What to Do When You See Cruelty

It was a sadly normal week in the larger horse world. Horses got hurt and humans waged war with each other about it. If you love horses, it’s easy to blame everyone in sight, easy to scream with vitriol and make sure everyone knows you are better than the haters who hurt horses. Social media … Read more

Authorblog: A New Book. Does It Count If I Haven’t Suffered Enough?

Writing Stable Relation, my first book, took me sixty years, give or take. Okay, I exaggerate, but I had anxiety about wanting to write it almost that long. When I finally sat down, stopped wishing and started doing, it was only a year to write and another year to edit. It was heavy work, every … Read more

Photo & Poem: A Cure for Sadness

  Jerk out the fencing staples and carefully pocket them, leave nothing in the dirt. Pull the sagging wire fence free and drag it to open ground. Fold a few feet of the end over, stepping it flat, and make another fold, untidy as a fitted bedsheet from the clothesline. Reset posts as needed, unroll … Read more

How to Have a Conversation with Someone Who Doesn’t Talk

People talk to horses constantly. The words are unintelligible most of the time, to both us and the horse, but we chatter away, explaining what we are doing as we do it. “Now we’ll clean your feet.” Sometimes we are so uncomfortable with the quiet that we fill in their half of the conversation, too. … Read more

Photo & Poem: I Cannot Know

  We became strangers. I thought I knew her so well; that place just back from her ears where her mane flips to the other side. Her slow half-closed eye resting in speckled shade, head low to the flank of a gelding. Her outline in moonlight blue at the night feed, the horse from my … Read more

Calming Signals: Trust Above Training

It was my job to haul him to his new trainer. He was a bright young gelding, some would call him hot, as if having too much anxiety was just how some horses are naturally. I’d call him low on confidence, not a crime in a young horse. He pranced a bit on the lead, … Read more

Photo & Poem: When the Sunset is Through With Me

  The sunset plays me. In the heat of the day, colors are flattened by glare and searchlight bluntness, work taken on, tasks finished. But when the sunset looks at me sideways, flirting through the clouds, changing expression in each instant, I come stumbling out on the porch, fumbling with my glasses, my camera, knowing … Read more

Calming Signals: Do You Tease Your Horse?

There was a time that I had a basset hound named Agatha and a bunch of friends with toddlers. It was hell. See it from Agatha’s side. Toddlers are short and take uneven steps, moving more like a prey animal than a human. A tipsy bunny. And they are sticky-sweet, sometimes wearing a soiled diaper. … Read more

Photo & Poem: Sentient

  Long in the tooth, people say. Gray hairs dusting his temple, this gelding plays the part of good uncle, passers-by tickle his nose to show their familiarity, unaware of of the memory that kind of touch brings this stoic gelding who remembers too far back, too sad a time. Past his prime, people say. … Read more

Aggressive or Assertive?

She was a breathtaking draft-cross mare who I met at Duchess Sanctuary this year. There was just a presence about her that made it impossible to look away. She came up for a closer look but didn’t pander. Standing her ground, there was nothing she wanted from me and I asked nothing of her. I … Read more