relationship building


Earlier this summer, Tonka and I went to two schooling shows. Such competitions aren’t under the auspices of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF). The judges are very good, but they don’t yet have their full accreditation. The atmosphere is more laid back than at recognized shows, and your scores don’t […]

Harmonious



Now that Lily’s gone, Scooter is finding his new normal. His job for ten years was to be Lily’s sidekick. Follow her around. Distract her when she got too serious. Observe her brilliance. Not everything has changed. Scooter continues to indulge in his favorite pastime. Naps.   But I know […]

Helping Animals Adjust to Loss



There’s an expression about horses, and it’s always a compliment. That horse has the look of eagles. In 1937, a racing writer, Joseph A. Estes wrote a poem about Whirlaway, the famous racehorse: He was marked by god’s own giving And winged in every part: The look of eagles was […]

The Look Of Eagles?


Yesterday I trailered Tonka to meet up with his friend Maggie. Tonka hadn’t seen Maggie for a year, but before that they’d been stabled next to each other and had been paddock-mates. As it’s said time and again, horses are herd animals, so Tonka was bound to be pleased to […]

Horse Friendship and Riding Issues


For me, the joy of riding is that mind-meld that happens when my horse and I are in sync and communication flows between us with subtlety and nuance. To achieve this, not only do I have to listen to and understand what Tonka is saying, but he has to understand me. […]

Saying “Thank You!” From The Saddle



You can train a horse to get on a trailer without balking, but for me, that’s not enough. I want Tonka to get on and have a cheerful, Where to? demeanor. And, I want him to arrive relaxed and ready. That’s asking a lot. Trailering means that Tonka is leaving […]

Happy Horse Trailering



In January I bought a new (used) saddle. It fit great and Tonka let me know he liked it by going happily forward when ridden. But, neither saddles nor horses stay static. The saddle is filled (the horsey term is flocked) with wool. The stuffing compacts and shifts. I try […]

Tonka’s Saddle Fitting