horse care


Early Sunday morning it started to snow. Which turned to freezing rain, pelting sleet, cold rain, and more snow. The horses, of course, stayed snug in their stalls. Monday morning was clear, but this was the temperature, and it wasn’t expected to rise more than a few degrees all day. […]

Cold Snap Worries


Recap: Tonka has had recurrent sacroiliac joint issues which cause back pain, which I know because he tells me in a myriad of ways. When the SI joint flares up, Tonka moves away from the mounting block. He doesn’t willing do upward transitions. It gets so bad that he refuses […]

Tonka’s Sacroiliac Joint Progress


When I arrived at the barn this afternoon, the ground was frozen hard. Tonka was way out back in the furthest paddock, and he was on the far side of that. He came when I called. (Here’s how to train a horse to come.)   Honestly, he doesn’t always have […]

Clean/Dirty



Does your horse look like this when you put the saddle on?   When you try to tighten the girth, does your horse air snap, or reach around and try to bite you?   This behavior is often called being girthy (or cinchy if you use western tack). I don’t like that term, […]

The Girthy Horse


Five years ago, I brought Tonka into my life. Since then, he’s lived at four stables. The one he’s currently at is perfect, and yet we’re looking for a new home. I’m not a difficult boarder and my horse is easy to take care of. So why all of the […]

The Perfect Boarding Barn


Each day brings incremental improvement to Tonka’s ease of movement. As I mentioned in the last post, Tonka, my usually willing horse, said that he was hesitant to trot, and full-out refused to canter. To the uninitiated, horses look like sturdy beasts. But to those of us who know them […]

Incremental Improvement



Tonka and I have been having a good summer. He’s been happy and sound. We’ve been competing – successfully! – in the dressage arena. Dressage is an incremental sport. You achieve one movement and you work towards the next, each builds on what came before and each is a slight […]

Knowing When To Ease Up


The sport that I choose to compete in is not something that Tonka would have thought up on his own. Exerting oneself while doing precise patterns in a ring while the sun beats down on you, is not an activity that a horse would innately see as a sensible thing […]

Horse Show Happy


When the Rio Olympics happened back in August of 2016, I read accounts about how much the Olympic horses loved bananas. I brought a banana to the barn. Offered a piece to Tonka. He said an emphatic NO. Actually he gave me an incredulous look. How could I put that […]

Bananas for Horses