Are You Having a Midlife Horse Crisis?

I got an email from a reader last week. She had a hard question. She acknowledges she was naive, but she adopted an Off-the-track Thoroughbred. He was a bit complicated, as I remember him, but she’s done an excellent job. He’s a solid citizen in the barn and on the ground. He’s been to professional … Read more

Euthanizing and Herd Anxiety

“I’m wondering if you could address animals and grief in one of your columns. We’ve lost a horse and a dog in the last two months. The horse that was a pasture mate is still occasionally calling for Jake. Lily is really struggling with the loss of Essie Lou. I now see the value of … Read more

A Barn Visit and a Fresh Reminder About Predator and Prey

It’s a thing called a Barn Visit. I offer them to clients mainly, those I’ve worked with online through the pandemic. I’m an expensive visitor but on the other hand, it’s a private clinic that kind of redefines intensive. Training is so individual that meeting the horse and rider on their own land can be … Read more

A Love Letter to Dirt.

It’s the eve of Christmas Eve and I’m worried about my dirt. Maybe the world has bigger problems and maybe it doesn’t. It’s a toasty 49 degrees with 30mph winds, with gusts to 75mph overnight. Not normal Colorado weather, but that’s seems to be the weather everywhere these days; not normal. My farm’s dirt could … Read more

Why Don’t You Ride?

“Why don’t you ride?” It’s the question we dread. Sometimes the people who ask are neophytes who don’t understand that in the arc of a horse’s life, there are many phases, many unexpected turns that change our plans, and many mysteries that take years to unravel. Sometimes the people who ask are longtime horse owners … Read more

Calming Signals. You Can’t Save ‘Em All. Cat Version.

I walk in my pasture. Women of a certain over-thinking age do well to put a few miles in a day. Here on the high prairie, it’s scrub weeds, intermittent wildflowers, and big black beetles. It’s a win to see birds or salamanders. The high desert land fascinates me but we’ve been in the “historic … Read more

A Legacy of Homegrown Ingenuity and Bull-Headed Confidence

I am the great-granddaughter of pioneers. They traveled far, mixed their blood with those not like them, and built lives out of thin air and hard work. My farm needed a storage shelter. Not big, and a tarp would do for a roof. I saw small Quonset huts online. They were reasonably priced and just … Read more

For the Fragility of a Horse…

“When we see horses galloping with ears sharp, tails flagged, and hooves churning up the soil, they are the epitome of strength and sensitivity, intelligence and timeless beauty. Even the most cynical people pause and stand a bit taller, just existing in the same world with horses.” Like we any of us need to see … Read more

Part of Your Horse Stays Behind

When it came time to say goodbye to my dressage mentor, a trainer that I’d ridden with several times a week for five years, she cried. I was surprised. I knew I would; she’d changed my life. But I was a bit flattered that she cared that much. By the time I got to the … Read more

Spring Fever, Bad Behavior, or Flight Response?

It’s February on the high prairie at the fringe of the Rocky Mountains. The pond is still frozen so there is an unnatural quiet, no bird chatter, no wings in the sky. After months of feeling that light is somehow a product of ice lighting the ground, the sun feels just a bit warm again. … Read more