Cantankary: If Not Now, When?

Expecting New Year’s resolutions from me? Nope, I’m not the type. I am so thrilled to have survived another year that I’m holding on for all I’m worth. Not giving up anything. Running like the devil is on my tail. I even get windburn when I’m typing at the computer. That’s when it happened. Just … Read more

The Future for Horse-Keepers: Isolation or World Change?

It’s what we do: We keep horses. Sometimes a foal too young to be ridden, so we show patience and keep them. Sometimes it’s adult horses with flawless training and good minds, and while we practice the art of riding, we keep them. Too often we get horses who have been damaged by harsh handling, … Read more

Part One: The Future for Horses, a Different Narrative about Herd Dynamics

The first story I remember about herd dynamics was that stallions lived on the rise above the valley to watch for danger and protect the herd. The mares and foals grazed like idle, hapless creatures while the business of the herd went on between a dominant stallion and young stallions fought to take his place. … Read more

Life Coach: The Goat Version

It was a beautiful end-of-summer afternoon, just about feeding time. Cupid had been with us for almost a year by then. He was an elder foster horse having a great summer in that precious way that makes you quiet inside. Cupid never expected much or asked for special treatment. He’d been used hard and not … Read more

Do Horses Fear Death?

  It’s been an ordinary year. Animals died here. What could be more normal? Infinity Farm has an extended herd and none of us are youngsters anymore. Over the months, we said goodbye to a boney old Tabby Cat, an ancient foster horse, a young neurologic donkey foster, and a beautiful mare. Aren’t all mares … Read more

Photo and Poem: What If?

  There is a crisp apple coolness to the air. Soon there will be frost, I tell the horses, soon the flies will be gone. The northern air makes the herd buck and snort steam, but might as well be blood on the wind for elders bearing heavy mortality, unable to catch the air, joints … Read more

Photo & Poem: Faraway Friends

  I would show you the adolescent Canada geese on the pond. Better behaved than we ever would have been, they stay close, like Catholic school girls in prim uniforms between their parents in church. We would give them names like Cecelia and Mary Margaret and Bridget, us standing by the donkey, scratching his ears … Read more

Be-Here-Now: Focus on Safety (Helmets and Response Time)

  You’re standing in a tennis court just behind the baseline, being mildly uncomfortable in your tennis togs because the glare off your legs, like any good horsewoman’s, is near blinding. Right about then, a bullet whizzes by your ear. You know it was a tennis ball, point to the server. Taking a few strides … Read more

Behavioral Euthanasia of Horses

  “Anna, do you have any articles that touch on behavioral euthanasia?” It’s from a question about a rescue horse in trouble. Initially, things went well enough but now there is unusual pasture activity, unprovoked aggression toward other horses, and the issues continue to escalate. A horrible fit of extreme bucking resulted in the rider … Read more

The Horse Trainer and the Dermatologist.

My gray mare calming signals included squinty eyes, a dry mouth, and a weird chicken-like movement with my neck and head. Every now and then one of my naked feet would kick out. Breathing? Not noticeably. If there is a medical visit I like even less than a mammogram, it’s going to the dermatologist. I … Read more