Best Advice for Loading Horses on Trailers

I had a clinic stop in Flagstaff where the organizer was a long-time client and hero of mine, Barb. The clinic itself was at a facility a few miles from her home, but my dog and I were hooked up in the field behind her house. In the morning she and I were each driving. … Read more

Thank You, Mother: an Ode to a Farm

It’s late afternoon as I drive along the front of my farm to the gate. The field fence is shrouded with a bumper crop of tumbleweeds, some of the arena fencing has blown down, and only the wind hasn’t changed over the weeks I’ve been gone. It’s one season when I leave and another when … Read more

The Season of Letting Go

The autumnal equinox is about change. There’s a miserable fog today, dense and so uncommon on my high prairie. Chilly enough for a sweatshirt, the dog bellies are all muddy, and the geldings are fracking about. If there is a New Year, this is the time to note the old year. Fall is a season … 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

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

On The Road for Horses: Adventure, Drama, Dog Hair.

  I hope you didn’t worry I’d get lost. I installed radar and didn’t take a wrong turn. Maybe a few alternate routes… A brief catch-up on my clinic travel. Even with the Covid shutdown, I could only overthink the situation for so long. Why not apply Affirmative Training to my work style? I could … Read more

The Failure of Good Intentions

There was a time that I thought if I saw my horse curled to one side, itching his flank, I should run over and scratch the spot for him. That if I could acknowledge his itch and resolve it, in time I could teach him to show me where he had pain. My work with … 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 Short List of Unfair Things to Ask a Horse

Old mares have a constant dilemma. They get stiff and stove-up. They’re stoic so they don’t whine about it, but they have small feet in proportion to their large body. They lose muscle over the years, their necks are arthritic, their joint fluid turns to sandpaper. The human said she should go for a walk … 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