relationship building

Yesterday Tonka and I trailered to meet our friends Maggie and Michele at Pipestave, a gorgeous chunk of conservation land that has horse trails and cross-country jumps. We haven’t seen each other for more than two years. The horses were pleased to reconnect. Note that neither horse needed to stop […]

Tonka Jumps Cross-Country

Tonka rarely reacts dramatically to the new or the suddenly frightening. He’s a horse, so things will scare him. But if they do, after a brief startle, he’ll thoughtfully assess the situation. Usually he concludes that all is well. Partly this is do to his innate personality. Just like people […]

Tonka Mentors Youngsters

Last week Tonka’s veterinarian, Monika, and her vet tech in training, Sara, came out to do some work on him. Tonka was due for maintenance to keep his body functioning well: shockwave over his back, and hock injections. Because Tonka recently has shown signs of that intermittent left-front lameness returning, […]

Training Horses for Veterinary Visits

Last week I gave a private clinic to three wonderful clients. Only one of them had ridden when young, the others started riding after their own children had grown. Age isn’t an impediment to catching horse fever, and they all seriously had it. Not long after getting in the saddle, […]

Grooming For Happiness

I recently purchased this charming .   I especially liked this page, with the comment, “This is because a horse not only knows what you know, but he also knows what you DON’T KNOW.”   How true. Here are a few examples. We might consider ourselves partners of our horses, […]

Your Horse Knows More

I have a client who is new to horses. She started riding lessons in her 50s, was immediately enthralled, and only a few months after first sitting in a saddle she purchased a horse. She found a horse (let’s call him Bo) who looked to be safe to be around, […]

Flip the Perspective

Horses evolved as grassland animals. Their safety was dependent on being able to see the movement of predators like wolves and mountain lions, and so they prefer open spaces. They are herd animals, reliant on their family and friends to be watchful and to use their collective experience to make […]

Tonka Takes Me For a Walk

Have you ever met someone in their 70s for the first time and your immediate reaction was what a lovely man? Conversely, have you had someone walk your way and your gut reaction was to not make eye contact for fear a having to speak to them, sure that their […]

Horses Show Stress In Their Faces

It’s now officially spring. But we horse people already knew that. The shedding!   Here in the north our horses’ manes are waxy with gunk, their bodies remain dusty and grimy no matter how much grooming we do, and their white hocks (for those of us “lucky” enough to have […]