Calming Signals: Planning for Stress

Calming signals are an animal’s emotional response to their environment, expressed in body language, sometimes in increasing anxiety moving toward a flight, fight, or freeze response and sometimes decreasing anxiety while returning to a relaxed or restive state. It’s the most natural thing in the world for a horse to feel stress. It might be … Read more

What Horses Want to “Talk” About.

  What is it about the snout of an old horse? Especially a pink and black muzzle? How can it seem so wise to me? Or is it that over thirty years with this horse, I finally got wise to him? I confess that I disregarded his opinion in the early days. Disregarding the opinions … Read more

Photo & Poem: Explain the Sky

  Restless eyes behind closed lids, the early hours lay flat, dull to these scurrying thoughts. Rise to use the bathroom and the dogs do not stir. Pull on a barn coat and muck boots to go out and walk the farm. Keep to open ground, small steps feel for uneven earth, head dropped back … Read more

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 like reading the judge’s comments on a marginal dressage test: Tense in the back. Tight in the poll. Hollow. Too quick. It doesn’t stop there. He has twitchy eyes, a furrowed brow, and he clenches his jaw. … Read more