My Beautiful Horse

I know that I haven’t posted much about Tonka recently, but I’ve been thinking big thoughts about horses, relationships and training, and I’ve needed to let my ponderings stew and become coherent before committing them to words on this blog. At the end of October I moved Tonka to a stable a half-hour drive from my home. It’s well worth the time spent in the car. Tonka is now getting hay four times a day, which keeps his belly full, which is essential for both health and mental well-being. He is turned out all day in a paddock with one other horse, a beautiful grey mare named Maggie.



He says that she’s okay, but bossy, and that she claims the best hay rack. Since there’s always enough hay for both of them, he defers to her. He’s a peaceful guy. Here is Tonka coming to say hello. Note that one ear is on me, and one ear is watching out for what Maggie is going to do next. She’s just told him that this hay is her hay. She might be in love, but that does’t include sharing.

Tonk and Maggie


There’s ice under the snow. Although Tonka has studs on his front shoes, which give him traction on slippery ground, his back feet are bare. He’s standing, braced.

Tonk in snow


He’s outside, but not able to move freely, so I led him to the indoor, and let him loose. I left the blanket on, because I’d be riding soon, and I didn’t want his back to get cold before putting on his saddle.

Tonk said that it felt good to stretch his legs.

Tonk in indoor


But, he’s ever so sane. No mad galloping. A bit of cantering.

Tonk canter


Some trotting and snorting to clear the lungs.



Some fancy trotting down the long side.

tonk mirror


And always, my beautiful horse has a kind eye turned to me.

Tonk at play


Like Maggie, I’m madly in love with Tonka, but unlike her, I share, and he knows it.


  1. Beautiful horse Terry and some great shots of him….I share your passion for horses

  2. I’ve ridden many different horses in my life, but sadly, none of my own. My father called them hay burners. I love looking at Tonka, he has such an intelligent face.

  3. It is hard work owning horses, but it must be particularly difficult, in your drastic climate. Glad you have a nice dry indoor arena to work in throughout the winter. I will think warm thoughts for you and your human, furred, and feathered family tonight. Can’t you just push some of that precipitation back to California??? I don’t think we’ve had a drop of rain for all of January! Stay warm and safe!

    • I’m doubling Laura’s wish…please send that precipitation back to California. We need it badly.

      Tonka is gorgeous. I’m surprised that he hasn’t grown more of a winter coat. He looks like he is having so much fun kicking up his heels. <3

  4. Yes, those are beautiful pictures of Tonka running! But I have to say, Maggie looks so pretty against the snowy background!

    -Is that mirror for riders benefit, or is it for acclimating horses to “sudden movements” in their peripheral vision?

    • There are mirrors around the ring so that the rider can see where the horse’s feet are, where the rider’s body position is, what the horse is doing with his mouth, etc. I use the mirrors to see if I and the horse are moving straight… quite useful!

  5. Lucky Tonka! So many owners forget that just because it’s snowing, it doesn’t mean that the horses no longer need to shake things out. Good on you for taking Tonka inside for some turnout time. Hope your ride was joyous!

  6. Ok Terry I know this is probably a dumb question. But here goes. Are the mirrors for the two legged or the four legged mammals in the barn?

  7. Tonka’s new digs look fabulous! I love the blue barn and white fencing. He sure is a good looking horse! I love the shape of his head, and as you said, his kind eye. What breed is Tonka?

  8. It looks like Tonka might be a little bit in love with you as well. Keep warm. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the power to stay on.

  9. He looks so happy… I can tell a differnce in him since you first got him. He’s one lukcy guy!

  10. You are so lucky. He looks so handsome in his blue coat. My father used to have horses but I am seldom around them much anymore. I find them so interesting. Thanks for sharing. It’s my bit of horse enjoyment seeing your photos and posts.