Tonka and I continue to take our weekly jumping lessons. It’s fun for both of us, and something I know we’ll keep doing, so I purchased some new (used) gear for it. I bought a buttery-soft French saddle.   It’s half the weight of my dressage saddle, and I have […]

March Thaw Fun


Today’s blog is a break from the horse talk. Sort of. Steve and I hired a Registered Maine Guide to walk us through our backyard. We’ve owned our 11-acres in southern Maine for a year now. We look at, walk through it, and appreciate it, every day. But that doesn’t […]

Seeing and Understanding


As a rider, I’m always second-guessing myself. Is what I’m asking for physically fair and possible for my horse? I have a lot of clues to answer my questions. How willingly my mount moves forward (or stops) and how they respond to my aids are important pieces of information. So […]

Horse Ears At Work



All of the horses were in their stalls, eating their late afternoon hay. All but Tonka.   He was looking out. With his panoramic vision, Tonka could see the whole sweep of the property, all the way from the barn on one side to the field on the other. His […]

What’s There, Tonka?


A horse’s tail can be as expressive as their ears. The tail talks, but like with ears, you need to know the context. You need to know the horse. A swishing tail can mean I’m eager or I’m frustrated or I hurt or there’s an annoying fly or you’re annoying. When […]

Tail Talk


The nature of science is that we build on what we know. Sometimes we have to discard ideas when more solid information comes along. Sometimes what has been researched is very, very complex, but the popular press gets hold of it, someone writes a best-selling book inflating it into a […]

Your Horse’s Brain (A Myth Debunked)



When Tonka shakes his head, something is going on with him, and I’d better listen. I first noticed this early on, when on a trail ride a friend who was up ahead put too much distance between us. Tonka wanted to trot to catch up. I wanted him to walk […]

What’s Bothering You, Tonka?


There are many reasons to train animals. It allows pet owners to get along with their furry friends by teaching them basic manners and how to get along nicely with others. Training can also be done for cooperative care, so that you can do husbandry and medical procedures without causing […]

Karen Pryor and Creative Animals


This is Tonka’s happy face when he heads to a jump. Up until now, Tonka and I have done dressage and trails. We’ve tried to keep all four hooves safely on the ground. That said, we’ve been doing ground pole exercises to strengthen his stifles, and he was so cheerful […]

How High, Tonka?