Relaxed & Forward Blog

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...

Photo Challenge: Wish

We felt them close before we had skin; from an infinite prairie the vibration began. A slow rolling nicker rumbled,...

Do You Communicate Like a Coyote?

Some of us baby-talk and cuddle our horses like they're twelve-hundred-pound teddy bears. Some of us enter the pen with...

Photo Challenge: The Road Taken.

  Dreams are only transparent. On this routine day, let my eyes close in simple praise for ordinary moments of...

Part Two: Norman, Is That You? (The Reactive Horse)

Last week, I wrote about horses who are The Strong Silent Type. This horse is the opposite. Describing him sounds...

Now What? (and Other News)

Now is the winter of my discontent. Hurry spring. A post from my other blog. Yes, I have another blog....

Photo Challenge: A Good Match

A contrarian and a curmudgeon; fairy tale non-believers with parallel differences, kindly melding the gaps. Together. Separately. .... Anna Blake at Infinity...

Part One: The Strong Silent Type (Of Horse)

I've said it before: While growing up, I saw She Wore a Yellow Ribbon more often than I saw my...

Photo Challenge: Against the Odds

Roused by a whisper from a lost distance, through cold glass windows in deserted basements, down wet alleys, past dumpsters...

What To Do When Your Horse Is Wrong

It started small. It started the way it usually starts; the rider pulled on her horse's face. It's a fundamental disagreement:...

Photo Challenge: Shadow

I mean to blur the edge, a half-stop between dark and light, of the distance between us. He's walked on from this...

Thin Horses, Body Scoring, and Inconvenience.

Start here: There is no rule that says when a horse's age goes up, his weight needs to come down. Age is no excuse...

Photo Challenge: Solitude

    Out on the fringe of wrong, and late, and forgotten, and just not being a match, hold and...

Email Subject Line: "Do I Want a Horse?"

February 2nd, 10 pm, 12 degrees. There was dense fog all day. We didn't see the sun and the temperature stayed...

Photo Challenge: Repurpose

All of us here, we used to be someone else. We each had a plan; it was meant to go...

Energetic Tidiness in the Saddle.

Some of us climb into the saddle and have all kinds of crazy dangerous things happen--right out of the blue. We...

Photo Challenge: Grace-ful

It's an intimate moment, a recognition of soul, held and acknowledged, then returned in kind. Softly now, abide. .... Anna Blake at...

Climate Change: Not Just Bad for Polar Bears.

Farm kids, like me, learn early that a healthy anxiety about the weather is the subtext of every task--from lambing season, to...

Photo Challenge: Ambience

It’s the pastel light, the thin clear air, and a shared breath so deep and sweet: Even as I travel...

Release: The Unflattering Truth

A few weeks ago, I was standing, talking with a client at the end of her lesson. She was at...

Photo Challenge: Names

Hold clean intention in the word chosen to label a life given to your care; words are prayers that illuminate...

Safety and Being a Spoil Sport.

I'm a riding instructor. Wait, it's worse than that. A riding instructor who has read the small print of her liability...

Photo Challenge: Resilient

This out-flat prairie, sun burned and wind-scraped, spends winter draped in the dull range of color called earth tones; upscale...

Remembrance: Someone's Always Dying

It's that weird week between the holidays. I never know what day it is so I mess up scheduling around Christmas,...

Photo Challenge: Path

Perhaps the reason for my books... just trying to keep up.

Photo Challenge: Path

when it all looks obscure she leads not lost not found but traveling beyond the map so follow close your...

The Politics of Holiday Pie

Inconceivable: I'm going to share my pie recipe. I'll pause and give my friends time to pick themselves up. They know...

Photo Challenge: Anticipation

Long shadows at noon, cramped days slip to bitter nights this dark solstice. Waiting for new light a minute at a time....

Riding a Suspension… of Disbelief

Some of us are okay with who we are in the saddle. We don't question the ride, or if we do,...

Photo Challenge: New Horizon

inconvenience be damned the next improbable howl of resilience is just beyond the word yes so just yes ... Anna...

BARN DANCE *Book Launch*

Excuse me. Um. Barn Dance is now avail... *** Speak up. Enunciate.  *** He's right behind me, isn't he? ***...

Negotiating; Not Fighting.

It was last spring when this ancient donkey came to the farm. In the beginning, we thought she might not...

Photo Challenge: Relax

Memoir Babies not embraced turn into sullen kids not good enough, graduating to insecure young adults, lost in bad decisions...

Mental Focus Means Not Trying Too Hard

My friend and I took yoga while we were in high school. It was 1971 or so, and I can't...

Photo Challenge: It’s Not This Time of Year Without…

  bucking tradition: when seasonal words don't fit when obligation overwhelms desire when some mourn or have none or do not when the...

Thankful for You.

  I'm doing something different today, in the spirit of Thanksgiving. When I started my blog, almost eight years ago...

Photo Challenge: Magic

Not other than here. Not other than now. Not other than normal. ... Anna Blake at Infinity Farm Horse Advocate,...

The Passion to Punish

First, last, and always, this is the truth about communication with animals: Punishment is the lowest form of expression. A...

Photo Challenge: Tiny

Feel that tiny instant just after the thrust, the silence of soaring with hooves thundering down below. The push of...

Winterizing the Compassion Fatigue. Again.

Chatting lightly about weather is considered the tiniest of small talk, unless you live outside the urban bubble. We take...

Photo Challenge: Chaos

There's a kind of grace in the slippery unbalance of chaos when I remember it's only the rear entrance of...

Bite Your Tongue.

It's an election year and I'm a politics geek. There, I said it. But the rhetoric is deafening. Sometimes there...

Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

Time and shadow blurred our edges until we became each other in a shared breath never fully exhaled. Anna Blake...

Going the Full Heart Distance: Saying So Long

It's deep fall here on our farm. Most of the leaves are gone; Canada geese are on the wing. Each...

The Best Reasons to Stop Riding

  I think I've heard all the clichés about change that I can stand. At a certain age, we don't...

Photo Challenge: Local

As vast as mountains silhouetted and layered angled across the horizon. As close as whispers of breath, nostril to flank,...

Riding the Inside of Your Horse

When I was just a dressage-princess-wannabe, before I became a full-blown Dressage Queen, I thought dressage riders all wore a kind...

Photo Challenge: H2O

A thread flows affirming life with a humble reminder we’re only nests made of frail twigs, stray hairs, a cooled...

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