heart horse clip.jpg



Today is a day to celebrate our sweet connections–not necessarily just the romantic ones.  There are all sorts of studies out there considering whether horses feel “love”.  I know for sure that there is an affinity between me and my horse.  Is it love?  Who cares?

So much of how we experience our lives involves projecting our feelings on others around us, whether those individuals are human or animal.  As a happy person vents their joy and love onto their horse, so does an angry person, or sad person, vent those feelings in the same way.  It takes emotional fitness to come and ride after a bad day without taking our frustration out on our horses.  I really try to find solace and peace in the presence of my horse after a difficult day.

I used to think that my horse and I would be together in some dreamy way with violin music playing in the background.  That was my dream.  And that does happen sometimes.

At those times, she looks like this:

horse in flowers .


What also happens is that she will be frisky, and pushy, and test my leadership–when all I wanted was a Hallmark card moment.

So, sometimes. she greets me looking kind of like this:                        charging horse









The best thing that can happen on those bad days is for me to get out of myself and start thinking about how I can best be with someone else (horse or human), and how I can offer something useful.

We can only get the horse to sync with us in attitude and energy by getting in sync with them first.  We must match and mirror their energy as necessary to bring them around to where we need to be.

Happy V Day.




The Pendulum


I seem to be in a kind of constant pendulum with respect to my horse.  I try to be assertive without being a bully or a wimp.  Sometimes the pendulum swing is slow, and sometimes not so slow.  I am very good at being balanced with my clients’ horses . . . but it’s another story when it comes to my own horse.  Objectivity is out the window for the most part.

My horse Skigh has been very head and ear shy in varying degrees since I’ve owned her.  There have been huge improvements in the last two years, but I still ask myself “Is this an old resistance picked up from her days at the racetrack?”, or “is she just giving me the finger?”  It depends.  If I don’t come to a good feeling of balance, I’ll ask someone I trust to have a look.

The Key is Confidence

I love the look on this horse’s face, and the quiet mouth.  It looks like a partnership.

confident jumping

This is fron Denny Emerson, horseman at Tamarack Hill Farm in Vermont:

“This mare used to quit at jumps one foot high.  So we just fiddled around, tried to make her calm, and NEVER punished her when she would stop.

Jack LeGoff used to say,

‘Boldness comes from confidence.  Confidence comes from success.  So it is the job of the trainer to create lots of situations which guarantee success.’

We did that, and Rosie gradually lost her fear of jumping.

It seems so simple, Jack’s little ‘mantra’ but many riders and trainers still use force.  Which is maybe why Jack won all those gold medals, and the others do not.”