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

Gray Mares, Time, and Priorities

Do you notice that it gets a little easier to be yourself every day? Public speaking wasn’t the sort of thing I was born being good at. My first lesson: Everyone thinks it’s a good idea if the person making the presentation breathes from time to time. I listened to podcasts about public speaking, and … 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

What Does Having a Connection With a Horse Mean?

What does it mean to have a connection with a horse? You just know I’m going to be a loudmouth party-pooper on this topic. It’s like T-ball. The topic sits still, just begging me to wack the bejeebers out of it, because I am a killer of romance and anthropomorphism. If you are on the … 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

Is She Still Going On About Helmets?

Yes. I’ve been writing in support of helmet use since the start. I expect I’ll go on haranguing about helmets as long as I continue to see photos of tiny kids standing on the backs of horses with no adults in the frame. And toddlers perched on fenceposts surrounded by horses who are a bit … 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