trail riding


Tonka and I have been going for walks.   The walking is in addition to riding. Although Tonka is turned out during the day, he doesn’t move much. Not in the snow. Not when hay is right at his feet.   A horse is designed to eat and move. Bite. […]

Walking With My Horse


Before I head out on the trail with Tonka, I always put horse cookies in my pocket. Along with a few boring hay stretcher pellets (Tonka likes these, but they don’t thrill him) I take a few yummier cookies, and also peppermints, which are rare and highly valued treats. Yesterday, […]

Cookies In My Pocket


It’s been six weeks since that Quarter Horse ran over my foot and broke it. My orthopedist says that I’m healing right on schedule and that I no longer have to wear the walking cast. I’m back to my regular shoes – which means my barn boots. However, the bone […]

Horse Enrichment!



Just when the weather gets good, the horse flies come out. There are big nasty ones, but the bane of our existence are the smaller deer flies.   They are golden, buzzing, dive bombers. Attracted to movement and to dark coats, they see Tonka coming and go in for the blood. […]

Deer Flies – The Bane Of Our Existence


Tonka is going so well that I’ve entered him in his first dressage show of 2017. It’ll be his First Level debut which asks more of the horse and rider than Training Level, which we competed at last year. The show is in five weeks, which is barely enough time […]

Our Fill Of Happy


Everything that we do is behavior. Even breathing – whether you are gulping air in a panic, or inhaling and exhaling in a relaxed yoga state – is a response to your environment and what’s going on in it. Before we do what we do there are antecedents – triggers […]

The Rewarding World



Although a horse’s safety can depend on putting distance between themselves and what scares them, it’s not true that they take flight without thinking. Blindly taking off carries risks – of running headlong into a worse danger, of injuring oneself, and of being separated from the herd. A horse prefers to assess the situation […]

Not “Bombproof”


As fun as cantering down the lane is, if your horse can’t stop, you’re in trouble. So, we all teach the whoa! I’ve written about how I’ve taught Tonka to stop. When doing dressage, I rely on communication from my legs, seat and hands, and he halts balanced and square (see the video […]

Teaching A Horse To Stand Still


Weather forecasters were predicting a snowstorm, so Michele and I decided to have some fun. With horse girls*, “fun” is often synonymous with work. There’s a half-mile loop through the woods behind the barn where I board Tonka. We had trail maintenance to do before the snow fell. There was […]

Winter Fun