Photo & Poem: Payment Due

  No more lingering in the melon-colored dusk, grazing late to the barn. The pasture is finished, even the weeds only skeletons. Overnight, the horses prefer barn-stored hay in the windbreak of a south-facing barn. The light drops fast, blood-splatter leaves in a green hedge. Pried from my hand what I hold dear, instead wrapping … Read more

Photo and Poem: Black Bay

  She was for sale: a black bay Arabian mare and I was looking for a beginner lesson horse. Tacked up when I arrived, I led her to the mounting block, held the reins a bit too tight, poked her with my toe as I stepped into the stirrup and then dragged my leg over … Read more

The Real Helmet Heroes. (#ihad, #riders4helmets)

This week was ordinary in the horse world. We love horses, who have the quickest response time of any domestic animal. We love horses, who are prey animals with senses much more acute than ours and an instinct to spook, or bolt and run when frightened or alarmed. There were no freak accidents this week, … Read more

Does Your Horse Need a Tune-Up?

  This is how it goes: Sometimes it’s just fine to go lollygagging around. The time isn’t right; you’re hungry or distracted by work or family, or where your gloves went to. You don’t want to ride alone but can’t find anyone to ride with. But then you find someone and spend the whole time … Read more

How to Have a Conversation with Someone Who Doesn’t Talk

People talk to horses constantly. The words are unintelligible most of the time, to both us and the horse, but we chatter away, explaining what we are doing as we do it. “Now we’ll clean your feet.” Sometimes we are so uncomfortable with the quiet that we fill in their half of the conversation, too. … Read more

Photo & Poem: I Cannot Know

  We became strangers. I thought I knew her so well; that place just back from her ears where her mane flips to the other side. Her slow half-closed eye resting in speckled shade, head low to the flank of a gelding. Her outline in moonlight blue at the night feed, the horse from my … Read more

Photo & Poem: Sentient

  Long in the tooth, people say. Gray hairs dusting his temple, this gelding plays the part of good uncle, passers-by tickle his nose to show their familiarity, unaware of of the memory that kind of touch brings this stoic gelding who remembers too far back, too sad a time. Past his prime, people say. … Read more

Aggressive or Assertive?

She was a breathtaking draft-cross mare who I met at Duchess Sanctuary this year. There was just a presence about her that made it impossible to look away. She came up for a closer look but didn’t pander. Standing her ground, there was nothing she wanted from me and I asked nothing of her. I … Read more

Brain Science as a Training Aid

  It was a two-day-long science class and we were promised a brain dissection. I signed up immediately and have had the weekend marked off on my calendar for months. I can’t imagine you don’t want to hear all about it. Our instructor was Dr. Stephen Peters, (Psy.D., ABN, Diplomate in Neuropsychology) a neuroscientist, horse … Read more