A Training Question About Hurrying Horses …and a Grass Fire

I see people in the grocery store thoughtfully reading labels and pondering choices. The Dude Rancher and I look like game show contestants for speed shopping. We buy the same things every week and tag-team the aisles, scurrying down some and skipping others. We always get fresh berries and never any chips. Get the ice … Read more

Does it Feel Like Everyone is Watching You?

It’s you and your horse. Sometimes people looking at him think he isn’t much but that’s because they don’t know horses. Anyone can see the beauty of mustangs galloping the rocky terrain or a team of Friesians pulling an antique carriage in a PBS show, or a foal cavorting circles around his dam. Beyond the … Read more

How Horses Train Us

You are a horse trainer. It does not always give me joy to say so, but it’s true and other professional trainers agree. If you are holding the rope, you qualify whether you watch videos or not, take lessons or not, have already paid a trainer four times what you paid for the horse or … Read more

Does Leadership Mean Domination Now?

From a Reader: “Anna, you articulate the dance between horse and human so very succinctly. I wish it were easier to “just be” with horses, but it’s a constant struggle to eliminate formerly learned patterns of behavior. I started to learn about horses with a woman that spoke of partnership with horses and that has … Read more

Boundaries: Whose Space Is It?

Horses gallop on pounding hooves that cut the ground and then melt to a stop, whiskers floating in the light. A masterpiece of contradictions, horses frighten easily but are forever curious. Wilder than a dog, much bigger than a cat, with a certain animal magnetism that drew you beyond childish reason. Can you remember your … Read more

The Dynamic Power of Consistency

We would like consistent behavior from our horses. It would be good if they took each cue with light and immediate response. But some days we climb on and don’t feel like doing much. We don’t really have a plan, not that we care. We lollygag around slouching in the saddle and banging our legs … Read more

Saying Yes to a Horse When You Mean No

Sometimes something someone says sticks with you because it’s brilliant. Sometimes it sticks because it’s plain wrong. I was working for a horse rescue a few years ago and a bodyworker came to visit the horses. The bodyworker did noticeably light and sensitive work on banged-up sway back elders and the herd melted in acknowledgment. … Read more

Altering Time to Benefit Your Horse

You have a plan for your horse and an expectation of how it will go, but it’s taking way too long. It’s a simple task. Maybe you’ve seen someone else do the same thing easily, so you lose confidence. You’re probably doing something wrong. If you were doing it right, your horse would do the … Read more

Human Calming Signals: Authenticity

Some people are just so effortlessly magic with horses. They seem to do nothing, but horses hang on their every breath. The first time I saw my mentor ride, she was on an Arabian stallion, cantering the speed of a walk, and chatting casually with a client. She exuded cool in every essential way that … Read more

Affirmative Training and Corrections You Regret.

People tell me that when they’re with their horses, they aren’t always perfect. They sound apologetic, you’d think I wore a clergy collar. Whatever they say after that is drowned out by my ghost herd nickering and snorting, bucking and farting, and rolling around in the mud. The equine afterlife has perfectly placed mud baths … Read more