Tonka has a history of having issues with the canter. When I got him, he had no stamina for it. Once around the ring and he’d peter out. As we progressed in our dressage Tonka was able to do a first level test without breaking stride, but the judges always […]

Hill Work as Physical Therapy


More from the Margie Engle Clinic: It didn’t matter whether she was teaching riders who regularly jump 3-foot fences or 18-inches (me), Margie had us do the same exercise before going over the jumps. After warming up by getting our horses to expand and contract their strides on the flat […]

5/6/4 A Margie Exercise


Last March, when I entered the “Win A Day With Margie Engle” contest, my horse and I had only been jumping for a couple of months. I wanted to win as a gift to the girls at the barn who had welcomed this dressage rider into their hunter/jumper world. I […]

More Leg! with Margie Engle



More than a year ago I entered a contest in Practical Horseman. The prize was a clinic with Margie Engle. Out of hundreds of entries, I won. You can see the entry and video here. Of course, what with the pandemic, Margie’s trip to my barn was put on hold. […]

Margie Engle Clinic Prep


I have a client who is new to horses. She started riding lessons in her 50s, was immediately enthralled, and only a few months after first sitting in a saddle she purchased a horse. She found a horse (let’s call him Bo) who looked to be safe to be around, […]

Flip the Perspective


Horses evolved as grassland animals. Their safety was dependent on being able to see the movement of predators like wolves and mountain lions, and so they prefer open spaces. They are herd animals, reliant on their family and friends to be watchful and to use their collective experience to make […]

Tonka Takes Me For a Walk



Have you ever met someone in their 70s for the first time and your immediate reaction was what a lovely man? Conversely, have you had someone walk your way and your gut reaction was to not make eye contact for fear a having to speak to them, sure that their […]

Horses Show Stress In Their Faces


For the first two years here at Turtle Hill we had a resident porcupine named Po. Last year she spent a lot of time in the oak trees in the field. Just look at that adorable wide smushy nose!   Last summer she brought her porcupette into the oaks. We […]

Clover Sports A Mohawk


Tonka and I had a jump lesson on Wednesday. He knew what was about to happen and enthusiastically warmed up, but that was interrupted when he coughed a couple of times. Horses, like us, cough to clear our throats. It can be jarring when you’re on top of a horse […]

Tonka Had a Cough