relationship building


Here is how to catch a horse: Don’t. I’m not being flippant. Your horse associates being caught with what comes after. If every time you walk up to your horse the consequence is less rewarding than what they’re doing at the moment, then they’ll keep their distance from you. Are […]

How To Catch A Horse


Years ago I read a sci-fi short story about an astronaut who lands on an uncharted planet. He knows nothing about what he is seeing. In the distance there are mountains and huge trees. Or are they hillocks and small bushes? How would you be able to judge near from […]

Be the Sentinel


Tonka has never been thrilled about walking through water. He doesn’t like mud that sucks at his hooves or slippery rocks. On the other hand, Tonka enjoys getting out on the trail and exploring new places. To do that, sometimes you have to get your hooves wet. Yesterday I rode […]

Training Water Crossings on the Trail



It’s that time of year when up here in the north the grass is finally starting to show itself. Paddocks are greening up. What appears is usually sturdy grass and inedible weeds. And rocks and mud. This is New England. It’s not enough for a horse to live on. They’ll […]

Horse Sniff and Taste Walk


On Wednesday Tonka and I had our first outing of 2020! As much as life is good at Greystone, we like to have adventures outside of the ring. What with winter, and then the virus shutdown, we hadn’t been off property since last fall. We were ready for a road […]

Our First Outing of 2020


I started working on this blogpost before everything shut down. I haven’t seen my horse for nearly three weeks. It’s been almost impossible to sit at my keyboard and write about horse training while I’ve been homebound. However, I do much of my writing in my head before I type a […]

Training The Big Picture



All of the horses were in their stalls, eating their late afternoon hay. All but Tonka.   He was looking out. With his panoramic vision, Tonka could see the whole sweep of the property, all the way from the barn on one side to the field on the other. His […]

What’s There, Tonka?


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?


There are many reasons to train animals. It allows pet owners to get along with their furry friends by teaching them basic manners and how to get along nicely with others. Training can also be done for cooperative care, so that you can do husbandry and medical procedures without causing […]

Karen Pryor and Creative Animals