Beyond Legal Whiskers

The International Federation for Equestrian Sports unanimously banned horse whisker trimming, effective 1 July 2021. Horses snort and rub their noses on their knees with relief. Clipping whiskers has been a habit passed down among most riding disciplines, in 4-H clubs and breed shows, as well as international competitions. Hooray, times are changing. I’m betting … 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

Photo & Poem: Home Farm

The mare stands square, extending her neck, surveying the pond marsh. Are the coyotes on the move? She takes three or four precise steps closer and holds, eyes alert for small movements out of rhythm. So aware of the earth’s language, without the dulling filter of floors and walls, she feels change by the shifting … Read more

Part One: The Future for Horses, a Different Narrative about Herd Dynamics

The first story I remember about herd dynamics was that stallions lived on the rise above the valley to watch for danger and protect the herd. The mares and foals grazed like idle, hapless creatures while the business of the herd went on between a dominant stallion and young stallions fought to take his place. … Read more

Photo and Poem: No Other

  You are wise to not let me see, stoic one. Show not your age, certainly not a weakness. Be brown or tan, earth tones that don’t draw attention, blend with the herd camouflaged on the land. Turning your head to reveal a shock of lightning, a white star centered above wary eyes, a swirl … Read more