I did one thing that made me a better trail rider and horse owner in general. It wasn’t following any particular trainer or method, it wasn’t watching any particular video or reading any particular book, and it wasn’t even taking lessons. It was learning about endurance riding. I had never heard of endurance riding until… Continue reading The One Thing I Did That Made Me a Better Trail Rider
I really enjoy walking alongside my horses, as much as, if not more than riding them. It’s unusual, I know, but to me it feels like a different kind of partnership when we’re both walking. When I ride, the horse is lending me so many things- his back, his strength, his agility and his speed.… Continue reading Hiking with Horses
My draft horse, Olaf, has become extremely attached to my half blind mule, Ellie. More accurately, she is attached to him, and he is more than happy to comply. Ellie still has one perfectly good eye but, since going blind in the other, she’s let Olaf become her security blanket in life. They are sweet… Continue reading Night Walk with Olaf
As you know, Miss Mule went mysteriously blind in one eye this summer. What started as a cloudy film over half her eye now covers the entire thing, and has left her with no vision on her left side. She may see shadows. It’s hard to tell exactly what she sees, but she is most… Continue reading Lessons from a Mule #12- Going Blind is Scary.
My friend Teri is in the process of setting up a 501c3 non-profit called Breezy Meadow Horse Rescue. Teri’s been rescuing horses for years on her own dime. I’ve lost count of the number of horses she’s picked up, rehabbed, and either kept or found homes for. She is one of the most generous people… Continue reading This is horse rescue.
Olaf has finally gained enough weight where I feel comfortable starting to ride him. I’ve led the kids around on him for a few minutes at a time, and I led my daughter on the trail for about 20 minutes. I don’t feel comfortable going any longer than that, simply because he’s still thin and… Continue reading First Ride on Olaf the Gentle Giant
After the Christmas parade debacle, Miss Mule was mad at me for a solid 3 months. She wouldn’t get anywhere near a trailer without an absurd amount of effort on my part, she didn’t want to be ridden, and she was generally salty. You may ask how I know that she didn’t want to be… Continue reading Lessons from a Mule #10- Persistence pays off.
When you’re in the horse game long enough, people start offering you free horses. Someone can’t afford to feed their horses anymore, they’re dealing with an illness and have no time for them, or their kid lost interest and they’re tired of paying big money for an animal they don’t need. Whatever the situation, there… Continue reading There’s No Such Thing as a Free Horse
Even though my mule, Ellie, is fantastic to ride, she’s not been very interested in being friends with me like my horses are. When I first got her, I couldn’t get anywhere near her in the pasture, especially if I was holding a halter. I couldn’t just walk up to her and pet her like… Continue reading Lessons from a Mule #9- Liberty Work
Whenever I run into a training problem with my equines, it always bums me out. It’s like when your kid does something really stupid and you wonder what you could have done better as a parent to prevent it. But always on the other side of any training issue I realize that I learned something… Continue reading Trailer Loading the Slow, Gentle Way