Learning to Herd: How Dogs Become Family

I was raised by people who didn’t let dogs in the house. The common opinion was that dogs should live outside or in the barn. On our sheep farm, there was a hard line between us and the animals we depended on for a living. But my mother insisted I spend the day outside with … Read more

Spring Fever, Bad Behavior, or Flight Response?

It’s February on the high prairie at the fringe of the Rocky Mountains. The pond is still frozen so there is an unnatural quiet, no bird chatter, no wings in the sky. After months of feeling that light is somehow a product of ice lighting the ground, the sun feels just a bit warm again. … Read more

Book Release: Horse. Woman.

Book Release! Available Now! Horse. Woman. Poems from Our Lives “It was a tough life if you was useless.” -Leafa Numbers Blake My grandmother proudly claimed she had delivered more foals and calves than any woman in early 1900s North Dakota. Like her, we’ve found a purpose building our lives, sometimes elbow deep in dirt … Read more

Horse Woman, Our Narrative

I usually write a gray mare rant annually on my birthday. I’m late, but that’s because I had to let it lay in the sun for a while until the varmints picked its bones clean. It needed to decompose a bit before I could articulate my feelings into language that wouldn’t scare the goats. Like … Read more

Photo & Poem: Weather Change

Hail blown sideways by the wind, dark clouds churning across the horizon, as the horses brace against the stinging ice pellets, their noses tucked tight to their chests, running for shelter. A stark reminder on this hot summer day, torn leaves stripped to the ground, intermingled with ice, standing water everywhere, that seasons so long … Read more

Photo & Poem: Midsummer

Midsummer, the mare stands square, hooves flat and neck low, her muzzle faced into the corner of a dark stall, her tail as still as the heat. Do not disturb. Hat brim tilted for hot shade, dragging my feet in small circles, searching dusty bins for one more clamp needed to repair a gate. Water … Read more

Photo and Poem: Spring Thaw

  The air hung heavy, strangely moist for a desert prairie. Dense fog as rare as raindrops. The ice on the pond began to sweat; it’s been frozen silent for months but slowly water eased at the shore, the weathered gray ice giving way to a fresh surface to mirror the sky, signaling birds they … Read more

Calming Signals: Sleeping with a Reactive Dog

    I don’t mind bragging; I’ve slept with some very fine dogs in the course of my long and blessed life. Some say I can’t tell a good dog from a bad one but of course, I can. How else would this have happened? It’s been six years now since my arranged marriage with … Read more

Photo & Poem: To Soar

  Alone in the sky, her broad wings create their own horizon, as she dips one edge for a soaring arc that ignores property lines, her prairie without boundaries. Too high to be hunting, does she glory in her body, coursing on the air on this warm winter day? Her massive body as dense and … Read more

Photo & Poem: Second Cup

Second cup of coffee while waiting for light, a second cup while waiting to head out. The horses have thick coats and long hair on their legs. They will still have hay from the late feed, they need nothing. This is their time. Wait. Let them have the night. Boots over heavy socks, the last … Read more