trail riding


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


In the 1980s I owned a chestnut thoroughbred mare named Gnomer. Those of you who know horses know that having a (1) chestnut (2) thoroughbred (3) mare is like “winning” the trifecta, if winning means having a temperamental diva in your life. I used to joke that Gnomer was a […]

Horses Use Tools



Years ago there was a nasty person in my life. She would call to harangue my husband and leave vitriolic messages for me. This was in the days before iPhones, when the telephone was mounted on the wall of the kitchen. I’d hear the ring, or pass by and see that […]

The Ring. Conditioned Punisher?


The first thing that a new rider wants to learn, once they get up on this big, powerful animal, is how to stop it. (Well, there’s always one in a bunch who wants to gallop off, but not long after that they wish they’d learned where the brakes are!)   At […]

“Ho” on the Trail


There’s a short, half-mile trail through the woods around the back of the stable where I keep Tonka. We travel it almost everyday. We walk it after a training session in the ring as a way to relax, stretch out and cool down. Then, there are days when neither Tonka nor […]

On The Buckle