The Best Horse Conversations Start With “No”

Imagine that each time you climbed on your horse, he began to move in a slow canter, so rhythmic and balanced that you can just close your eyes. Never a wrong step, never a moment of confusion. Your horse knows the routine so well, you don’t need to cue him. You let yourself be lulled, … Read more

Advice? Take a Deep Seat and a Faraway Look…

My young horse was lame, so my mentor asked if I’d like a lesson on her horse. It wasn’t a rhetorical question; we all knew the barn rule. Even if I was green -lime green- I knew if you were offered a horse, you said yes. My mentor watched as I climbed on her impeccable … Read more

Horses and the Pain We Can’t Stop.

We’ve all done it. We look at that horse and just know he’s in pain. We watch his walk until the foot with the white stocking lands badly, crippled by its color. In the saddle, we close our eyes and wonder if he’s off. We scrutinize the horse’s calming signals until he freezes, stalked by … Read more

Calming Signals: How Do You Listen To a Horse?

What is your first memory of listening to a horse? Not standing next to a horse and being certain he loved you. Not daydreaming about galloping him on the beach or burying your tear-drenched face in his mane and hiding. None of these things are listening. They are moments we might feel a connection because … Read more

An Allergy, Spyglass Tunnel Vision, & a Valentine

    Most of us start with an allergy. Our noses get stuffy and our eyes are red and teary all the time. We’re allergic to not having a horse and it’s chronic. We start sniveling when we’re kids. We cry if we can’t have a pony, we cry when we get a pony, and … Read more

Calming Signals: “But My Mare Likes This Bit”

I arrived at the clinic grounds Friday afternoon so I could meet the organizers and check out the facility. They’d also set up a lesson for someone who didn’t get into the clinic. The rider was warming up in the arena when I introduced myself. Her mare was beautiful, strong, with a dappled coat. She … Read more

Living the Question

“Why can’t my horse behave for the farrier?” Sarah isn’t the only one who asks this question. Picking up feet might be one of the most under-rated skills a horse can have. It’s inconvenient for us that a horse must be a prey animal, but it’s their nature. Horses will always be horses. We may … Read more

The Solitary Journey to the Heart of One Horse

I listened to a podcast interview with Jane Goodall this week. She is my personal superhero, and I will never tire of her. At 86, the primatologist’s voice is compelling. She is humble but when it comes to her politics, her love of animals and our planet, her voice rises above the din with equal … Read more

Who’s Risk-Averse?

This week a stranger asked for my prayers. She posted a photo of an incredibly young girl with a crushed skull in the ICU. She was injured by a family horse. You’ve seen these heartbreaking posts, too. People say accidents happen. Did her mom take that photo? A prayer for her, too. I can’t imagine … Read more

Do You Need Riding Lessons?

It was a conversation about riding lessons. My friend said she thought it was strange that I’d worked so extensively with trainers. Yes, I could have paid for a college degree with the money I spent on riding lessons back in the day. She said in her country, people didn’t do that. I’m not sure … Read more