In the more than seven years since Tonka and I have been a team, we’ve had niggling issues with soundness. Except for a couple of specific instances, it’s not been dramatic enough to come up with a clear cause or cure. I tell my veterinarian that he’s not 100 percent, […]

Hoof Prints Tell All


Recently I pushed myself to go out of my comfort zone and go to a fancy show. That required a multi-night stay for Tonka at the showgrounds, and me in a hotel. I like small schooling shows. An easy day drive there and back. No braiding. No pressure. Not much […]

Our First Overnight Show


Last week Tonka’s veterinarian, Monika, and her vet tech in training, Sara, came out to do some work on him. Tonka was due for maintenance to keep his body functioning well: shockwave over his back, and hock injections. Because Tonka recently has shown signs of that intermittent left-front lameness returning, […]

Training Horses for Veterinary Visits



Last week I gave a private clinic to three wonderful clients. Only one of them had ridden when young, the others started riding after their own children had grown. Age isn’t an impediment to catching horse fever, and they all seriously had it. Not long after getting in the saddle, […]

Grooming For Happiness


Tonka had four days off last week, and when I got back on him he was gimpy. He mostly worked out of it, but if you looked closely you’d see a small head bob when he tracked left at the trot. This intermittent lameness is so frustrating! It’s difficult to […]

Not Quite Sound


I named the eleven acres that Steve and I own in southern Maine, Turtle Hill because it’s prime real estate for these animals. The field has sandy, pebbly soil, with bare areas, but also a wide variety of plants, from native blueberries to grasses and wintergreen. It has sunny slopes […]

Prime Porcupine Real Estate



It’s almost summer in Maine. Which doesn’t mean that we go right into sandal-clad beach days. Sure, there will be a day or two of that, but we haven’t put away our cold weather gear. A week ago the sun was shining, the temps reached mid- 70s F (22 C) […]

Weather Dependent


I recently purchased this charming .   I especially liked this page, with the comment, “This is because a horse not only knows what you know, but he also knows what you DON’T KNOW.”   How true. Here are a few examples. We might consider ourselves partners of our horses, […]

Your Horse Knows More


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