Anna Blake's Blog (224)

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

Vet Visit! Breathing is Connection.

Emergency vet call! One of my boarded horses is sick. He’s a draft cross, timid but kind. He likes things to move in horse time. When the vet and his tech arrived, they hurried into his run. He remembers vets and tries to be good, but needles scare him. Intruders moving fast scare…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 5, 2014 at 9:01am — 1 Comment

Being Grateful for Things You Don’t Like.

My favorite training mentor had a habit that drove me nuts. She would be working with a horse who spooked or flipped his head or had some other issue that made him a disaster and when she climbed on, if you were close, you could hear her say in a low…

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Added by Anna Blake on November 28, 2014 at 9:26am — 2 Comments

Abuse -When do you speak up?

Do you ever get haunted by a situation where you wish you had said something? Mine was 18 months ago. As I drove away from a lesson, I pulled over to check my messages, facing a riding arena where a roping event was going on. It was a perfect summer night and riders were warming up. There was some light bantering passed around, followed by good-natured…

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Added by Anna Blake on November 21, 2014 at 9:13am — 2 Comments

Waiting out the storm with the Dogs of War.





Last Monday I worked a couple of horses in the morning. The temperature dropped in the afternoon–by 54 degrees. I raced to the feed store to get an emergency stash…

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Added by Anna Blake on November 14, 2014 at 9:52pm — No Comments

Weather Amnesia -A Time Change Rage.

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light. ~Dylan Thomas



Scholars will tell you that this Dylan Thomas poem is about old age and death. It’s a little known fact, probably made up, that this poem was actually not written by Dylan Thomas at…

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Added by Anna Blake on November 7, 2014 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

When Horses Go Through Menopause.

Disclaimer: I’m not a vet. Or a doctor. But someone has to talk about it.

How can you tell your horse is going through menopause? Here are some of the symptoms: His rider is usually a woman somewhere in her forties or older. Well, I guess there is just that one symptom…

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Added by Anna Blake on October 31, 2014 at 9:16am — No Comments

Golden Days and Hindsight Guilt.

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These late October days are golden–sweet and rich, and as temporary as a long, crisp leaf. The sun is slow to rise and dawdles while setting over Pikes Peak. The clouds hold onto its colorful tail, long after the sun is gone. The horses and I want to languish on the tight wire between…

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Added by Anna Blake on October 24, 2014 at 9:23am — 4 Comments

Horse Rescue: The Psychological Aspect of Physical Abuse.

I boarded the first horse I owned as an adult. It gave me something I hadn’t had in the past: a barn family. It was a private…

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Added by Anna Blake on October 17, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

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