Relaxed & Forward Blog

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...

Calming Signals: The Dance of the Halter

We're breaking in a new farrier here at Infinity Farm. The new guy is soft-spoken, uses a nice pink hoof-stand,...

Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

It’s the irresistible call to scout hidden ravines and gaze along the elevated vistas behind the shade of an eyelash,...

Concept Clinics: A different approach

I've been thinking for a while now about the process of learning. It could have something to do with the number...

Equine Retirement Planning.

First, I watched Brentina's retirement ceremony. Then Secretariat's last race and Valegro's final Olympia freestyle. Who doesn't need to watch Aldrich's...

Photo Challenge: Earth

Earthling, born of indelible green, translucent waters, boundless clouds and sky, and tasked in each small life to be curious...

Bend… Like a Crescent Moon.

I arrived at the barn mid-fight. The barn manager was refereeing a dust-up between a trainer and a boarder who...

Photo Challenge: Surprise

Dawdling through chores, then a dousing in the shower And rushing to a book event, I checked the visor-mirror for...

Touchy About Bits.

Confession #1: There was a time that I would have sold my soul for a spade bit with 12" shanks....

Photo Challenge: Security

The feel of home. You tuck it safe in some tidy place, half-way between fresh dreams and dear memories. If...

Touchy About Contact

Question from a reader with a mouth-sensitive green horse: " ...when I watch a video of me riding I worry that...

Photo Challenge: Dense

Stupid. Dense. Stubborn. Lazy. Until we stop seeing others in our own worst self-image, these words will describe us. .......

Circling Back: How We Became One.

We were hooked and it was written all over us. The first weird looks passed between our parents. We were...

Photo Challenge: Easy Being Green

  I’ll take this gray rain to wet a controlled burn in my lungs that’s taken my air and dropped...

What Are Your Legs Doing? (Half-halt Help)

  How are the half-halts coming? Does a breath and a light thigh pulse work? Or are your legs exhausted by the end...

Photo Challenge: Atop

  It's an inherited seat; elders and babies ride loose in time, strong and vulnerable and not quite domesticated. Sky-tall and exquisitely...

The Mysterious Half-Halt

Thanks to a request, I'm writing about the half-halt. Ever notice how every definition you read starts with the disclaimer that it's the...

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,475 other subscribers