As I turn out of the barn’s driveway at 6 am, Tonka safely ensconced in the trailer that I’m pulling with my pickup truck, I glance at Steve and say, Why do I do this? It’s not a question and he’s heard it before. We know that on the road back […]

Are Horse Shows Fun?

Tonka certainly doesn’t lack in enthusiasm about jumping. This is his expression as he approaches a fence. Eyes locked on, ears pricked forward, face determined but not stressed, tail flying behind, hooves light on the ground as he powers from his quarters.   What we do lack is consistency. This […]

Enthusiasm, Consistency

Helena Harris has a podcast at the Horse Radio Network called Stall and Stable. Her main focus is giving advice to people who keep their horses home. She covers other topics, too, and it’s well worth subscribing to, even if, like me, you board your horse. Helena follows my blog […]

Why I Board Podcast

I’ve very recently switched from focusing on dressage to going over fences in the hunter/jumper (H/J) style. I’ll write another post about why (short answer, it’s fun!) This blog, though, is about all of the things that I didn’t know that it was assumed that I did. I’ve been around […]

Learning What I Don’t Know

Horses are herd animals, which means they prefer to be in a group of their own kind. Feral horses living on open rangeland organize themselves into a family subset of mares, foals, a few youngsters, and a stallion who keeps them together. There are roving bands of bachelors, angling to […]

Friends Over the Fence

I’m incredibly fortunate during this pandemic to be able to continue to ride and take lessons at my boarding barn. I’m even able to enter local schooling shows. I ride six days a week and because I’m competing I have a focus. There’s lots that both Tonka and I have […]

Tonka at Turtle Hill

Remember the Common Mullein? (Here’s my first blog about it.) The “weed” by my front deck? It’s been fun to watch it grow, like a, well, like a weed! From this:   To this!   It’s been a popular landing zone for dragonflies. Honeybees and native bees (there are some […]

Common Mullein and Birds

Last Saturday, Tonka and I competed in our first show over fences. The Hunter/Jumper world is new to me and I left it to my trainer, Stephanie Plaisted, to decide what classes to enter us in. The class list reads to me like a foreign language. “beginner”, “pre-modified”, “open”, “hunter”, […]

Last and First

Yesterday Tonka and I entered our very first jumper show! The day dawned hot and was only going to get steamier. We needed to warmup, but not do it so literally that we got heat exhaustion. Tonka is a calm guy at horse shows, so he didn’t need to be […]

Horse Show Warmup