Anna Blake's Blog (179)

Calming Signals: Are You Listening?

If you are standing next to your horse and he looks away, do you think he’s distracted or even disrespectful? When your horse yawns, is he sleepy or bored? If he moves slowly, is he lazy? These are important cues from your horse, are you hearing him correctly?

When it comes to communicating with horses, some humans are a bit like a self-obsessed…


Added by Anna Blake on April 18, 2014 at 8:30am — 12 Comments

Training Confidence and Trust.

There’s a way that a mare can pin her ears back so hard that they make almond-shaped divots on her neck hairs. You don’t have to know much about horses to pick up on that cue. It’s big and dark and she looks like a serpent. By the time this is happening, there is even an argument she will have a hard time hearing you, literally, what with her ear drums…


Added by Anna Blake on April 11, 2014 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

Dressage on a Rescue: Doing More with Less

Photo:Andante, ex-PMU, casts a giant shadow.

I have a confession. I shop-lifted when I was in high school. No, I don’t seem like the type. It was the only time I ever stole anything and what they say is right:…


Added by Anna Blake on April 4, 2014 at 8:30am — 4 Comments

Volunteering 101: Come Get Me.

This week spring hit the Colorado prairie. You can tell because the temperature and the wind speed are the same. Tumble weeds broke into my barn and sure, Edgar…


Added by Anna Blake on March 28, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Subtle Abuse: When Aids Become Weapons.

My client’s mare is lovely; a very well-bred athletic horse. When my client bought her, the previous owner suggested my client get a cowboy to ride her at first, she needed spurs all the time and the horse was ‘mare-y‘, whatever that means. I get a little…


Added by Anna Blake on March 21, 2014 at 9:00am — 10 Comments

The Art is in the Transition.

When I see kids learning to drive these days in compact cars with automatic transmissions, I wonder where’s the challenge? Back in my day, (beware when a gray-haired…


Added by Anna Blake on March 14, 2014 at 9:04am — No Comments

Explaining Dressage: the small print.

First of all, the reason Dressage needs some explaining is that the there are some misconceptions about this riding discipline.

Some people think that Dressage is a hyper-correct, micro-managed, soul-killing, brain-numbing and sit-bone-driving sport with all the drama and thrill of curling. But with less cool outfits: (see…


Added by Anna Blake on March 7, 2014 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

The Woman Who Cheated with Horses.

I like to hear Horse Husbands whine as much as the next person.

Sometimes it’s almost amusing. He complains about…


Added by Anna Blake on February 28, 2014 at 8:41am — 8 Comments

Your Horse Has Ulcers.

I don’t usually say it that bluntly but I wanted to get your attention. I need to make a payment on a debt. Usually I start with the term sour stomach. No one likes to hear ulcers because it opens the flood gates of guilt, blame and angst. Not to mention the…


Added by Anna Blake on February 21, 2014 at 8:57am — 1 Comment

Your Valentine, Edgar Rice Burro.

This year our Valentine message is from Edgar Rice Burro. No, don’t be silly. Of course he doesn’t take over my studio and type his profound and uplifting messages with his hooves. That would be impossible for him to do and you’d be crazy to believe it.…


Added by Anna Blake on February 14, 2014 at 8:21am — 2 Comments

Bad Timing Explained

Most of us read the training books and do the best we can to apply them in the saddle. We all think we define those words the same way, but we don’t all get great results.

Maybe you aren’t a flawless rider but you’re not a total disaster in…


Added by Anna Blake on February 7, 2014 at 9:11am — 6 Comments

Do You Ride Like Your Mother?

“Oh, Honey. You aren’t going to wear that, are you? Could you put some lipstick on, you are so much prettier when you smile. You should skip dessert, Honey, you look heavy. Are you dating anyone… don’t let him see your apartment looking this way. “

That same voice on…


Added by Anna Blake on January 31, 2014 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

Walking the Walk. Literally.

It starts at the mounting block. Really. If you are still proving your testosterone (yes, you heard me) by ground mounting, give your horse and his withers a break. Go to the mounting block. Do it for him.

Once you are at the mounting block, take a minute and…


Added by Anna Blake on January 24, 2014 at 8:30am — 6 Comments

The Corgi Witness Protection Program.

Did you know there is a Corgi Witness Protection Program? Do you have room for a dog with a history?

It’s the one year anniversary of the day that Walter came here from Wyoming to rescue the Dude Rancher and I from the peace and quiet of…


Added by Anna Blake on January 17, 2014 at 9:07am — 1 Comment

What Do Old Horses Dream?

Winter has been early and cold in Colorado, and my Grandfather Horse is moving especially slow. I have a habit with my older animals: I like to…


Added by Anna Blake on January 10, 2014 at 8:50am — 4 Comments

The Best New Year's Resolution.

Horses don’t make New Year’s resolutions. They live forever in the present moment. Prey animals are smart that way.

Humans, on the other hand, love to set a…


Added by Anna Blake on January 3, 2014 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

Family Values at the Holidays.

Earlier this year a client was asking me for some backup horse care. A parent was in the hospital and she needed to go home. My client was working the plan: Her dog wasn’t welcome in any of her sibling’s homes, so she was searching for a motel with pet options.…


Added by Anna Blake on December 27, 2013 at 8:37am — No Comments

Their Christmas Wish: Generous Hands, Both Kinds.

My mail box is full of sale ads from every tack store on the planet this time of year. Someone who works in advertising is telling me what my horses want for Christmas.…

Added by Anna Blake on December 20, 2013 at 8:27am — 1 Comment

A Message from your Therapist.

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Winston Churchill was certainly right, and some times of the year, more than others. I notice the holiday season has a lot of us wound up just a little tighter.

Is your horse a therapy horse? All of mine are, especially the retired ones. Sometimes…


Added by Anna Blake on December 13, 2013 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Onesie Weather.

Right now, it’s -8 degrees. Weather has been in the single digits for days here on the flat, windy, treeless prairie of Colorado. I’m absolutely giddy,…


Added by Anna Blake on December 6, 2013 at 8:26am — 1 Comment

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