Walk, The Queen of Gaits

  Some riders keep to the walk, a sweet sashay that’s almost a lollygag. They want their horse to stay calm, they have anxiety about going faster, or they don’t. They think the walk is the safe gait, maybe the kind gait. Hoping to not disturb the horse, the rider would rather not admit it, … Read more

Photo & Poem: Pride

She has no time for gentle words and soft hands primping her mane. The broad-chested mare may allow a stiff curry in the itchy season, but she would rather throw herself on the ground to rub the loose hair off on a crust of spring snow and cool mud, leaping in air to gallop away, … Read more

Escalation: Finding the Thing Before the Thing.

It feels like you wake up in the middle of a movie, one of those thriller-action plots that have too many stunts and special effects, and your horse is the star. He is peeling out in a dead run. What’s happening? It takes a minute to recognize you might be in the saddle and in … Read more

Photo & Poem: Natural. Magic.

  The young visitor stared at the bay mare’s mane. “Would you like to brush her?” I ask. Sending the girl for the grooming bag, I haltered the mare, a visitor to the farm herself. After showing the girl about curry combs and brushing with the grain of the hair, she set to the task … Read more

The Next Horse: Remounting after the Hardest Fall of All

    This perfect horse of yours has been with you since he was young, or you got him near retirement, but he taught you the best of what you know. Maybe he was your first horse or maybe he was one of many in the course of your life, but this particular horse just … Read more

Photo & Poem: Hunger Moon

Fresh snow fell yesterday and more will come tomorrow, but in the still between-time, a full moon sits high in the sky, casting steely shapes on the ground, dimly lit to a haunted gray pallor. Unnatural colors that did scare me as a girl, when my shadow chased me for sport. Turn away from the … Read more

Spring and Horses That Fly Like Kites.

When people hear I live in Colorado they often get a romantic look on their faces. I shake my head, “It’s not that Colorado.” It’s February on the High Plains of Colorado. Due to low precipitation and an elevation of almost 7000 feet, the High Plains experience gusty winds and extremes in temperature. But at … Read more

Photo & Poem: Hand-Me-Downs

  Leota would send a note warning that she’d put something in the mail and we waited. She was a distant relative who never visited, but she had girls older than us. Soon a big cardboard box arrived filled with pleated wool skirts and pastel sweaters; good school clothes, all store-bought. Leota’s girls must have … Read more

Photo & Poem: To Soar

  Alone in the sky, her broad wings create their own horizon, as she dips one edge for a soaring arc that ignores property lines, her prairie without boundaries. Too high to be hunting, does she glory in her body, coursing on the air on this warm winter day? Her massive body as dense and … Read more

Calming Signals: Yoga Mind/Equine Reality

The Dude Rancher and I practice yoga. We started years ago; he was having way too many headaches and my back was killing me. We each thought the other person was the problem, but we went to a Yin Yoga class at a local rec center. Our teacher, Tracey, explained in a soft voice that … Read more