The weather yesterday did not feel like fall. It was hot and muggy, but Tonka and I had a special lesson to take, so off we went to a farm twenty miles away. Eva Rainsborough, a German Grand Prix rider and trainer, was here for a clinic. She coaches my […]

Sticky Peppermint Mouth


There’s an expression in riding that you “throw your heart over the fence and your horse will follow.” The idea is that if you have courage and are committed to a path, that your horse will bravely carry you there. If only it were that simple. You can throw your […]

Heart First


I have a friend who’s been struggling to be in balance with her horse. The word balance can mean so many things. You can define it as the measurable even distribution of weight. Or it can refer to keeping the more metaphysical elements of life in proportion: work and relaxation, […]

Balanced Horse For Riding Longevity



The weather has turned. I’m wearing long sleeves and a vest. Someone is giving me a clear message that he is not a barn dog. At least not when the temperature drops.   That’s okay. You don’t force an animal to be what they’re not. All you can do is to […]

Not A Barn Dog


As I wrote about recently, Tonka was going great, and then he wasn’t. All four legs were working fine, but instead of going willingly, he felt tight and recalcitrant. In this video clip you see him putting his nose in the air, sinking his back, and refusing to trot. I […]

One Step Back, Three Ahead


My last blog had a serious message. So today, during this long holiday weekend (at least here in the States), I give you this. Selfies with my horse.     No message, just fun. Actually that’s not true. That is the message. Riding well takes physical work, critiques and on-going […]

Keep It Fun



Yesterday Tonka was ticked off at me. He made it very clear. I had to look back through my archives to find a photo to illustrate his demeanor. This does it. Pinned ears, narrow nostrils, tight lips, tense neck, eyes showing some white. This is a pissed off horse.   […]

Tonka is Ticked Off


It’s as hot today as it’s been all year. So hot that even Scooter doesn’t want to sunbathe. It’s humid too, which makes the air feel like a heavy obstacle to move through. I rode this morning at 8 am, at which time it was bearable to do physical activity, but […]

The Trees Know


Each day brings incremental improvement to Tonka’s ease of movement. As I mentioned in the last post, Tonka, my usually willing horse, said that he was hesitant to trot, and full-out refused to canter. To the uninitiated, horses look like sturdy beasts. But to those of us who know them […]

Incremental Improvement