Photo & Poem: As if Love

She declared that she loved her horse as if loving took a sort of noble skill rare to our kind. As if loving a horse was a defiant act that few achieve. Excused from the menial tasks of picking hooves and tending wounds, she claimed an instant of shared breath as the proof of her … Read more

Things My Dogs Don’t Care About.

I’m the kind of person who has big dogs. I always have been, not that my dogs care. I have no excuse for my current condition. I was trying to remember the last time I picked out a dog. That’s the thing about making friends with rescuers. Dogs just arrive somehow. Sure, you said yes … Read more

Do Horses Fear Death?

  It’s been an ordinary year. Animals died here. What could be more normal? Infinity Farm has an extended herd and none of us are youngsters anymore. Over the months, we said goodbye to a boney old Tabby Cat, an ancient foster horse, a young neurologic donkey foster, and a beautiful mare. Aren’t all mares … Read more

Photo & Poem: Braced

  Black eyes sunk deep in her skull, certain she knows what will come next. The trail of scars on her legs read like an ancient cave painting of where she’s been and what has followed her here, her ribs braced against inescapable shadows, her breath shallow in fear she might become visible. With no … Read more

The Thing About Donkeys

      I wrote about mares and the response was so huge that I felt guilty and wrote about geldings. Since then, the requests have been about donkeys, but I’m more thoughtful. Because donkeys require consideration. Because I’m bluntly defensive of donkeys. The sunflower cart photo is of me and my first rescue, Ernest. … Read more

Affirmative Training for Colts and Fillies

  Foals are irresistible. They are precocious and lively; they cavort and air gallop and sleep flat-out. When they wake up, they’re an inch taller and even more curious about the world than before their nap. They have newborn piaffes and sliding stops. They jump like frogs. They are a fresh start, a whole new … Read more

Brain Science as a Training Aid

  It was a two-day-long science class and we were promised a brain dissection. I signed up immediately and have had the weekend marked off on my calendar for months. I can’t imagine you don’t want to hear all about it. Our instructor was Dr. Stephen Peters, (Psy.D., ABN, Diplomate in Neuropsychology) a neuroscientist, horse … Read more

Photo & Poem: Missing Her

  Haunted by her hooves, jagged edges tilting her balance, she stood in filth, wooden pallets cobbled into a pen. Remembering her coarse hair, the shadows cast by each rib. No act of blunt cruelty did this, it was willful indifference one average day after another. Looking at her, an ache grows behind my eye … Read more

Calming Signals and Preacher Man: Still “Reactive” After All These Years

Bear with me, please. I miss my dogs, one in particular. I’m in Dunedin, and he’s 12,620 km away. It sounds even farther in Newzealandish, doesn’t it? It’s National Pet Day back home, I know he is keeping an eye on the door. The Dude Rancher takes good and kind care of the dogs while I’m … Read more

Behavioral Euthanasia of Horses

  “Anna, do you have any articles that touch on behavioral euthanasia?” It’s from a question about a rescue horse in trouble. Initially, things went well enough but now there is unusual pasture activity, unprovoked aggression toward other horses, and the issues continue to escalate. A horrible fit of extreme bucking resulted in the rider … Read more