Anna Blake's Blog (262)

On Women, Bravery, and Being Old Gray Mares


Do you have a mentor? Someone you respect who’s just a few strides ahead of you, and when they go through the door, they give it a shove so there’s a gap left…


Added by Anna Blake on November 27, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Anthropomorphism. It’s a Not Bad Thing.

This week I saw a comment on a great story about a mustang that credited the horse and rider’s success, but called the writing sentimental. I had to laugh; if she thought that story was sentimental, she’d hate my…


Added by Anna Blake on November 20, 2015 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

The Grandfather Horse: When Animals Have Pets…

I have a bone to pick with my Grandfather Horse. He stole my goat.

It’s hard to complain. Spirit’s been my soulmate for the last 29 years and I’m prone to writing sticky, sentimental…


Added by Anna Blake on November 13, 2015 at 9:01am — No Comments

Are You an Advocate for Horses?

Neglected horses are everywhere in the news lately. By the time you make sense of the images, it’s too late to look away. You might be keeping an sad eye on some thin horses in your local area. Maybe you remember Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue’s…


Added by Anna Blake on November 6, 2015 at 9:12am — No Comments

When Your Horse Falls In a Hole.

Horses fall into holes all the time. Metaphoric holes; the really tricky kind that jump up and surprise you when you least expect it.

Holes might be things like confusing cues; you want to canter but…


Added by Anna Blake on October 30, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

On Being an Old Gray Mare With Chronic Lameness

It’s a shooting pain. Usually my foot is brick-tight and I can’t bend my toes. When I do manage to bend them in a natural walking angle, there’s a big red pain. I think my toes have cracked off of my foot and it feels wet–like hot acid-blood is…


Added by Anna Blake on October 16, 2015 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Your Horse is NOT Your Therapist

There’s a cartoon of a roadside stand with a horse inside. The sign says, “Therapy.” We all smile because we’re reminded of that saying about a horse being cheaper than a therapist. I’m not sure that’s true, but after a day of dealing with traffic,…


Added by Anna Blake on October 9, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Anthropomorphic Thoughts About Spaying Mares.

He said we don’t need to import sport horses; we have great horses right here; we’re under-using great mares. More people should consider spaying mares and competing them. I read this in an article a year ago, written by a respected equestrian, and I’ve…


Added by Anna Blake on October 2, 2015 at 9:16am — No Comments

Permission to NOT Ride.

Last Tuesday I had an 8 a.m. lesson with a boarder and her sweet gelding. He’s had a good summer; they even made it to a couple of schooling shows. This gelding had a checkered past with previous owners and when this pair started with me, he was a…


Added by Anna Blake on September 25, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

Listening with Your Seat.

How’s your derrière? Is posterior a more delicate word than rump? Our culture has a lot of fanny chatter: too flat, too round, somehow sagging. Riders should care less about the superficial “do these white breeches make my butt look big?” and…


Added by Anna Blake on September 18, 2015 at 10:19am — No Comments

Dressage Factions and the Real Reason to Compete.

I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the art of dressage. I love the structure, the fundamentals, the words of the classical masters. Dressage is the peaceful partnering of a horse and rider in a dance. It’s a discipline of intuition, subtle cues,…


Added by Anna Blake on September 11, 2015 at 9:06am — 2 Comments

Goats: A Different 12 Step Program.

It just hasn’t been the same since Sumo died. He was my last old-goat-standing and a card-carrying anarchist. He’d been un-fencable here…


Added by Anna Blake on September 4, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

How to Love Horses Forever.

We were born this way. It should be part of the Apgar test. It would resolve so much if newborns gave an early warning–just like any other heart condition.…


Added by Anna Blake on August 28, 2015 at 9:20am — 5 Comments

It’s About Greeks and Romans. Even Today.

Is there a natural way to ride a horse? Is it possible to ride in such a way that the horse goes willingly forward, without constriction, as if he were moving at liberty? Is there a path to a different sort of ride, where kindness and understanding are the primary…


Added by Anna Blake on August 21, 2015 at 10:09am — 2 Comments

Singleton Dreams: Shedding in the Bedding


Added by Anna Blake on August 14, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Natural Instinct: The Human Half

The more we riders understand about horse instinct, the better. Instinct is the starting place; a behavioral baseline from which other trained behaviors are built. So we study wild horses to find out what their language is like, how they experience family dynamics, and what it means…


Added by Anna Blake on August 7, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Helmets, Gravity, and Human Superiority.

August 1st is International Helmet Awareness Day. It’s the day Riders4Helmets started, in the wake of US Olympian Courtney King-Dye’s traumatic brain injury, to raise awareness and promote equestrian…


Added by Anna Blake on July 31, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Behavior, Personality, and Anxiety.

Can you tell the difference between personality, who a horse is, and behavior, what a horse does?

With people it can be a bit easier because we are used to separating the two. We’re taught to “hate the sin and love the sinner.” Most of us know someone who is kind and funny,…


Added by Anna Blake on July 24, 2015 at 8:53am — No Comments

Consistency: Doing Math in the Saddle.

Consistency is a great aid but do you know how it actually works? There’s an analogy I heard decades ago that has stuck with me. It involves bank accounts. You’re right; never listen to me about money, but it’s not that kind of bank account.…


Added by Anna Blake on July 17, 2015 at 9:37am — No Comments

Wake-up Call from Mother Nature. For the Millionth Time.

sunset 010

I haven’t missed a blog posting in over five and a half years, and I won’t now, but this one will be different.

In case you can’t tell, I love this little farm. I didn’t end up here because it was my first choice. It was more a process of elimination. My life came apart and coming…


Added by Anna Blake on July 10, 2015 at 12:36pm — No Comments

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