training with food


It’s drilled into us dressage riders to go forward. Sometimes, though, in order to get those big strides, we have to slow our horses down first because impulsion can’t come without balance. Tonka is a case in point. His front end and his hind end go at different speeds. Tonka […]

Slowing Down To Go Forward


Tonka has never had big issues with trailering, but I don’t take it for granted! When I purchased him, he loaded fine, but scrambled too fast backwards when stepping out, so I trained him to wait patiently in the trailer and back slowly when asked.  Over the years, there have […]

Optimistic Trailering


Yesterday, the Goat Boys traveled to their new home in Maine. I transported them in my horse trailer. My goats are skittish about new things and don’t like to be out-of-sight of their barn. They’ve lived in the backyard, without venturing beyond the fence, for many years. How do you […]

Loading Goats Onto A Trailer



We teach our dogs to come. Even the little ones will rush towards you with a bit of training. (Scooter has a hard time putting on the brakes. He stopped just behind me.)   Like dogs, horses can be taught to come for treats. However, a horse is a grazer, […]

Come! From Turnout


It takes just one bad scare to change how your horse behaves from then on – for days, maybe months, maybe years, maybe forever. With observation, management and training, you can alleviate some of your horse’s fear, but you might not be able to “fix” it. I’m in this situation […]

Overcoming a Fearful Incident


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



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


Tonka and I hadn’t been out on the trails for awhile because we’d been dealing with his SI issues. But, it was time to get him using that rear end and the vet said that easy hills out in the woods would be good for him, so last week, off […]

Crossing a Troll Bridge