Relaxed & Forward Blog

Severe Weather Warning

It was 78 degrees yesterday. It's late October so the sun is lower in the sky. There was a slight...

Photo Challenge & Poem: Glow

The sun hurries now, eager to be gone. A chill breeze scatters the last embers of fall, crisp leaves layer...

Riding the Middle: My Horse is Lazy.

My horse is lazy. He won't go forward. He doesn't listen to my legs no matter what. Do I need...

Photo Challenge & Poem: Scale

The thing you call cute, in a high-pitched squeal, hears no compliment. Is it your goal to demean me? Because...

Too Much Love: Is it Partnership?

Last week I answered a reader question about Making War on Horses and it got a predictably positive reception. It's...

Photo Challenge & Poem: Pedestrian

Young mare, on the full-moon night you were born, we recognized one another. It was an awkward kinship of un-belonging,...

Making War on Horses: Is it Leadership?

By reader request: "Horses need a dominant leader; you have to make him respect you." "You can't let him get away...

Photo Challenge: Windows

  Has it been a year? Scanning the pasture from the kitchen sink, I don't see your swayed back. A...

Escape the Death Spiral: Asking For a Step.

Let me begin by defining a death spiral. It's asking a horse to do something he just avoided, by circling...

Photo Challenge: Layered

  It began with a word so small and unspoken that it waited in a bitter slick at the back...

Sleeping With The Wrong Dog

Warning: This is not an upbeat rescue story. It's a sad story with a sad ending.  Proceed with caution. Or...

Photo & Poem Challenge: Visiting Friends

We shared stories as we drove up the canyon road that angled between rocks, colored grape and copper and sienna;...

Helmets: When Complacency and Experience are Killers.

"She had a helmet on and she still got hurt," the woman said. Well, sure. I take vitamins and I'm still...

Photo Challenge & Poem: Waiting

The air goes still on the prairie during that instant when my finished inhale lifts gravity and just before the...

How to be a Brilliant Conversationalist: Horse Version

You know how the cat magically goes to the person with the allergy? Or she goes the person who happens...

Photo Challenge: Structure

  This horse covers the ground more quietly on four hooves than my old feet can manage, dynamic strides so...

Leadership Percentages and Confused Horses

Pause here. Look in his eye. He's sensitive and intelligent and looking for a partner who's his equal. If we're...

Photo Challenge: Corner

The first hint comes just at moon rise on an ordinary August weeknight. It's hardly a breeze at all, certainly...

How to Relieve Your Horse's Anxiety

Growing up, only one person in our home was allowed to have a temper and the rest of us kept...

Photo Challenge: Shiny

  Birdwatching in the dark is an art best practiced with no yard light. Start just after the colors are...

Horsewoman. Internet. Wine.

It's been a melancholy week at Infinity Farm. I'd call it the dog days of summer but truth is that...

Photo Challenge: Elemental

I remembered to sink the corner post deep, filled the hole with Quikcrete, and topped it off with dirt. Then...

Redefining Work Under Saddle.

I had a blog request, in two parts. First: "[Does] training and working a horse inherently make a horse less...

Photo Challenge: Textures

  She was a coyote fighter, moving just off the herd, across the high desert prairie. Buying her calves time...

Part Three: Riding Above Fear

This is what we knew then: It started with a dream of dancing hooves and a flowing mane. He was...

Photo Challenge: Satisfaction

  The sun leaves just the sky behind, a watery arch over the prairie, and my feet cling to the...

Part Two: Now I'm Afraid

[Part One: My Horse Betrayed Me.] Something bad happened. The details don't need to be repeated for me to understand. It...

Photo Challenge: Unusual

It's not unusual to feel still air rush over your cheeks and past your ears. It's you moving forward in...

Part One: My Horse Betrayed Me.

I hear lots of horror stories in my line of work. "My horse just started bucking, for no good reason." "He...

Photo Challenge: Collage

How many times did I ask on a breath and a thought that you consider the moment? Consider joining me...

Common Sense about Horse Communication

The first thing to remember about horses is that their senses are just better than ours. I’ve never trusted my...

Photo Challenge: Bridge

  The frail filament strands that suspend us in parallel travel are intricately woven back onto themselves, situated so cleverly...

Running in Circles

 I was asked to write about lunging and I assume this means with no swear words. I don't know why...

Photo Challenge: Delta

Walking the washout, high desert ground between pond silt and prairie pasture, I know to look for crushed cans, bits...

Teaching Your Horse to Relax

The rider said that her mare had an undeniable "rushiness" and was always tense. The mare is five years old...

Photo Challenge: Transient

A hand flattened to shade my brow, questioning the late-afternoon glare diced with shadow, not certain I should trust my...

Bit or Bitless? You Won't Like the Answer.

Does anyone agree on bits? No. Is riding bitless the perfect solution? No. I've been asked for some bitless information,...

Photo Challenge: Focus

  This willful mare will not be owned. She makes choices; her neck softens lower as she turns her ear...

Caring for the Lead Mare

It was a perfect day. There were just enough clouds to soften the heat. The front gate didn't open once all day...

Photo Challenge: Order

The passing hours of this hot-dry day spook and buck and bolt, swirling together and scattering apart in a a...

Learning to Love Negotiation

Rule number one about horses: There will be a high learning curve. Most of us are drawn to horses because...

Photo Challenge: Friend

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCHCTZqU3p4 One likes to be alone. One likes to sleep a lot. One likes contrary opinions. One doesn't care what...

Mounting Block Conversations

This is Andante. He likes to have a conversation at the mounting block. He wasn't always like this. In his...

Photo Challenge: Evanescent

After the bay gelding's leg is doctored and wrapped, I walk the fence line looking at bent posts and hair...

There's No Romance in Rescue

It's my bi-annual report on the animals fostered here at Infinity Farm. I try to balance on a tightrope when I...

Photo Challenge: Heritage (with Doghair)

The dog watches me sit at the edge of the bed pulling a frayed t-shirt over my head, shoulders rounded...

Calming Signals: YOUR Response.

Photo by Sheri Kerley I'll start with the bad news. For those of us who grew...

Photo Challenge: Reflecting

It’s the job of a hero to stand a strong wind, invincible against a dark sky, giving us pause to...

Calming Signals and the Aggressive Horse.

Just to be clear, calming signals are not something humans do to calm horses. It's the language horses use to...

Photo Challenge: Danger

The danger of horses is not their strength and power, thrusting forward with a brilliant heart, ribboned with intelligence, clean...

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