously dangerous, who threaten and use their bodies to inflict harm. But most aren’t like that. Most are amenable and cooperative beings. Still, horses are big, and they can move quickly and […]

A Break In Stride


Tonka has been a bit balky lately. Instead of moving willingly forward from my leg, he’s been hesitating. I questioned whether the physical exertion that I was asking for was reasonable. It seemed to be. Tonka would work out of it, and I kept riding. On Friday we went for […]

Ulcers?


The first evening at the new barn, Tonka did not eat all of his grain. The owners and staff were concerned. I took Tonka’s temperature. It was a healthy 99º F. Other than ignoring his meal, he looked okay. By morning, the grain was gone, his manure piles were normal, […]

Settling In



I have two homes. The one I share with my husband, and the barn where Tonka lives. For the last 2  1/2 years that second home has been a lovely small stable. Tonka’s care has been excellent. There are only ten boarders, and every one of them are nice and a […]

Moving Day


The forecast for the next couple of days is for high humidity, full sun, and temperatures in the mid-90s. Here in New England that’s considered HOT. The animals know how to cope. The little dog sleeps in.   I wilt in this weather but I need to ride Tonka. After […]

Heat Strategies


Miniature horses are often pasture pets. They’re loved on, but rarely trained. Adorable, but taken for granted. I was brought in to train this massive Percheron cross to walk safely onto and off of a trailer. After two visits to the farm this little guy had a conversation with me. […]

Training Is Fun for Everyone