What the Nightmare Revealed

Everyone did what instinct dictated. The beach was so peaceful. Deserted with not so much as a footprint when they arrived. People in the distance maybe but they felt alone. Just a bay mare and her rider standing in the water and their friend on the ground leading another horse. All was calm but in … Read more

Photo & Poem: Second Cup

Second cup of coffee while waiting for light, a second cup while waiting to head out. The horses have thick coats and long hair on their legs. They will still have hay from the late feed, they need nothing. This is their time. Wait. Let them have the night. Boots over heavy socks, the last … Read more

Cantankary: If Not Now, When?

Expecting New Year’s resolutions from me? Nope, I’m not the type. I am so thrilled to have survived another year that I’m holding on for all I’m worth. Not giving up anything. Running like the devil is on my tail. I even get windburn when I’m typing at the computer. That’s when it happened. Just … Read more

Photo & Poem: Horsewoman

There were always horses, some light and some dark. The woman met them in passing or they stayed forever, some were proud and some stayed hidden deep within. After the gelding stumbled and fell, trapping the woman’s leg, breaking her loose from her fairytale romance, the woman and the horse were set on equal footing. … Read more

The Future for Horse-Keepers: Isolation or World Change?

It’s what we do: We keep horses. Sometimes a foal too young to be ridden, so we show patience and keep them. Sometimes it’s adult horses with flawless training and good minds, and while we practice the art of riding, we keep them. Too often we get horses who have been damaged by harsh handling, … Read more

Photo & Poem: Letting Him Lead

  You were there the day he was born, all ears and knees. You knew him when his hooves were still soft and his eyes first saw light, but the forever deal was struck long before then. You knew what the colt did not, that it was you who was born for him. The exquisite … Read more

Part One: The Future for Horses, a Different Narrative about Herd Dynamics

The first story I remember about herd dynamics was that stallions lived on the rise above the valley to watch for danger and protect the herd. The mares and foals grazed like idle, hapless creatures while the business of the herd went on between a dominant stallion and young stallions fought to take his place. … Read more

Photo & Poem: Rich

  Our family farm was leased from the man who owned the car dealership in town. Once or twice a year, he came up our driveway in the latest model, looking important wearing pressed trousers and a tie, to drink black coffee with my father. They talked about crop prices on the farm report and … Read more

Calming Signals: How to Show Love

“How do you show your love for horses, then?” A clinic participant asked me at the end of a long day of listening to each horse tell us that we stood too close, that we were too loud, that we tried too hard. Horses are dependably honest and listening to their calming signals is not … Read more

Photo & Poem: Girl-Cousin

Seems every farm family had one in a generation; a distant misfit girl-cousin who read too much or wore men’s jeans or hated to cook. As soon as she could, she traveled away to Portland to work in a library or to Tucson to be an artist. The family only whispered her name then, kitchen … Read more