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

“Why Don’t You Post Training Videos?”

  It was at the dark ages of VHS, long before the dawn of cyberspace, and I’d heard there was such a thing as a horse training DVD. A few barn friends and I watched one, and were horrified at the techniques and laughed at the backward sales pitch. But the only reason that was … Read more

When Horses Can’t “Do” The Clinic…

Lena was elegant in that special way that Thoroughbred mares can be. Her face had long planes and gentle curves with a classically simple beauty. She made her bay color look like burnt honey. There was no question about her intelligence. But her flank was tight, and she was in a bit of trouble. Sometimes, … Read more

Helmet Safety and the Ability to Buy Hay

If my horses could see the big picture, they’d still say my job is hay. They have not read one of these blogs over the last dozen years or attended any of my clinics. They don’t care about how I brilliantly jabber on. It’s the hay. Boarded or at home, that’s what your horses care … Read more

Leading Horses with Spatial Kindness. What?

The exercise was to halter your horse thoughtfully, asking the horse’s permission for each step of the process, and acknowledging his calming signals. A teenage girl was with her recently off-the-track thoroughbred, a tall dark gelding unsettled in new surroundings. We know how track horses are [not] taught to lead and she was using a … Read more

When Impatience and Cruelty are Normalized

Sometimes I find myself standing in front of people talking about horses’ feelings. I’m almost embarrassed; I was raised to be tough. Yes, I cite scientific research. Inside, I still hear my father curse me for spoiling horses, but most people didn’t think horses had feelings in his day. Except I think part of us … Read more

How to Attend a Clinic

Gray Mare memories: It was one of the first clinics I ever attended. The clinician was famous; I signed up for three fifty-minute lessons that came to more than I paid for my horse. It was a huge amount of money to me. The night before the clinic was to start, we all went to … 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

Reverse Anthropormophism: Building A Better Relationship

Do you ever go to the barn and pretend to be a cowboy? You’d wear the shirt that matched your saddle pad and put on a Hell Hat. You’d take a deep seat and a faraway look, you’d make out over the land for the herd, whether you have one or not. Horses can like … 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