I choose to live in New England. I like a true change of seasons. I embrace winter. The sky in February is like none other. Bare trees show off their intricate geometry. I like cold weather better than hot. But by March, I’m done with bundling up against the bitter temperatures, […]

A Lot Of Snow


There’s been a lot of press lately about raising resilient children. Educators and parents are noticing that kids aren’t able to recover from disappointment, or problem-solve solutions to obstacles. A culprit is the trend of adults to jump in and assist during even the smallest of challenges. To instill resiliency, […]

The Resilient Horse


One day last week I was feeling tired and stressed. If the weather had been good, I would have taken Tonka out on a trail. But the weather was not. I could have ridden in the arena. Being in the saddle would have distracted me and the exercise would have […]

Let Your Horse Sniff



Today I tried to get to the barn ahead of the nor’easter (which around here is what we call a serious storm with wind and precipitation.) By the time Tonka and I had finished our ride, the snow was coming down. I stopped outside of the arena to take a […]

Horse Snow Play


It takes me upwards of 40 minutes to drive to where I board Tonka. Every day the drive feels like too much, but then I arrive, see that my horse has been cared for impeccably, and get to ride in this: This indoor is big, airy, and filled with sunshine. […]

The Indoor Arena Lean


Tonka and I haven’t been off-farm in months. It’s winter in New England. The footing has been treacherous. On top of that, after cascading health issues, I’m carefully bringing him back into shape. But when it’s 60° F in February, and there’s only a few patches of snow left on […]

Tonka’s Disappointment



I had a dog that needed something to do. Someone suggested dog agility. I joined a club. It had a policy of no aversives. In fact, we weren’t allowed to use the word no. I had difficulty with this. I was told to get a copy of Don’t Shoot the […]

Karen Pryor’s Stories


I spent the last 3 days at a conference in Florida. Meetings are always exhausting for me, but this especially so, because it was non-stop listening and talking with like-minded horse professionals. There’s no end to horse talk. This morning I woke up craving quiet. Florida was pretty, and it […]

Recharging


Recently, the buzzwords in animal training and welfare are choice and autonomy. The thinking is that the more animals have control over their own lives, the healthier they’ll be emotionally and physically. Certainly, giving the animal an environment in which they can choose their level of comfort – shady or […]

Choice and Autonomy