All Blog Posts Tagged 'Horsemanship' (24)

Give Peace a Chance- Start in the Barn.

This is the time of year holiday greetings include Peace on Earth. We need it- there is so much conflict in the world…


Added by Anna Blake on December 30, 2011 at 8:34am — No Comments

Let’s Dance.


The connection between horses and music is not abstract. It’s literal.

I was learned this fact years ago riding with a group of friends at a barn party. The sound system was cranked up and Bobby McFerrins’Don’t Worry was playing. I am sure…


Added by Anna Blake on October 14, 2011 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Love Poem

I fell in love with horses all over again this week. Yes, it was a pretty short fall and yes, it does happen every week. And no, it never gets old. Does my enthusiasm make me seem less professional?

It has been also been one of those weeks when most of my clients are having challenges with their horses. Some of the challenges are old ones and some are brand new but regardless of origin or cause- a challenge is an opportunity by another name.…


Added by Anna Blake on October 7, 2011 at 8:31am — No Comments

Under Saddle: Control and Freedom.

The equestrian world can seem kind of bi-polar. Some of us ride like headless (brainless) horsemen with little consciousness for our horse or surroundings.  Some of us are such control freaks that we slow every walk stride and micro-manage our horse’s nose into being afraid to take a breath. Most of us are working towards a middle ground.

Dressage seems to attract riders who like…


Added by Anna Blake on September 16, 2011 at 8:12am — No Comments

Everyday Dressage.

Dressage is an equine discipline of beauty, partnership and art. YouTube is full of spectacular videos of elite horses and riders. When Blue Hors Matinee’s freestyle was viral, a dozen non-horse friends sent me the link. I hear Moorlands Totilas has groupies like the rock star that he is, but my personal…


Added by Anna Blake on August 19, 2011 at 8:22am — No Comments

You Might as Well Enjoy the Ride.

We had an Introduction to Driving clinic at Infinity Farm last weekend. It was a fun group ready for a new experience. Our schoolmaster/donkey-boys taught the clinic, along with me and Lisa.

Participants asked my favorite question about driving. “What do you do if you have a runaway?” The traditional answer, passed down from generations of teamsters, is enjoy the ride.

I had a decent runaway when Ernest and I were still green. There was an explosion of sound behind us,…


Added by Anna Blake on August 5, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

Mid-Summer news from horse Play 2011











The Running Horse

A Bi-monthly Newsletter from Horse Play…


Added by Horse Play on August 3, 2011 at 11:22am — No Comments

What a Parrot Taught Me About Horses.

There were a few dark years (between leaving home and having enough income to support a horse) that I was earthbound with only house pets. I survived it. Barely.

During that horse-less time, a box arrived. It was a surprise parrot -from a friend in Panama. I’m not saying it was a great idea to catch a bird and ship her, I’m just saying that she…


Added by Anna Blake on July 29, 2011 at 8:17am — No Comments

Early Summer News from Horse Play

The Running Horse 

A Bi-monthly Newsletter from Horse Play 

Special Issue – Early Summer 2011 

Horse Play 

EIN: 05-0506340 




Message from Aidan – the Alpha Mare 


Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom -… Continue

Added by Horse Play on June 30, 2011 at 8:24am — No Comments

Million Dollar Question

     My last post asked, “What Do You Want?”  Perhaps coincidentally, in her blog today fellow member Jackie Cochran posted “Well Horse, What Do YOU Want?” Now, isn’t that the million dollar question!  Safety, comfort and play, says Pat Parelli.  Yes, and we should always first rule out physical discomfort when faced with undesired behaviors.  But figuring out exactly how much play, challenge, fun, and rest your particular horse prefers isn’t always easy.

Added by Jamie B on June 19, 2011 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

What do you want?

Wednesday I saw a tornado.  Up close, while trapped in my car on an elevated stretch of highway in Springfield, Mass. Scary!  Funny what a random lethal event does to your head.  It’s clarifying

My sister, a fellow agnostic, asked me if I prayed.  The question took me off guard, and its answer surprised me a bit: I didn’t.  I’d wondered if this was “it”, and then thought, why not?  I don’t live in the area, just happened to be there at that moment as I traveled to Vermont for…


Added by Jamie B on June 5, 2011 at 6:30pm — 3 Comments


"Respect is appropriate response to pressure."  I heard Pat Parelli say this once, and the ring of its truth is undeniable.  Whether working on the ground or in the saddle, a horse's appropriate response to pressure is essential to any activity.  Brody definitely needs (re)education on this!


Maybe lack of cooperation is his passive-aggressive platform for establishing dominance, or maybe I haven't been consistent enough in establishing my expectations and requiring him to…


Added by Jamie B on May 22, 2011 at 8:56pm — 3 Comments

A Different Kind of Runaway.


Added by Anna Blake on May 20, 2011 at 7:54am — 1 Comment

My Space

I really want to focus on strengthening my leadership, so that eventually I can safely ride Brody and take him out on the road.  Here's how I worked to establish my physical space with Brody this week.


First, Brody did not want to be haltered, especially once he caught sight of the rope and stick.  So I swung the halter towards his hindquarters and got him moving off whenever he started stepping away from me.  When Brody wheeled to face me, I turned my back to him and stand…


Added by Jamie B on May 15, 2011 at 6:17pm — No Comments

A Lesson Horse is Born….

… and Grace gives herself a promotion.

Dressage borrows lots of language from ballet -after all, we are the dancers of the horse world. Pas de Trois is a dance of three. I have commandeered that phrase to describe riding lessons as a conversational dance between horse, rider and instructor. All three participants have to be heard for the dance to succeed.

I am always…


Added by Anna Blake on May 13, 2011 at 8:02am — 1 Comment

Back in the Blogosphere!

So good to be back after a very long winter!  I've been freshening up my groundwork skills, reviewing Parelli and catching up on all the Downunder Horsemanship (Clinton Anderson) episodes I recorded from RFD-TV.  Yesterday I decided to get back in the paddock for a first session, and I was amazed at how much Brody remembered, particularly changing direction on a circle.  We seemed to have just about picked up where we left off.  I decided to keep it short and vary the exercises a…


Added by Jamie B on May 8, 2011 at 6:21pm — No Comments

Dear Drama Queen-

Dear Drama Queen,

I understand getting upset. You have so much passion and desire for riding. I know how much you want to do the very best job. Sometimes the world seems to conspire against you; it’s like every bad thing happens to you and none of it is…


Added by Anna Blake on April 15, 2011 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Top 10 List: Riding in the Wind

Top 10 Wind List:

The advantages of not having an indoor arena on the flat, windy, treeless plains of Colorado.

10. Less time is spent working the arena -as all hoof prints are erased hourly, along with the top inch of sand.

9. Wind helps with the spring grooming -working like a brand new shedding blade.

8. Riding with feel is increased as your goggles get covered with dust, or you simply ride  with your eyes closed one direction .

7. Un-cued, near…


Added by Anna Blake on April 1, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

Horse Play News March-April 2011


The Running Horse 

A Bi-monthly Newsletter from Horse Play

March - April 2011

Horse Play

EIN: 05-0506340



Message from Aidan – the Alpha Mare



Added by Horse Play on March 23, 2011 at 9:30am — No Comments

Climbing Back On-

Riders know this lesson; if you get bucked off you have to climb back on. That’s the rule. Horse or rider are better for it. They say that the hardest thing about riding is hitting the ground (sigh) but I disagree. The recovery is often more challenging.

I think we are afraid of what we know- more than the unknown. Experience makes it personal. Once we have…


Added by Anna Blake on March 18, 2011 at 8:37am — No Comments

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