Photo & Poem: Spine

  He repeats it all again, a little slower and louder each time, enunciating as if she cannot hear. Certain she must be confused. If he explained to her in simpler terms, she would surely acquiesce, change her answer to be compliant to his reason; her lips would soften, docile with relief. Instead, she presents … Read more

Calming Signals and the Myth of Desensitizing

  This chestnut mare is all that. Alert. Intelligent. Willing. And in possession of the quickest response time of any domestic animal; seven times quicker than us. Each of her senses is better than ours by a good bit, but then we hardly use the senses we do have. We’re so unaware of our surroundings, … Read more

Photo & Poem: Spotted Horse

  Both horsewomen would remember this moment. A blustering wind, not cold, but bitter. Misty clouds settled the dust. A gelding stood between them, aged beyond the math of his years. Not quite thin but not strong either. Looming with stilted tension as if uncomfortable in ill-fitting clothes. Was it his arthritis? The chronic hoof … Read more

Calming Signals: What is a “Hard No?”

  I worry that humans are losing the ability to carry on a polite conversation. I’m talking about civility of the sort we learned in sophomore French class. Sure, it’s a bit canned in the beginning but it had give and take. “How are you?” “I am fine.” Want to know the part of this … Read more

Calming Signals: A Vow of Silence

By now you should snort out loud when someone says their horse is ignoring them. Really, is there a more ridiculous thing to imagine? How could it be possible for a prey animal to ignore anything? Their survival depends on being situationally aware in every moment. You can make fun of a horse for staring … Read more

Photo & Poem: Owning Herself

  Save your pity. It means nothing. She’s a big mare, broad chest and straight legs, her coat the color of soil that could grow rose gold, imperial topaz, and chocolate. She talks in all directions at once, not that she cares, with her ears shouting orders and her body dwarfed by her ageless spirit … Read more

Calming Signals and Implicit Bias.

The Barnies are really hitting their stride. I started an online subscription group earlier this year called The Barn. Soon after someone referred to the members as Barnies and it stuck. The name makes me smile, and in the beginning, there was a free-for-all of good intention. My training approach is very different, the focus … Read more