training with food


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


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


Like you, a horse will get uncomfortable, and even walk funny, if they need to pee and have to hold it in. Unlike you, horses are not taught where to go. Eventually, they’ll stop and let it pour wherever they are. But, people do get mad at them if they […]

Teaching A Horse To Pee On Cue



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


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