Requiem for an Old Truck

req·ui·em/ˈrekwēəm/noun 1.(especially in the Roman Catholic Church) a Mass for the repose of the souls of the dead. There is something about a three-quarter-ton pick-up, once I manage to make the standing leap into the cab and crank up the air conditioning to the “jet-engine” setting, that seductively whispers in my ear, “Perfect Purse.” It’s … Read more

Calming Signals and Living on the Ulcer Continuum

Forty years ago, we didn’t know about ulcers. Some horses acted crazy and we tried to train them out of it. Colic was the number one killer of horses. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. Then around thirty years ago, we began to recognize and study ulcers. Research papers came out, scopes were invented, … Read more

A Funny Thing Happened During the Euthanasia.

We’ve been having llama line dances here for over twenty years. It happens at dusk and it is boundingly beautiful. The llamas and I have hiked the trails, ground driven in harness, and competed at Llama Agility. Then we turned around and the llamas were the favorite “obstacle” when we did horse agility here on … 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

Long Dark Night of the Soul: Colic

Andante’s nickering. I’ve pulled the hay out of his run and swept the mats. He has a baritone voice, a make-out music, bad boy nicker. He drops a hip, under his breath, “Hay, b-baby.” No, he can’t have any for a while. I’d rather have a knife to my neck than see a horse with … Read more

Why Training Techniques Don’t Work

  It’s Sunday night and the clinic has ended, but there might be a horse or two that can’t seem to get into the trailer. That isn’t the crazy part. The owner is tired and muttering something about how happy the horse should be to get in the trailer and go home. That part is … Read more

Photo & Poem: Words

“You’re not wearing that, are you?” Voicing her anxiety first, was my blouse revealing something more than unconventional taste? Welcoming me back after a long absence, “I suppose that’s real,” she moaned at my unnatural hair, her frown lingering down to my sandals. She repeated her lifelong fear that people would think I didn’t have … Read more

Deconstucting Fear with Affirmative Training

  Something is off with your horse, but you can’t tell what. You might be leading him or you might be riding. It could be in a strange place or in your home arena. He isn’t being resistant, but it’s not right. Then he sees something and goes very still. You try to see what … Read more

Edgar Rice Burro on Covid-19 and Physical Distancing (on World Donkey Day)

  Does Covid-19 impact my herd? The email asked, “I wonder if you’ve noticed the quieter world in your horses? Seismologists have been saying for a couple weeks the earth is vibrating less as human activity has been reduced. Air pollution is down in major cities, the water is clear in the Venice canals and … Read more

It Could Be Worse. You Could Be Married to Me.

“Honey, when you’re in town will you pick something up for me?” I don’t quite wait for the answer. “Great, three bags of quikrete, please. The eighty-pounders.” I was asked to write something for the men who read my blog. Grab your caps, boys, this might get bumpy. For the rest of you, dear readers, … Read more