Monday, February 15, 2010

A day in the life

Today I went to play with the horses. My neighbor Justtina came and took some snapshots with a camera phone. It's been a long time since I've has done any regular posting about my life with the horses so I'm going to ease back into it and keep it simple. This blog will hopefully prove to be an easy way to keep up with what I'm working on.

For those who may not be familiar with me and my work with horses, I produced a video called The Path of the Horse. The video documents my search for a different and more fulfilling way of being with horses than what I had been taught in the traditional horse world. There is more information about the video here: .

This first photo is of Sundance. Sundance is the horse most responsible for setting me along this path. She's 16 now and we've been together since Sundance was 6 months old. Sundance is a Dutch Warmblood mare. Today I spent time scratching her and doing a little ground work.

Here is Sofi, a 7 year old pinto pony mare. In the photo we're working on communicating over the exercise of leg stretches using the rock as a pedestal.

And of course Patrik, a 10 year old Hanoverian gelding. He's the unquestioned leader of the herd of 3 and the most advanced in terms of the work we're doing. All work is done without tack from the ground up. In the picture above we're working on a crunch.

This looks dramatic but it's actually a controlled rear. It's one of Patrik's favorite things to do.

Here's ramener while mounted. We haven't gotten the feet figured out yet but it will come.

I was joking with Justtina that I should call my place "Yawning Horse Ranch". The yawning happens with all the horses I work with. I think it might be what I call "processing" which is the moment when the horse seems to be understanding the lesson. I'm pretty sure that it's a moment when the horse is best left alone until he stops yawning and is ready for more. I'm still exploring this phenomena with the horses.

Patrik decided to give Justtina a closer look. That's all for today!


  1. Interesting thing about yawning; my mare yawns when I go to her with lead rope. Actually I'm not sure if she still does that, now that I have concentrated on showing her that it can be fun when we leave the pasture together, and that she can also lead while attached to lead rope.

    But earlier, I felt that the yawning had to do with the unplasantness (is that even a word?) of the sight, me with lead rope. Work work work, she seemed to think!

  2. I'll have to keep watching to see if I can correlate unpleasantness with the yawning. It may have to do with the release of stress, like shaking the head and neck. Does anybody else notice a direct correlation between yawning and what emotions a horse may be experiencing?

  3. Hi Stormy,

    I remember Carolyn Resnick once mentioning that she hears people talking about their horses yawning all the time when they are working with them, but that Carolyn's horses never do this. She thinks the yawning is a kind of behavior horses show when they feel just a little bit tense or stressed because of something they were aksed to do.
    She isn't sure, but she thinks her horses never do this because she always takes things very slowly and with the tiniest steps.
    I hope I interpreted her thoughts accurately because I can't seem to find where she talked about this. It think it must have been during one of the telecalls of her internet course which I participated in recently.

    Best wishes,
    Marja (from The Netherlands)