The Cons of Being a Good Student

Over the years I’ve interned and studied under many great teachers. The phase of my life called “being a good student” is over.  “Being brave” is done too. The phase of my life called “listening and being smart” has just begun. Now my interest is learning from my own instinct.  I throw out pressures to […]

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Learning How to Learn

Learning is not just about absorbing new information and putting it into practice.  Those of us who have taught lessons or taken lessons know all about that.  In the process of receiving information and digesting it, all sort of foibles can creep up. Our experiences throughout our lives can set us up to struggle to […]

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Balance, Trust, and Respect

Balance, Trust, and Respect is the name I picked for my blog based on three of the most important elements to me in horsemanship.  I’m currently at Brent Graef’s Young Horse Handling Class halter starting yearlings, and have been thinking a lot about these words. Since the topics are fresh in my mind, I thought […]

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Asking all the right questions

We hear “make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult” and we feel good about our ideas sometimes.  We’re giving the horse choices.  I’ve seen this method applied in ways where the horse is forced to choose between two discomforts – the discomfort created outside the trailer, for example, vs. the discomfort of […]

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What is Feel?

Feel is one of those words horsemen and women throw around somewhat carelessly.  It’s ill-defined, confusing, and to many people, has this ethereal mysticism surrounding it.  I think some people believe feel is unattainable to them, but someday, if they only ride in enough clinics, they can get some of this “feel.”  It sounds to […]

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What is it to Learn?

  We all say we want to get good with our horses, and most of us aren’t born geniuses. We need some help learning. Whether we find someone we want to emulate, a clinician, an instructor, or just observing the horses we ride, we have so many opportunities to learn. But just because you take […]

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Flies

Horseflies.  We hate them.  We spend gobs of money every year fighting them: fly spray, fly sheets, fly masks, spray systems for the barn, fly catchers, fly swatters, you name it.  In North Carolina, we get these big horrible horse flies that are nearly the size of humming birds.  I bet three of them on […]

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The problem with training

  The problem with horse training is that society is set up to believe that you can buy a service and have things the way you want in a certain time frame. People look at horse training as if they’re spending their money on a product. And yet even the best horse trainers will tell […]

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Miracles

I don’t mean to be a drag, but sometimes humanity gets me down.  I love what I do, helping horses.  But after I’ve fixed up the traumatized horse and sent it back home, I don’t always know that he’s going to have a better life.  I have to watch horses get passed along from situation […]

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Go slow to go fast

Every time I got near the spotted mustang, he turned his thick neck to look over his shoulder away from me.  If I stood on the left side, he looked right.  On the ground when I worked him in circles, he twisted his poll so his outside ear tipped down toward the ground and I […]

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To my mare, with thanks and apologies

The sun gleams through the mare’s flaxen mane, setting it on fire with light.  She stretches her head down and yawns, licking her lips and blinking.  I bury my face in her neck, smelling the most familiar smell – perfumey, musky, feminine and pure; my first horse, my very own.  She smells like sunshine and air […]

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Evening in a Field

I walk through the field with the setting sun on my back Cattle dog at my heels, cows on the horizon starting back wondering about me with the same curiosity my eye finds in them. The days’ warmth spreads the smell of grass and manure, stirring feelings of comfort familiarity, and peace. I listen to […]

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My Saddle

My Saddle My office My throne My platform for learning daydreaming and making life decisions. It has seen countless horses – rangey, green, dull, troubled, and dead broke. Five hundred dollar horses and $35,000 horses – they’re all the same, breathing fire, tearing up the earth beneath my saddle. It’s seen snow, wind, rain, and […]

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Geronimo

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t shy away from a challenge.  I’m also a work addict, and love a project.  I really enjoy working with difficult horses, but I hate to admit sometimes when they’re mine, it’s harder to keep it objective.  Geronimo has been difficult, and anyone who knows him knows he is […]

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  • The Cons of Being a Good Student
    The Cons of Being a Good Student
    Over the years I’ve interned and studied under many great teachers. The phase of my life called “being a good student” is over.  “Being brave” is done too. The phase of my life called “listening and being smart” has just begun. Now my interest is learning from my own instinct.  I throw out pressures to […]
    Read more
  • Twenty-Ninth Revolution Around the Sun
    Twenty-Ninth Revolution Around the Sun
    Today marks my twenty-ninth revolution around the sun, and as I write this I am sitting in the airport drinking an overpriced glass of wine on standby, hoping to catch a previously missed flight into Portland, Maine.  I am astounded that I have a group of riders waiting to learn from me, some of which […]
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  • Learning How to Learn
    Learning How to Learn
    Learning is not just about absorbing new information and putting it into practice.  Those of us who have taught lessons or taken lessons know all about that.  In the process of receiving information and digesting it, all sort of foibles can creep up. Our experiences throughout our lives can set us up to struggle to […]
    Read more
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