Photo & Poem: Waiting Out the Storm

  Rusty coat, a spiky mane, and a spotted blanket, he would have been a firecracker of a colt, plain to see who he once was. After coming here, he took the risk, slowly lowering to the ground, his tense head high. Even longer to let lie his wary reluctance to touch; he kept himself … Read more

Photo & Poem: Burning Snow

  Nature swats at the pasty insects fussing with watch stems, adjusting mechanical time. Taking one hour, exactly sixty minutes, from one edge of a day and self-importantly tacking it to the other, a legal act lost on horses, who keep time by the feel of the soil, bucking wild at the scent of green … Read more

Creativity and the Problem with Training Techniques.

We were standing around the barn after the vet had left, a group of trainers and riders and horses, telling stories and laughing. I can’t remember what I said now, but the European trainer got suddenly serious with me, saying “You know there is only one right way to train that, don’t you?” I don’t … Read more

Photo & Poem: Lead Me

  The horse’s eye curtained by his forelock, his ear turns to stare back as we walk in matched strides, left hoof and left foot lift ahead, our weights land and shift to the right, part of us on solid ground, part swinging just above. Don’t think; take no notice that will alter the rhythm … Read more

Photo & Poem: Explain the Sky

  Restless eyes behind closed lids, the early hours lay flat, dull to these scurrying thoughts. Rise to use the bathroom and the dogs do not stir. Pull on a barn coat and muck boots to go out and walk the farm. Keep to open ground, small steps feel for uneven earth, head dropped back … Read more

Photo & Poem: Let Down

  So convinced of her isolation, she had become its primary cause. So exhausted to chance, she had retreated to a fine-tuned invisibility. So work- hardened by test, she had proven she could carry the pain. Better to be alone than a fool. Held apart so cold lack seemed a choice instead of a failure. … Read more

Does Your Horse “Respect” You?

I’m just the sort of old-fashioned cowgirl/dressage queen/dork that loves the concept of respect. Philosophically and in real life, I care more about respect than love in most situations. Love can be fickle and misguided, but respect is a sacred trust. Sadly, as a trainer and writer, I avoid using the word. The word “respect” has been kidnapped … Read more

Photo & Poem: Finding Voice

  “Curiosity is a sign of courage,” she said, hushing my correction. Bright praise for my colt chasing her dog along a fence line. That colt grew old and died, funeral respect gladly paid to a fine mentor, and now that mortality hangs around my ankles, I’ve grown stubborn, looking both ways before ranting, not … Read more

Calming Signals and Ambivalent Horses.

Humans are impatient worriers. On the high side, it means we care but we want to know everything immediately. Perhaps a predator way of thinking; we’re always on the hunt, stalking the perceptions that elude us. The more we chase, the more understanding hides. We crave control and we’re better at fighting than waiting. Gaining … Read more