To the uninitiated, a horse’s body language can seem inscrutable. A horse prefers to be subtle and nuanced in their conversation. A horse communicates what they’re thinking with a turn of the ear, a wrinkle that appears in the corner of the nose, a shift in weight. Unfortunately, when those […]

Horse Body Language 101: Relaxed

After years of me writing about things, it’s time for Tonka to have his say. Here’s his point of view of last week’s lesson.         Show season starts soon. I’m sure that Tonka will have a lot to say about that!

Tonka’s POV

While Tonka and I did our warmup walk in the ring yesterday, we stayed out of the way of a lesson. The horse being schooled is a big, powerful mare, with a goal of competing in the jumpers. There’s a lot of energy and drama when she goes. The fences […]

Listening Despite Enthusiasm

Tonka and I continue to learn to jump as a team. I listen to our trainer, Steph, and then try to convey her advice about how to approach the obstacles to Tonka, but he has his opinions about the best way to do it. When Tonka gets frustrated, his way […]

Jumping Teamwork

Yesterday we had a fresh snowfall of about 5 inches. This is Maine, so it’s not a big deal. Our power is on, our water still flows, and the plows have cleared the roads. However, conditions were such that the horses couldn’t be turned out safely. One reason I like […]

Snow Day

Shorten your reins! I’ve heard that my entire riding life. On the most basic level, your hands hold onto the reins, the reins attach to the bit in the horse’s mouth, and how you move that bit tells the horse what you want them to do. Turn left. Turn right. […]

Shorten Your Reins

Tonka turns 15 today. In terms of age, he’s caught up with me. We’re both past our athletic prime, but we still have a lot of active years left. We’ve got arthritis, tight muscles and some twinges, but prefer to be moving and doing interesting things rather than sitting around. […]

Happy 15th, Tonka!

It’s that time of year. Your significant other is in search of a gift for you. Not just any gift. A romantic gift. Despite the fact that Steve and I have been together for about 30 years, he still gets stressed out when February rolls around. I assure him that […]

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Horse Women