relationship building


It started snowing on Sunday night and didn’t stop until late Tuesday afternoon. On Monday I drove to the barn. I’ve got a pickup truck with 4-wheel drive, but still had to be extra-cautious. Snow was coming down and the roads were slippery. But, when I know that the horses […]

Snow Days Activities


Sunflower and Nymph are two little burros. Sunflower is the mama, Nymph the baby. A few years ago, when Nymph was still nursing, they were in a horrific hoarding situation, but were saved by kind people, and made their way to a forever home at a rescue. They’ve had loving […]

Donkey Leg Handling


On Sunday, after riding the jumper course (which for us was a series of poles on the ground) in the indoor arena at Coyote Spring Farm, Tonka and I went for a hack around the property. We were approached by a woman on her nice young grey mare. She said […]

Making It Look Easy



One of my mantras is: The more you do, the more you do. It’s all too easy to stay in your safety zone and ride only at your home barn. What with bad weather and bug season, it’s also too easy to narrow that world even more and stay indoors. […]

Our First “Jumper” Show


It’s still raining. The grass paddocks are a soggy mess and the horses are being kept in. Tonka has an in/out stall, which means he isn’t confined to his box, but also has access to an attached dirt area the size of two more stalls. At least he gets fresh […]

Rainy Day Play


As a dressage rider, I obsess over every every stride. I care where each hoof is placed, where the shoulder is, how my horse carries his head, the tilt of his jaw. Everything. In trying to position Tonka’s body just so, it’s easy to turn into a nagging rider. As […]

Let Your Horse Think



Yesterday the weather couldn’t have been better. 66° F. Clear blue skies. A perfect morning to go for a quick trail ride with Kim and Booker. When we arrived, Tonka knew exactly where he was, and was calm, yet had a sparkle in his eye.   We headed out onto […]

Tonka Mopes


When it comes to taking medication, Tonka is cooperative. It’s no problem giving him injections, or squirting paste wormer into his mouth. But, these are behaviors that have to be maintained. A couple of months ago, for the move to a new barn, Tonka was on a one-week course of […]

Training For Oral Med Dosing


Tonka and I have been jumping. Granted, the “jumps” are this high.   I’m at a hunter/jumper barn, where there are always jumps out, including the easiest of cross-rails.   But my little dressage horse isn’t ready for those cross-rails, and honestly, jumping over them isn’t a goal of mine. So, […]

Tonka is Enjoying Raised Pole Exercises