horse training



Sit in a field with horses. Listen. You hear them tearing up grass with their teeth and chewing. A swish of a tail. A hoof stomping the ground to shake off a fly. There’s rarely verbal communication going on, and when it happens, it’s brief. Perhaps a horse is out […]

Train Quietly


At one time, Dolly was the pony of every horse-crazy child’s dreams. Snow white with big dark eyes. Petite. Pretty. Likely purebred Welsh. You could imagine her a unicorn. She lived in a small field behind her people’s house. The children rode her, but didn’t do pony club or 4-H, […]

Touching the Uncatchable Pony



Last weekend I audited a dressage clinic. Most of the participants were on mounts that I call the Lamborghinis of the horse world – huge warmbloods with power and flash. I happened to sit next to a woman who was up here from Texas, visiting a friend who rides dressage. […]

Frame-By-Frame


Tonka says that he shouldn’t have to wear his fly mask anymore.   He’s right. But I wish that he didn’t also think that now that the grass is grazed down, that the ground is best for rolling in and getting dirty.   He’s also right that there aren’t a […]

A Change Of Seasons


Most horses have three gaits – walk, trot and canter. But a few breeds have other ways of moving their four legs. Some horses pace, which is when legs move in lateral pairs. The Icelandic horse has a unique fourth gear – the tolt. It’s four-beat, like a walk, but […]

Riding The Tolt



Summer is a Quarter Horse who was rescued from the kill pen by Rita. She is one lucky mare. Rita is lucky, too, because Summer is a super little horse. Summer does, of course, have issues, but Rita accepts and accommodates them. In return, Summer adores her person. I was […]

Being Calm is Self-reinforcing


In my last post I wrote about how horses can show herd-bound behavior in some situations and not others. I have a story for you to further illustrate this. Tonka lives in a barn with seven horses.   There are only six grass paddocks. During the day, all of the […]

Herd Bound, Continued


Since clearing the downed trees and opening up the trail, Tonka and I have gone through this verdant, narrow path and over this bridge several times (three over, three back.) Tonka has remained careful, but when we traversed it the sixth time he was matter-of-fact, which I was quite proud […]

Spook at the Different, Not the New