Calming Signals: Love vs Understanding

The mare would not pick up the canter. She just wouldn’t. In her defense, the rider was off balance. Every time the rider prepared for the canter, she’d launched herself forward a little out of the saddle. Almost like pumping on a swing, and the horse would slow down. I’m pretty sure the mare thought … Read more

Independence, Liberty, and My Personal Shining Sea

It’s officially mucking-in-a-muumuu weather here at Infinity Farm. The horses all stand in the barn’s shade and watch me fling their manure into buckets. It’s the Fourth of July and I can’t even have fun complaining about the heat when it’s so much worse elsewhere. Like all the black horses in Texas, for instance. Still, … Read more

Travelblog: Mister Has a Dark Night of the Soul.

Dogs. We rescue them, buy them, inherit them. They are irrepressible puppies, midlife couch-partners or milky-eyed elders with wonky ears. They come from puppy mills, rescues, or impeccable breeders. No matter, once the dog is ours, they immediately become the smartest dog, the cutest dog, the most loyal dog. Every single one of them is … Read more

Calming Signals: Another Word for Dominant

There is a wild stallion on the ridge fighting all comers for his harem of mares. We think aggression and violence maintain order in the band. Hence, we train using fear-based methods to prove we are the real alpha. It might work on the Disney channel, but it’s total fiction. Herds of horses are cooperative, … Read more

Overthinking an Undomesticated Budgie

A bright blue flick of movement, almost too small to see. White feathers spark the light, even more startling than the blue. What was that? I am not a birdwatcher in the true sense. I don’t know names or habits. I don’t keep lists or have binoculars. Sure, barn swallows have been dive-bombing me most … Read more

Travelblog: How I Stole Paris

I woke up introspective on my last full day in Paris. It’s the same way I wake up at home. I got ready to leave for the day and wrapped a scarf around my neck. I started doing that after my first Paris haircut forty years ago, and have been doing it ever since. Fashion … Read more

Travelblog: Paris is Like Visiting an Old Lover

Paris is a city full of statues of horses. They’re everywhere, I noticed on my first visit. The statues are still there now, but stands are being built for the upcoming Olympics. No, that isn’t why I went. Paris and I have history. It isn’t just my love for Collette. This is the teen angst … Read more

Travelblog: Late for the Funeral. By Three Years.

Words about friendship and death ahead. There, you’re warned. I’m still on vacation, but I’m going to talk about grieving and my human friend Elaine. I label her that way because I usually write about horses. Please smile now. This isn’t a sad essay. Friendship has always felt complicated to me. I keep the necessary … Read more

Travelblog: Thinking About Aging in Ancient Surroundings

I was in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I had finished ripping around Scotland and arrived at my hotel, where a group in the lobby might have been meeting up for prom night. It’s only a guess because, as we know, I cannot understand my birth language and it’s been fifty-four years since my last prom. But … Read more

Travelblog: It’s a Vacation. Not a Work Trip.

My first vacation in a donkey’s years started with a van ride to Denver International Airport, with the obligatory drop-off two hours early. We finally boarded and had a two-and-a-half-hour wait on the runway. All that parking meant we were hours late to Chicago. I ran and barely made the London flight, but only because … Read more