relationship building


For most of my many years with horses I didn’t think much about cross-ties. All of the barns that I’ve been in have them. Cross-ties keep the horse centered in the aisle. With lines clipped to both sides of the halter, a horse will stand where needed while the farrier […]

Teaching Ground-Tying


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 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