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

Horses in Solitary.

This is my fence panel. I lost count of the other’s just like it, eight, I think. I find them this way, the top rail bent practically in half, edges collapsed. I hear no loud noises, there are no lumps or marks, I just come out to find one or two of the draft-cross geldings … Read more

Learning to Let Go: Pearl

She arrived at Infinity Farm unceremoniously. We moved a fence panel, backed the rig in close, and she pretty much fell out the back of the trailer. That was good news; they weren’t sure she’d survive the trip. It isn’t my intention to cue a circle of hand wringing, sympathy is not the goal. If … Read more

Photo & Poem: Let Down

  So convinced of her isolation, she had become its primary cause. So exhausted to chance, she had retreated to a fine-tuned invisibility. So work- hardened by test, she had proven she could carry the pain. Better to be alone than a fool. Held apart so cold lack seemed a choice instead of a failure. … Read more