I’ve been asked why Tonka wears his ear bonnet in the winter. Good question! It’s something that horses usually wear to keep flies and gnats out of their sensitive ears. It’s a simple solution to a pesky (pesty!) problem. Although there aren’t bugs in New England when it’s cold, Tonka […]

Ear Bonnet


We had a tragedy at the barn. A rider came off and had to be air-lifted to a Boston hospital. She was in the indoor arena, which is up a driveway from the stables. Fortunately, two were riding that day. But both riders had left their phones in the tack […]

Always Ride With Your Phone


Early Sunday morning it started to snow. Which turned to freezing rain, pelting sleet, cold rain, and more snow. The horses, of course, stayed snug in their stalls. Monday morning was clear, but this was the temperature, and it wasn’t expected to rise more than a few degrees all day. […]

Cold Snap Worries



Recap: Tonka has had recurrent sacroiliac joint issues which cause back pain, which I know because he tells me in a myriad of ways. When the SI joint flares up, Tonka moves away from the mounting block. He doesn’t willing do upward transitions. It gets so bad that he refuses […]

Tonka’s Sacroiliac Joint Progress


It can be aggravating when you’re just setting down into the saddle and your horse moves off before you’ve even slid your feet into the stirrups. If that’s the case, your reaction might be to pull back on the reins and say something in a harsh voice. That can set […]

Mounting Block Manners Quick Fix


For the last few weeks there’s been a lot of activity near the horses’ paddocks. A crew of two men have been putting up a new fence. First there were the piles of posts and rails in places where there had never been posts and rails. Then the guys got […]

Losing Fear By Making Friends



As promised in my last post, here is a link to a new piece of writing by Karen Pryor. It’s about her time on board a tuna fishing vessel. She was there to study dolphin behavior so that better ways to fish could be implemented so that dolphins wouldn’t end […]

My Takeaways from Karen’s Writing


I take the craft of writing seriously. Whether it’s books, articles, or this blog, my goal is to communicate in a voice that brings clarity to the story that I’m trying to tell. If I do it right, my reader will have a useful thought they might not have had otherwise, […]

Writing Friend


When you ride dressage, you care about the details. Where each hoof falls, the height of the poll, the way the shoulder follows the arc of a circle. It’s all too easy to micromanage every stride, to push and constrain so that the horse’s body goes exactly where you want […]

The Square Halt