training theory


Penny is the barn manager’s dog. There are other dogs at the barn, too. There are beds for each of them. I’m not sure why Penny chooses which place to nap.   But I’m sure she has her reasons.   My animals are always letting me know that they don’t […]

Choices


I have a friend who lives a good distance away. We both have what we consider to be “perfect” trail horses. For months now, we’ve been trying to meet at a halfway point to ride together. We were finally able to find a date, on a day when the weather […]

When To Get Off


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



My last blog had a serious message. So today, during this long holiday weekend (at least here in the States), I give you this. Selfies with my horse.     No message, just fun. Actually that’s not true. That is the message. Riding well takes physical work, critiques and on-going […]

Keep It Fun


For ten years, Good Dog Lily was Scooter’s guiding light. Wherever she was, so was he. Granted, she was the active one, keeping deer away, hawks out of the sky, and snakes out of the pond, while he, well… he sprawled out in the sun. With Lily gone, Scooter is […]

Scooter’s Barn Dog Training


If Tonka were a dog, I’d say that he has perfect loose leash walking manners.   Once in awhile, when he lags behind, I gently pull on his halter and he catches up. He doesn’t drag me to grass – he knows graze, head up and let’s go behaviors, which he […]

Walking Past Scary Things



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