Anna Blake's Blog (301)

The Fine Art of Cantankery.

I’ve had a hard time acting my age. That’s not it, exactly. It’s more like I’m straddling the Grand Canyon between my usual teen angst and dealing with the fact I’m supposed to be wearing support hose. It all started with my birthday. Two years ago.

Then recently a donkey came to the rescue that I work with.…

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Added by Anna Blake on August 26, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

Judging Dressage: Hyperflexion in Dressage

Dressage isn't perfect, but what part is baby and what part is bath water?

Watching the Dressage competition at the Olympics was inspirational. And horrific. There were impeccable riders with fluid bodies and invisible cues. And riders who were brutal, with hard hands and cruel methods. There were…

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Added by Anna Blake on August 19, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

A Trailer of One's Own

WM trailer Nova

A horsewoman told me that, at sixty-three, she was the proud owner of her very first horse trailer. I let out a congratulatory yell and I’ve been smiling all day. Trailers add a layer of independence to the freedom we feel with horses.

Do you remember your first horse trailer? Mine was a navy blue two-horse straight load. It was the late ’80s and no one I knew wanted to…

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Added by Anna Blake on August 12, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments

How to Ride Creatively.

Riding a horse is the simplest thing in the world. Just point ’em and kick. What’s so hard about that? And as long as you don’t care where you go or how you get there, no worries.

But we’re humans prone to having expectations and goals. And horses are sentient with thoughts and emotions of their own. Perhaps the first thing that horses and humans…

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

Money: If Wishes Were Horses…

WM Infinity Farm

“How much does a horse cost? Do you have to be rich to own one?”

I can tell you how much hay they eat, warn you about vet bills and farrier visits. There are many articles and books written about equine…

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Added by Anna Blake on July 29, 2016 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Rescue: Training the Things We Take for Granted

Lethargy. Sweltering with a non-specific stickiness. Flies. More flies. Dilly-dallying. These are the wilting Dog Days of Summer, named for Sirius, the Dog Star. No connection to the napping habits of dogs so deflated by the heat that a sploot position on the linoleum is the…

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Added by Anna Blake on July 22, 2016 at 10:01am — No Comments

Defending Horses with Words and Money

Fair warning: I'm going to ask you to do a favor for horses. It will involve some of your time and the money that you spend anyway.

I try to avoid any photos of abuse. I don’t share them because they titillate perpetrators. Besides, I’ve seen enough cruelty for a thousand lifetimes.

One got by me this week on Facebook; it was a photo of a dog…

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Added by Anna Blake on July 16, 2016 at 10:30pm — No Comments

The Trailer Isn’t the Problem.

WM Trailer Grace

The owner said his horse had trailer issues. He’d watched a video and used a whip and rope, with bad results. Then he hired a local trainer but after two hours of fighting with his hysterical horse, she gave up and left. Now the horse was even worse, the owner said, and…

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Added by Anna Blake on July 8, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments

A Lesson about Squeamishness and a Donkey.

WM mucking attire

Look, it’s a selfie of me mucking last week. I like to get an early start in the summer. Over six hundred blog posts about this horse/life, and no one ever asks me for fashion tips. I wonder why?

I wasn’t always this sophisticated. I remember when I was maybe fifteen; it was morning and I was standing out waiting for the school bus. I…

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Added by Anna Blake on July 1, 2016 at 9:25am — No Comments

Admitting You're Wrong.

Do you remember the first time you wanted to be right? It might predate memory or even language. Being good is immediately quantified after birth; we’re tested before we even leave the hospital. It’s our first “percentile.”…

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Added by Anna Blake on June 24, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Reciprocity: A Softer Ask, a Softer Bend

I overheard some riders complaining like old campaigners. Asking a horse for bend sounded like the Hundred YearsWar. They weren’t mean, just grumbling that it was hard to make the…

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Added by Anna Blake on June 17, 2016 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

Mansplaining in the Barn

Thirty-five years ago, I stood with a group of women protesting a murder sentence given by a judge in Denver. The defendant had shot his estranged wife in the face, point-blank. The judge gave a ridiculously light…

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Added by Anna Blake on June 10, 2016 at 10:30am — 4 Comments

Women as Predators.

WMears, clouds

Do you identify as a predator?

I was at a horse show a few years back, helping a client. It was a warm day at an outdoor venue. Participants were all…

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Added by Anna Blake on June 3, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

How to Diffuse a Horse Bomb

WMPMUgiantshadow

Maybe you’re mentally arranging your to-do list, or rehashing an imaginary rant about something that happened at work, or just daydreaming…

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Added by Anna Blake on May 27, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

Do You Inspire Your Horse?

Do you inspire your horse? Does he volunteer more than you ask? Are you proud of who you are in his eyes?

And yes, this is a donkey. There is no better trainer for a human who wants to work with horses. Look him in the eye. You are out-matched in strength and wits. Don’t just lay your ego down.…

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Added by Anna Blake on May 20, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

Talking About the Future with Your Vet.

Are you happy with your veterinarian? It’s the question I ask when a client loses a horse or has a long-term issue. I’m not sure it’s important that they actually have the best vet in the world, but it is important that they think they do. The reason to talk about it now is obvious; there may not be time…

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Added by Anna Blake on May 13, 2016 at 3:30pm — No Comments

What I Didn't Know Then (About Starting Horses Young)

It seems that most things I learn about horses, I learn in hindsight. It’s not a bad thing. Horses learn that way, too.

When I was younger I had a great grasp of the little picture. And by…

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Added by Anna Blake on May 6, 2016 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Freak Riding Accident? Hardly.

WM helmet sunset
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 — 4 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.

synnap arthur

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

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