trail riding


Since clearing the downed trees and opening up the trail, Tonka and I have gone through this verdant, narrow path and over this bridge several times (three over, three back.) Tonka has remained careful, but when we traversed it the sixth time he was matter-of-fact, which I was quite proud […]

Spook at the Different, Not the New


There’s an expression in riding that you “throw your heart over the fence and your horse will follow.” The idea is that if you have courage and are committed to a path, that your horse will bravely carry you there. If only it were that simple. You can throw your […]

Heart First


We’ve all grown up the visual story of cowboys on horses, herding cattle across the plains. Of horses fearlessly chasing down the rogue steer. But horses aren’t born believing that they’re the masters of cows. They have to learn this. Most horses that I know haven’t had the opportunity to […]

My Horse And Cows



It’s been a buggy and humid summer, the sort of weather that keeps you out of the woods where the deer flies and mosquitos stage their attacks. It’s better to ride in open spaces, but those are hard to find. Around here, most fields are in hay production, and farmers […]

Challenges Welcome


My work with clients and their horses is ostensibly about teaching the humans how to ride, or the equines new behaviors. But underneath that, before that training can start, I need both horse and rider to be in a calm and confident place. Whether it’s the off-track thoroughbred learning how […]

Build on Small Moments of Calm


Tonka grew up on a ranch in Texas, where he learned to navigate open spaces, trust his companions, be alert for danger, and learn from his experiences. This upbringing is one reason why he has such an intelligent eye. I continue to encourage him to be thoughtful. When he is […]

Peep, Peep, Plop, Plop



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


Friends at the barn invited me to go trail riding with them at a nearby Town Forest. I wasn’t able to join them, but it sounded like ideal hacking, so last week I found time to trailer Tonka over. As promised, the parking lot was large, flat, and easy to […]

Lost, or Exploring?


Which do you think is scarier to my horse? This:   or this? The answer is the branch! Although Tonka has settled calmly into his new home, and has seen that downed pine bough every day since he’s arrived, when I tried to ride past it, Tonka deemed it something […]

What’s Scary?