training theory


Several times a year, I teach a Problem Solving Your Problem Animal class through local adult and community education departments. Each person who comes loves their dog (it’s usually a dog, although I’ve had people discuss cats and parrots, too) but they’re at their wit’s end. Each person has an […]

How To Choose A Trainer


It can be aggravating when you’re just setting down into the saddle and your horse moves off before you’ve even slid your feet into the stirrups. If that’s the case, your reaction might be to pull back on the reins and say something in a harsh voice. That can set […]

Mounting Block Manners Quick Fix


For the last few weeks there’s been a lot of activity near the horses’ paddocks. A crew of two men have been putting up a new fence. First there were the piles of posts and rails in places where there had never been posts and rails. Then the guys got […]

Losing Fear By Making Friends



As promised in my last post, here is a link to a new piece of writing by Karen Pryor. It’s about her time on board a tuna fishing vessel. She was there to study dolphin behavior so that better ways to fish could be implemented so that dolphins wouldn’t end […]

My Takeaways from Karen’s Writing


When you ride dressage, you care about the details. Where each hoof falls, the height of the poll, the way the shoulder follows the arc of a circle. It’s all too easy to micromanage every stride, to push and constrain so that the horse’s body goes exactly where you want […]

The Square Halt


Does your horse look like this when you put the saddle on?   When you try to tighten the girth, does your horse air snap, or reach around and try to bite you?   This behavior is often called being girthy (or cinchy if you use western tack). I don’t like that term, […]

The Girthy Horse



My clients come to me with a mix of experience and training knowledge. Many of them are doing, or want to start, clicker training. Some have done a lot of research and have read books and watched videos. Some have found this training methodology on FaceBook. Almost all have heard […]

Horse Training Starting Point


Sit in a field with horses. Listen. You hear them tearing up grass with their teeth and chewing. A swish of a tail. A hoof stomping the ground to shake off a fly. There’s rarely verbal communication going on, and when it happens, it’s brief. Perhaps a horse is out […]

Train Quietly


At one time, Dolly was the pony of every horse-crazy child’s dreams. Snow white with big dark eyes. Petite. Pretty. Likely purebred Welsh. You could imagine her a unicorn. She lived in a small field behind her people’s house. The children rode her, but didn’t do pony club or 4-H, […]

Touching the Uncatchable Pony