You Know I’m a Small Business, Right?

Do you like the writing I share? It’s free, and it always will be. That’s my gift to horses, hopefully. But do you know I have six published books, and three of them are award winners? If you’d like to read more, consider these. Stable Relation is a memoir and Horse Prayers and Horse. Woman. … Read more

Do You Need to Keep Your Horse Calm?

I can’t be the only woman of a certain age whose parents thought she needed to be muffled indefinitely. They wanted a quiet polite daughter and look how that turned out. And I’m probably the wrong person to write this since I have a rescue dog that hasn’t stopped barking since 2014. Here goes anyway.  … Read more

Listening is Acknowledgment: A Gray Mare’s Message

I pulled down the drive to a farm for a Calming Signal intensive. Meeting new horses and people who care about them is always special and honing our listening skills is the best gift we can give horses. I parked my trailer near a pen with three horses close to the barn. One of the … Read more

“Why Don’t You Post Training Videos?”

  It was at the dark ages of VHS, long before the dawn of cyberspace, and I’d heard there was such a thing as a horse training DVD. A few barn friends and I watched one, and were horrified at the techniques and laughed at the backward sales pitch. But the only reason that was … Read more

Leading Horses with Spatial Kindness. What?

The exercise was to halter your horse thoughtfully, asking the horse’s permission for each step of the process, and acknowledging his calming signals. A teenage girl was with her recently off-the-track thoroughbred, a tall dark gelding unsettled in new surroundings. We know how track horses are [not] taught to lead and she was using a … Read more

When Impatience and Cruelty are Normalized

Sometimes I find myself standing in front of people talking about horses’ feelings. I’m almost embarrassed; I was raised to be tough. Yes, I cite scientific research. Inside, I still hear my father curse me for spoiling horses, but most people didn’t think horses had feelings in his day. Except I think part of us … Read more

How to Stop Taking Your Horse Personally

Bhim is a one-of-a-kind, I surely hope. People might say he’s still with me ten years after he came for halter training because I couldn’t get it done. Does he look cute? Tell that to the humans he’s taken out. And to be clear, he’s here because Edgar Rice Burro asked if he could have … Read more

Being the “Good” Horse Isn’t Easy.

People want to tell me about their challenging horse, the quirky one, the scary one, the kill pen (scam) horse. I’m not complaining; it’s my job. The reactive horse that speaks their truth loud and clear is the one we pay attention to, and for good reason. When a horse’s anxiety is visible and perhaps … Read more

Calming Signals: Thoughts About Spooking at Nothing

There are two kinds of spooking. This is the first: It was midmorning on the ranch, and we were riding out. My friend was on the best trail horse in the world, and they were helping me and my young gelding gain confidence. We usually walked through an especially beautiful ravine where the plant growth … Read more

Reverse Anthropormophism: Building A Better Relationship

Do you ever go to the barn and pretend to be a cowboy? You’d wear the shirt that matched your saddle pad and put on a Hell Hat. You’d take a deep seat and a faraway look, you’d make out over the land for the herd, whether you have one or not. Horses can like … Read more