Reader, Thinker, Writer, Lover.
Horse Magic

Teen Group 1: Depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, aggression, suicidal, fear, abuse, neglect, anger, self harm.

Teen Group 2: Confident, engaged, well-behaved, respectful, friendly, talkative, gentle, calm, introspective.

Am I describing two different groups of kids? Nope. This is the same group of teenagers; only in group 2, they are surrounded by loving therapists and volunteers who are totally invested in their engagement and success. And most importantly, they are paired with a 1200lb animal that doesn’t care about their history or diagnosis. This animal only cares about the current moment. The animal’s questions are: how will you treat me? Do I respect your body language? Do you make me fearful or make me trust?


And just like that, a miracle occurs. A miracle. In mere minutes. Read more…


It’s 6am mornings, dawn barely breaking,  40 degrees and wind howling, bucking bales while they whinny for their breakfast.

It’s pulling a wagon through three inches of mud and slop, slipping and sliding while your hair swirls around your face.

It’s worrying until 11pm, then finally caving and heading out into the freezing drizzle to blanket.

It’s picking hay out of your pockets and horse treats out of washing machine and dirt out of…well, everywhere.

It’s having them raise a hoof to you and yelling, “Oh, I’ll GIVE you a reason to raise a hoof at me if you don’t put that down this minute!” Read more…


Believe me when I say that I like to be in control.

Those who know me well enough to keep their mouths shut might describe me in less generous terms. I like to be in charge, I like to know what’s next, and I most certainly don’t like surprises.

So when I began riding horses at (ahem) a later age in life, I found myself in a bit of a conundrum. When boosted up onto a large, flighty, sometimes unpredictable animal, my control instincts went into overdrive. I think this is why dressage appeals to female riders my age: there are rules to be followed. Tests. Timelines. Clear measurements of success. It was created by the Germans, for goodness sake. Read more…


Mathematically, it makes no sense at all. I’m no genius, but I’m pretty sure that:


So imagine my surprise when I realized that math does not always apply to human relationships! Read more…


I had a bobble in my confidence this weekend. (This happens often because I have a large, but very fragile ego.) I tried a horse-riding discipline that is super fun, but that I know very little about and that I don’t ever practice. I used a saddle I don’t often use, reining technique that is quite different from my norm, and the setting was wildly different than my quiet dressage arena (it was me + 10 cows in a very small pen). Even my outfit was different: I felt like a fraud in jeans and cowboy boots, instead of riding breeches and tall equestrian boots. I love horses, but I’m no cowgirl! Read more…


If I’m not listening closely, I can miss it.

It’s deep and quiet and rumble-y…like a train you hear rolling down the tracks from miles away on a clear night or a Night Train of the Harley Davidson variety starting up a block down the street.

It originates from deep inside his belly and reverberates through his big barrel chest. It seems to bypass his throat entirely and exits through his soft muzzle, the air escaping and making his nostrils bounce almost imperceptibly. Read more…


Even if you don’t ride horses, I bet you can:

  1. Find something in my body position that I could improve on, and
  2. Get a life lesson from it.

Read more…


Man, he’s a little snorty and fussy today.

Wow, he sure is muscular. Yikes. Especially his running and bucking muscles.

Oh, look at that. He pinned his ears at the saddle.

Speaking of saddles, why did I decide to pursue English riding again? There’s nothing to hold on to if things go wrong… Read more…


The fit was impressive to watch, really. And, since I was watching from between his ears and on his back, it was a little frightening as well. Sitting on 1200lbs of pissed-off muscle that has the ability to run record-breaking speeds and throw your ass a dozen yards across the arena is not exactly where you want to be as a rider. Read more…