We’ve all heard Horses are prey animals. It’s followed up by the statement: We’re predators. This is then used to justify certain training techniques. It’s claimed that since horses are naturally afraid of us, that we have to train them differently than we do, say our dogs. I don’t agree. Because of the uniqueness of […]

Horses and the Predator/Prey Mythology


Back in November, I got an email out of the blue, from the owner of Assured Organics, a purveyor of coconut oil. Ken asked if I’d like to try feeding their extra virgin coconut oil to Tonka. Unknown to Ken, I’d been looking into the benefits of adding oil to a horse’s […]

Coconut Oil For Horses


As fun as cantering down the lane is, if your horse can’t stop, you’re in trouble. So, we all teach the whoa! I’ve written about how I’ve taught Tonka to stop. When doing dressage, I rely on communication from my legs, seat and hands, and he halts balanced and square (see the video […]

Teaching A Horse To Stand Still



I keep Tonka at a boarding barn in northeastern Massachusetts near the New Hampshire line. There is snow in the winter and days on end of temperatures well below freezing.   Some horses are well-suited for this weather. Cider grows a thick coat and stays toasty warm without a blanket. […]

The End of Blanketing Season?


I’ve not been blogging much lately, but I have been busy. I’ve been working one-on-one with horses and their owners. People come to me because the training methods they’ve been using haven’t been effective. There’s usually something specific that they haven’t been able to do, whether it’s getting a horse onto trailer, or having the […]

Observation, Relationship, Training


I recently started working with four horses. Three are minis. They were rescued from a hoarding situation. The other is a BLM Mustang, which means she was collected on the open range, shunted from holding pen to holding pen, shipped across the country, put in yet another pen, then finally adopted by her […]

To Click or Not?



Come and say hello, Tonka,   Today’s a special day.   It’s your birthday! Not so exciting, you say?   I’ve brought apples. Yep, that’s what I thought you’d think. Tonka turns eleven today. He’s heading into his peak athletic years, which for horses are their teens. But horses can […]

Happy Birthday, Tonka!


This post goes on and on about small details that we dressage riders obsess over, like angles of the hock and suspension of a stride. But I hope that those of you not into such geeky horse things will stay with it, because this blogpost is actually about noticing the moment […]

Canter Jump


The horses have been out all day with their friends. While in their paddocks, their hay nets have been filled twice. They’re brought inside late afternoon. There’s more hay waiting for them. They’re not desperately hungry, but that doesn’t matter. The arrival of the dinner buckets is eagerly anticipated. It’s like […]

Dinner Time