A Good Day

The weather has been so cold, and the footing so treacherously icy, that I haven’t been able to ride much. But, being in the saddle is only part of horse ownership. I’ve been using these winter days to do ground work with Tonka. I’ve taught him to come and stay, drop his head when I say down, and walk and trot politely next to me without a lead rope. This work not only keeps his mind engaged, but it also builds our relationship. Anyway, with the paddock deep with snow, I don’t want to have to trudge out there to catch him. It’s so much nicer to have him come to me!



Yesterday we had a brief respite from below freezing temperatures. Depending on where you walked, the ground was mucky, slushy, slick with ice, or covered with crusty snow, but there was also sunshine and temperatures in the 40s! I tacked Tonka up to remind him that despite all of the stays and comes that he really is a horse and not a dog. We splashed through icy water and walked around the muddy track, and even went back into the woods and broke trail, which was hard work for Tonka.  Then I joined other women out in the field. We simply stood there, our horses knee-deep in snow, all of us facing the warm sun. A horse or two dozed. We chatted. I’m eager to get to serious training in the riding ring, but, when a day like that comes along you have to embrace it, let go of goals, and just be.



  1. Lovely for you both…..Mother nature has pulled a fast one on us smug west coasters. We had been enjoying clear mild sunny days,and rainy nights. So while we had been watching all the spring bulbs starting to show colour and the buds thicken on the flowering shrubs, the birds were digging happily in the moist soil for worms and flickering about not sure where to go next(so many options)! Yesterday dawned with the snow falling and the day continued with a mix of wet thick snow or rain. It has snowed most of the night by the looks of it out there and the white slushy stuff continues to come down, in rather mad fashion. Looking out the window at the new wintery white scene is somewhat pleasurable in it`s own way I guess? Looks like a no goal day for `THIS` Canadian. :)

  2. Terry with training Tonka can you do something like square dancing on the ground like you can with dancing dog Competitions but instead do it with a pony or horse ?

    • I could teach that, or even do horse agility. That’s not where my interests are, though. I’m doing the training just for behaviors that are useful for us to get along as a partnership. I also teach things that make animal husbandry easier – for example the “head down” helps when I need to handle him near his ears.