horse care


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


Quick recap: In January Tonka, who is usually a totally willing horse and happy to take contact with the reins,  started twitching his head when asked to arch his neck under saddle. His teeth were checked. A new bridle, that wouldn’t pinch his ears, was purchased. The behavior worsened. A […]

Back To Work



Yesterday I drove Tonka an hour south to the Tufts University Cummings Veterinary Medical Center Hospital For Large Animals. I’m extremely fortunate to have this world-class facility nearby. Right now, though, the parking lot is a construction site. We arrived to the sound of large and small machines and much commotion. […]

Tonka’s Prognosis


The findings from the X-rays came back and it’s not great news. Tonka has damage to two vertebral joints, one of which is where the nerves exit the spinal column and go down to the front legs. So, on Friday I trailer him to Tufts Cummings Veterinary Medical Center. It’s only an hour […]

Further Diagnosis


Something wasn’t quite right with Tonka. He trusts that when he tells me that he hurts, that I’ll listen and respond. I do. But I don’t always know exactly what he’s saying. It’s even more difficult to hear his message when it keeps changing. At the end of January I […]

Cascading Health Issues



In January I noticed that something wasn’t quite right with Tonka. In December he’d been offering a lofty, energetic trot, something he hadn’t been capable of before. We both felt strong and buoyant. We’d worked hard to get to this point. We’d been doing cross-training – hills in the woods and […]

Sleuthing The Cause of a Stiff Neck


I keep Tonka at a boarding barn in northeastern Massachusetts near the New Hampshire line. There is snow in the winter and days on end of temperatures well below freezing.   Some horses are well-suited for this weather. Cider grows a thick coat and stays toasty warm without a blanket. […]

The End of Blanketing Season?