Anna Blake's Blog (232)

How to Train Your Horse to Hate Arena Work.

Does your horse go better out of the arena? It seems like some…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 24, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

How to Listen to Your Horse.

I had a friend who visited my farm during my first years here. She arrived for the weekend with books and wine. We’d cook and stay up late. In the mornings we took our coffee out into the pasture, still in our flannel pajamas, and looked at wild flowers.

I’m sure I talked…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 17, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Walter on Positive Pet/Vet Training.

Thanks for not mentioning my big nasty scab. I woke up last week with a corgi toenail inside my ear. It was attached to a corgi…running in mid-air… trying to find traction…in a fight with a sleeping Briard…next to me on the bed…at about 2 am. The Briard was totally disoriented by…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 10, 2015 at 8:54am — No Comments

Horses and Tulips.

At some distant moment in the past, probably after seeing The Miracle of the White Stallions when I was a kid, I found out that Spanish horses were started at 4…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 3, 2015 at 9:27am — No Comments

When to Dismount and Say Thank You.

“Asking your horse to hold your weight at the halt, like gossiping cowboys with their legs hooked over their saddle-horns, is much harder for a horse than moving with weight on his back. When you’re not riding, kindly get off his back.”

This quote is from last week’s blog and Cathy asked me to…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 27, 2015 at 9:14am — No Comments

Tips for the Fat Rider. (What?!)

Are you are just too fat to ride? Then go wait in your room.

Did that work? Did you actually go? Of course not. Can we stop this now?

I have a…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 20, 2015 at 9:29am — 2 Comments

Care-giving and the Art of Mucking.

We have a shade tree next to the barn runs that gives the sweetest summer shade, but reeks havoc on winter footing. Colorado temps frequently take 40 degree mood swings in a few hours. Fresh muck can land in wet spring snow, and in a brief moment, freeze so solid that a pick ax is useless. But an hour later, the muck has dissolved, indistinguishable…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 13, 2015 at 9:33am — No Comments

Riding with Intention.

Does anyone think they can hide their feelings from their horse? Even for a minute?

A horse’s physical awareness is so acute that they seem intuitive. Most of us think our horses are psychic because it’s easier to believe than how…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 6, 2015 at 9:56am — 2 Comments

An Equine Cure for a Type-A Personality.

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Added by Anna Blake on February 27, 2015 at 9:13am — No Comments

The Grandfather Horse. Not Dead Yet.

I haven’t written about the Grandfather Horse in over a year. Most of that time, I was scared half-to-death and the rest of the time, I was laughing too hard.

I know I’m supposed to credit for whatever equine skills I might have to my trainers (I worked with the best,) and the…

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Added by Anna Blake on February 20, 2015 at 8:48am — 2 Comments

Left in the Dust: Your Ridiculously Slow Response Time.

Have you noticed that horses are incredibly quicker than we are? I’m going to tell you the good news about that, but it’s going to take a while to get there.

Horses have the fastest response time of any common domestic animal. Yes, they measure these things, and horses are quickest to perceive and respond to stimuli–partly because they are…

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Added by Anna Blake on February 13, 2015 at 9:51am — No Comments

The Stepford Horses, Dominated to Submission.

Remember the Stepford Wives–a little too submissive, a little too darkly docile? I saw horses just like them last week and I’m still in a snit. They were at a riding facility–a group lesson of fairly novice western riders. Each of the horses had a shank bit, each of the riders used spurs. The horses moved like the zombie-wives who had lost the will to live… altered into submission by their self-important husbands. If one of the horses did lift his head to see where he was going,…

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Added by Anna Blake on February 6, 2015 at 9:20am — 3 Comments

Why I Like Bad-Dogs.





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Added by Anna Blake on January 30, 2015 at 9:07am — 1 Comment

Seeing Things Like Horses Do.

We see things differently than horses.  And like usual, I think we should try to be more like them.

To start, one of the easy ways to tell if a mammal is predator or prey is eye position. Predators, like us humans, have our eyes close together, aiding our depth perception and…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 23, 2015 at 8:50am — 2 Comments

The Everyday Value of Dressage.

Is your horse a different person under-saddle?

Maybe tacking up is all good, but once you are ready to mount, he dances around a bit. But you’re athletic enough to grab on and swing a leg over, pulling on the reins to slow him down. Oh well, then his head comes up, but you’re no pansy. Sure, his trot is jolting and his neck counter-bent, but…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 16, 2015 at 8:52am — 1 Comment

The Last Goat Standing.

I’ve been trying to not write about goats all week. I wanted to write something inspiring about art and dressage. I’ve kind of been being a goat…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 9, 2015 at 9:05am — No Comments

The Only New Year's Resolution You Need (and some big news!)

It’s been a great year at Infinity Farm. I’m thrilled to say no one died. It’s kind of a miracle–all ages and infirmities considered. I wandered through the memories of the year, looking for a stellar moment to share with you, one that was inspirational and would reflect the best of us. There were a pile to pick from, but in the end, it was a no-brainer.

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Remember our barn-rat, Hannah?…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 2, 2015 at 9:55am — No Comments

A Rescue Training Journal, Told from Two Viewpoints.

If there is an annual pony day, it should be Christmas. The reason is obvious, but if you didn’t get your wish, read this:

I’m a Dressage Queen with an unlikely soft spot for vertically-challenged horses. Too often they get small patience from humans who treat them with low regard. Or at the very least, these condensed equines are under-estimated–they are smart, tough, and very athletic. In the last few years that I’ve…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 26, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Horse Rescue: Not for the Faint of Heart.

Do you ever wonder if a rescue horse would be good enough to be your next horse? They have a…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 19, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

Seasonal Training Aids.

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I’ll speak for myself. It’s only the middle of December and I’m a bit tired of this holiday season already. It probably has something to do with the days being so short. The noon sun is so low in the southern sky that a habitual twilight-squint has settled in between my eye brows.  It’s hard to find rhythm in all the hurry and fuss. Taking a nap on your nose…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 12, 2014 at 9:14am — No Comments

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