The Simple Truth About Complicated Training

It was back around the time the light bulb was invented. My Grandfather Horse was a lanky spooky colt, I was still biting my lip instead of breathing, and my mentor put a western saddle on her stallion and attached her tackle box and pole to go fishing, (but the same thing might happen if … Read more

Calming Signals: They Call Me Mister Dog!!!

Sidney Poitier died this year and I mourn him. I was not the only girl who swooned over him in To Sir With Love but the performance that galvanized my opinion of him was In the Heat of the Night, with his famous line, “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” Impossibly, I was watching it with … Read more

Being the Railbird: Anniversary Edition

A reader gave me a writing assignment. She asked me to write something from the perspective of a railbird. This won’t be fiction. I was at the National Western Stock Show. It would take me two more years to get there with a horse but showing was the dream since I was a kid. Over … Read more

Tunnel Vision for Problems and the Things We Don’t Notice

  The night-feed is my favorite. In the summer, the sky and clouds are as gaudy as the underwear department at the dollar store. If they have an underwear department, which I’m a little proud that I don’t know. The light loiters over the pond, as my farm exhales the day and rolls it to … Read more

What Does it Mean to be Domesticated?

If you have been reading along for the last 1300 or so weekly essays of mine, you know sometimes I get testy about words. I decry those insensitive people who “desensitize” horses. I have no respect for those who hijacked the word “respect” to justify disrespecting horses. Both of those word abductions have sent me … Read more

Auld Lang Syne Horses

I’ve heard it a couple of times just today: “As we head into the third year of Covid…” It makes my lungs freeze and my feet stick to the ground. They are playing Auld Lang Syne, “Old Long Since”, and I’m re-running my last year, and dreaming up goals for the new year. Covid has … Read more

Relaxed & Forward in 2022. Now What?

The lockdown at the beginning of 2020, followed by months of quarantine, was a wonderful opportunity for a thoughtful assessment of my brilliant career choices. Said no one ever. “Non-essential worker” became my new job title. I was like a mare pacing the fence line separated from the herd. I would have been pacing more, … 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

A Book Report and What We Know Now.

A bit of explanation: I grew up on a farm without a bookshelf. We were not readers. Once we finally got a television, there was only one channel but it had Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, disappointingly black and white in our house. I mention this because Walt’s photo is in the dictionary next … Read more

The Problem with Pre-Corrections on Horses.

She enters the barn, looking left to right. What does she think her horse might be afraid of? First, let’s adjust everything that is out of place, just tidy the barn aisle up. No pesky plastic is visible. Start with his saddle pad. She’d better let him smell it. Sure, she’d been riding him in … Read more