trail riding


I’m auditing the United State Dressage Federation’s L Judges Program. It’s an exacting course that leads to certification for those who want to be the arbiters of dressage tests in this country. A couple of weekends ago a few dozen of us watched and critiqued eight hours of video clips […]

The Perfect Horse


A round pen is an enclosure for horses that can be quite useful. It’s usually about 50 feet in diameter, big enough that the horse can move, but small enough that they can’t get too far away from you. It’s a safe place to start a youngster or do trick training. I […]

Joining-up or Giving Up?


To counterbalance the ugly presidential campaign, I thought I’d post something beautiful. Here in New England the fall colors are at their peak. Each year the colors vary, this time they skew to bright yellow and vibrant orange. It’s a stop-you-in-your tracks and gasp sort of beauty. It’s almost as […]

Beauty



Hayden is a twelve-year old Morgan gelding. He lives on a property with several dairy goats, a fine farm dog and a doting owner, Susan. It’s a good life. He lives out 24/7, has free-choice hay and is ridden almost daily. What he doesn’t have is an equine companion. Although horses […]

Safely Introducing Horses


Note: this blog is the third in a continuing series about training Bailey, and her person, Lisa. You might want to start here. It was a month before I could return to work with Lisa and Bailey. It was a hot and humid August, not the best riding weather, but the pair […]

More on Retraining a Barn Sour Horse


Note: this blog is the second in a continuing series about training Bailey, and her person, Lisa. You might want to start here. Lisa’s barn is a 2+ hour drive from mine, so I can’t get there on a weekly basis. My first visit was at the beginning of July. […]

Retraining a Barn Sour Horse



Getting a horse to go where you want is not about respect. It’s not about dominance. It’s not about the horse fearing the rider more than fearing what’s ahead of them. It’s about clarity and trust. You build this relationship through training. Lisa asked me to help her with her […]

Training Polite Hand Grazing


Tonka is not a horse that likes to get his feet wet.  Some horses like to roll in mud. He does not. As far as Tonka is concerned, dust is fine but muck is yucky. It’s not that he’s scared of water, he just doesn’t like it. When on the trail, […]

Water Play


Tonka was sold to me as a horse that was safe out on the trails alone and that’s been mostly true. Of course, no horse is spook-proof 100% of the time. It turns out that although Tonka doesn’t bolt at the sight of deer, he is afraid of hopping frogs!   I’ve […]

Tonka Frets and What To Do About It