horse care


Some injuries are easy to diagnose and treat. When a horse stepped on me, it was obvious that he broke a bone in my foot, and the treatment plan was straightforward. I was told, in plain English, to ice, elevate, protect it in a boot, and rest. I might not […]

Tonka’s Personal Trainer


For Tonka, 2017 was year of symptoms but no definitive diagnosis. It started with a slight head shaking. Then his back hurt. Then Tonka felt great and we had some rides where he did brilliant first level work. Then he couldn’t bend his neck. Then his back was sore again. […]

Getting Moving


The stuff that a horse wears is called tack. Most tack is used either to control the horse, or to keep the rider on. What style of riding you do, what breed of horse you ride, your skill, the horse’s level of training, and your budget, determines what you put […]

Bit or Bitless?



Yesterday, when I arrived at the barn, the temperature was above 20° F! The sky was clear. A red tailed hawk was screaming above the hay field.   She could hunt – the rain last week washed away the snow. But, soon there was a bigger animal than a mouse […]

Getting Out Of The Ring


I have had Tonka for four years. I am now on our fifth saddle. I bought my first horse, a three-year old appaloosa gelding, back in 1976. He was untrained when I met him, and I backed him myself, using the barn’s tack. Later that year, on vacation in Scotland, […]

Saddle Shopping for a Goldilocks Horse


It has been so bitter cold, that this morning, when I woke up and checked the outside thermometer and saw that it was 10° F, I thought, It’s warm! It was, compared to yesterday, which was -10° F (that’s -23 C!) when I did my morning barn chores. The hens […]

The Animals in the Deep Freeze



This is what we’ve been waking up to. Some days it warms up to 12°F. The animals need to have full bellies to cope with this. At Tonka’s barn, they’ve been getting extra hay. Even more important than hay is water. If horses don’t drink, they get colic, which is […]

Boring is Okay


Yesterday Scooter went to the veterinarian.   He has gnarly big teeth in a little mouth. I confess to not brushing them enough. Scooter needed dental work. He was sedated, the plaque scraped off, and one loose incisor was removed. The bill was $380. My first reaction? That’s not much! […]

Horse Math


Last January, Tonka started to twitch his head, but only when ridden, and only in a specific posture. I called on my veterinarian. Whatever it was that was bothering him seemed to be a small issue. Tonka was otherwise sound. We checked his bridle and saddle fit, which were fine. […]

The Culprit is the Sacroiliac Joint