jumping


Tonka and I continue to take our weekly jumping lessons. It’s fun for both of us, and something I know we’ll keep doing, so I purchased some new (used) gear for it. I bought a buttery-soft French saddle.   It’s half the weight of my dressage saddle, and I have […]

March Thaw Fun


A horse’s tail can be as expressive as their ears. The tail talks, but like with ears, you need to know the context. You need to know the horse. A swishing tail can mean I’m eager or I’m frustrated or I hurt or there’s an annoying fly or you’re annoying. When […]

Tail Talk


When Tonka shakes his head, something is going on with him, and I’d better listen. I first noticed this early on, when on a trail ride a friend who was up ahead put too much distance between us. Tonka wanted to trot to catch up. I wanted him to walk […]

What’s Bothering You, Tonka?



This is Tonka’s happy face when he heads to a jump. Up until now, Tonka and I have done dressage and trails. We’ve tried to keep all four hooves safely on the ground. That said, we’ve been doing ground pole exercises to strengthen his stifles, and he was so cheerful […]

How High, Tonka?


Yesterday Tonka and I had our fifth jumping lesson. Outside it was miserable. Sleet was pelting down. He’d been standing in his stall all morning. So we did a warmup walk for fifteen minutes, followed by a good trot, and then we trotted and cantered over a few ground rails. […]

Tonka Wants To Fly


One of the things that has held Tonka and I back from going up the levels in dressage has been the recurrent comment from the judges on our tests: needs more energy. He does the patterns correctly, precisely and with a willing fluidity. But my horse just hasn’t had that […]

Full of (Jumping) Beans



I recently had a master fitter come out to look at Tonka’s saddle. Saddles are stuffed (flocked) with wool, and even the perfect saddle needs to be checked yearly because the wool compacts, your horse changes shape, things happen. Nancy Shedrick pronounced my saddle to be exactly the right one […]

I Need A New Saddle


Your horse has a reason for everything that they do. I have a good story about this. After six years of riding Tonka on the flat, I’ve decided that jumping little cross-rails might be fun. Tonka agreed. During the first lesson he was a bit of an over-achiever!   Although […]

There’s a Reason Why


It was bound to happen. You know we’d have to jump. Tonka is a dressage and trail horse. But we’re now at a hunter/jumper barn. There are always jumps in the ring. We’ve been using the poles for gymnastic work. Tonka enjoys it. A couple of times a month, the […]

Tonka Jumps