Photographs by James Atherton

Skigh Peg Barnwood

Here is a photograph of Skigh with me taken by the award-winning photographer, James Atherton.  Through a sweet coincidence we met at a Christmas gathering and he’s taken an interest in what I do with horses.  His website is

My Narrative of my Life with Horses

There is one being who can cut through the fuzz of my mind, and the circumstances of my life.   Only one who has the direct route to my uncensored, unbuffered emotions.

Skigh is my off-the-track racing Thoroughbred mare.  There are three things that she does that bring me to my center:

She is beautiful.  Most people agree that horses are pretty/beautiful/etc.  Skigh is a beauty’s beauty.  Her proportions and her movement are flawless.  Ask anyone.

Skigh’s feelings are right on the surface.  She is expressive with her body, her eyes, her voice, and all of her behavior.  When she is confident, she is light, bright, and responsive.  In nervousness, she becomes jumpy, lightning-fast reactive, and unsafe at any speed.

She is dangerous.  When Skigh came to me, I did some long, hard thinking about whether it made sense for me to take her on.  In the two years we’ve been together, my horsemanship is as good as it’s ever been, and during this time she has bucked me off twice.  Both times I found myself looking up at the sky with no idea how I arrived there!

So, these things about her persona make it very easy for me to stay in the moment when I’m with her.