Anna Blake's Blog (284)

Freak Riding Accident? Hardly.

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The horse world has lost some good riders in the last few weeks. Sadly, it happens all too often. Horses can be unpredictable and people get hurt.…
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Added by Anna Blake on April 29, 2016 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

Beyond the Fence Line

I have a neighbor, a couple of properties to the north, who brings his cattle home to calve each spring. The pasture is empty the rest of the year but then in one day, twenty-five head materialize, casually grazing. They’re hard to miss. The…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 22, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

A Cautionary Tale About Sleeping Around.

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We heard about Arthur, who had reached that certain age in the life of a young goat, just as we were mourning the loss of our old goat. It was…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 15, 2016 at 5:30am — No Comments

Is That Horse Hot or Fearful? The Importance of Relaxation

It’s a question I’ve asked groups lately, “How can you tell the difference between a hot horse and a fearful one? There are a handful of answers but by far, most people say they see the difference in their eyes.…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 8, 2016 at 8:30am — No Comments

Release: Giving Your Horse Dignity

Do you remember the very first time you heard the term Natural Horsemanship? I loved the sound of those words together. It felt holistic and honorable, and well, natural.…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 1, 2016 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Dogs and the Things We Cannot Change

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Are you the kind of person who gets nervous in a new place if there isn’t a dog to talk to? Do you find it easy to look through the dog spit dried on the passenger window when making a right turn in your truck? Do you have a drawer with a bunch of old dog collars with…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 25, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Pony Smart and Carrot Shy

Last week I wrote about loitering in the sun with horses and not feeding carrots. People who train with treats spoke up and I agree; during work sessions, treats…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 18, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

Carrots Aren’t Enough.

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We’ve had a lot of company at the farm lately. Sometimes I take them into the family pen. The Grandfather Horse is there with his goat, Arthur. Edgar Rice Burro peers from under his eyebrows as he begins the suave stroll…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 11, 2016 at 7:07am — No Comments

A Better Name for Chronic Lameness

It was the first day that the notion of chronic lameness got personal. My Grandfather Horse was young but he’d severely damaged a tendon in his front leg. My vet explained to me that he would most likely need two years of…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 4, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

What's the True Value of Riding?

There’s a meme that travels around Facebook that states, “Most people don’t need a $35,000 horse. They need a $1,000 horse and $34,000 in lessons.” Boy howdy, the horse world is resplendent with stories of novice riders buying advanced…

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Added by Anna Blake on February 26, 2016 at 6:30am — No Comments

Energy Without Emotion.

Some of us originally learned to ride by watching Westerns. Cowboys held both reins in one hand and jerked the horse sharply sideways to turn him, and the bit jerking the mouth open added drama. They were in an angry rush, leaning forward, and kicking really hard with spurs sharp enough to puncture a kidney. Then…

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Added by Anna Blake on February 19, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Valentine’s Day and a Goat Tail. I Mean Tale.

Is it too soon to say the word? Sure, there’s more snow coming. You’d be nuts to pack away the tank heaters and long johns. Still, there’s a change in the light and the calendar agrees. The coldest part of winter is past…

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Added by Anna Blake on February 12, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

A Reminder about Horse Memory.

The temps were mild. No one was shedding but the geldings were sunbathing flat and I was able to chip away at some ice-age muck. I even found a fly in the house. For a moment, it felt possible that winter would end.

It was a fib; just the first part of the annual bait-and-switch scam that Mother Nature pulls to make riders even battier than usual. It…

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Added by Anna Blake on February 5, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

How to Stop Feeling the Rub of Judgment.

On a good day, a judgment is simply a carefully considered decision or opinion, but on a bad day, it’s a list of shortcomings. Usually half of them are impossible to change. And then in the horse world, a whole bunch of us ask…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 29, 2016 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

Starting Back After a Winter's Rest.

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It happened last Tuesday afternoon. I was finishing up midday chores and I braced as I came around the side of the barn where I usually get slapped by a polar wind. This time…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 22, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

Enough with the Bliss-Ninny Platitudes!

Your horse is escalating. His prance is coming apart into a full-blown Flamenco dance with a furious stomp to his hind hooves. It’s audible; you’re on pavement in front of an indoor arena. His front hooves alternately pop the ground and…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 15, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

New Eyes on the Same Ordinary Stuff

I’ll tell you about how the first follow happened. She was a young barn-rat of a girl. You know the…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 8, 2016 at 8:30am — No Comments

Auld Lang Syne: The Ghost Herd

I’ve mentioned it before; I still mourn Cochise, that black and white Pinto that Little Joe rode on Bonanza. It’s New Year’s Eve and the song about the “Old Long Since” keeps running laps in my head. I toast this sentimental…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 1, 2016 at 9:10am — No Comments

When Nothing Less than Havarti Will Do

I’ve been getting the stink eye from Preacher Man.

It happens. He’s a member of the Long and Low Club, and while charging through the yard, herding the indifferent ducks from outside their fence, he’s bound to kick up some debris. It’s important work; he’s moved around some in…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 25, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

How the Barn Became a Church

Were you born in a barn? Not me, but I wish. I lived in the tiny asphalt-shingle house just south of the barn.

The barn was huge and white, with doors that rolled open wide enough that even the big tractor passed through with room to spare. There were two tall silos on the east side,…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 18, 2015 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

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