relationship building


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



Behavior doesn’t happen out of the blue. Spooks don’t happen for no reason. You – the rider – might not see, hear, smell, or otherwise notice what your horse is reacting to, but it’s there. Sometimes what the horse is worried about is something harmless. If you have a good […]

Spooking Is Communication. Listen!


Tonka and I both like to get out of the ring, but biting flies and ticks have kept us out of the trails in the woods. We need mowed open fields. We’ve explored the ones at Kim’s house, and we needed a new experience. The only place that I could […]

Tonka Visits Turtle Hill


After a horse gets joint injections, they’re supposed to remain quiet for four days. No galloping about in a field. No riding. Tonka was restricted to his in/out stall. He could look out in the aisle, see what was going on, and chat with friends. He could walk into his […]

Variety Is The Spice Of Life



I’m at an art festival with my husband. We’re holding hands. I see something that I want to look at. I walk towards it, he feels where I’m going through our hands. He follows. He gets distracted by something and he stops, he pulls lightly on my hand so I […]

The Halter As Welcome Information


We all do it. We question whether we’re doing right by our horses. We question whether we’re riding them in a way that’s fair to them. We worry that their lack of physical perfection is due to something we’ve done, or haven’t done. We agonize over any pain or momentary […]

Self-doubt and Second-guessing


Susannah has an OTTB mare named Fawn. Fawn raced, not brilliantly, then was purchased by a family inexperienced around horses. A few years later Fawn went to a similar home. Then Susannah bought her. After a few months of getting to know Fawn, Susannah was ready to get to work […]

Catching A Horse Is In the Details