It Takes Two to Tango – Sometimes We Have to Change Ourselves for a Successful Partnership

Photo by Kim Roe

Relationships are complicated. Whenever two beings come together both good and bad things can result—sometimes at the same time. Problems arise with horses (and people) when we think ownership allows us the right to change the essence of a horse to make him do or be whatever it is that …

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Don’t Forget About Your Older Horses – Senior Horses Bring Wisdom and Experience to their Jobs

Decades ago, before the advancement in veterinary care we now enjoy, horses over the age of 20 were considered very old and rarely ridden. They were “put out to pasture” and unfortunately often forgotten about. These days though, many horses in their 20s (and beyond) still live useful and productive …

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Feeling Grateful – Winter’s Dark and Slower Pace Brings Time for Reflection

I’m always grateful for the friends of all kinds I find here at home at Blue Gate Farm. Photo by Kim Roe

When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I found the rapid descent into darkness in autumn quite depressing. I couldn’t believe how dark it was at 7:00 a.m. and then again at 5:00 p.m. The rain and grey skies didn’t help my mood much either. But over the decades …

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How’s Your Horse’s Health? Pay Attention to Subtle Changes to Head Off Health Disasters

Photo by Aliena Hook

I got pretty sick a few weeks ago. I just kept pushing myself, thinking my lack of energy and aching muscles were related to the fact that I’m getting older and the physical demands of caring for the farm had me a little run down. Then one morning I almost …

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Learning Reveals Life’s Mystery – Education Keeps Us Young and Gives Us Hope

Photo by RoseAnne Featherston

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. – Henry Ford   I remember when I got my first pair of glasses. I’d just passed my 40th birthday and it was …

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A Place to Share – Clubs and Cooperatives Bring Opportunity to Ride to Many

The indoor arena at Fox Valley Saddle Association. Photo by Kim Roe

Over the Fourth of July weekend I had the opportunity to judge a Working Equitation show in Illinois. The event was held at a riding club, the Fox Valley Saddle Association which was established in the 1940s. Near Chicago, the club sits in an agricultural area complete with acres of …

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A Good Horse – The Best Performance Horse is the One You Love to Ride

Photo by Kim Roe

You know it when you’re lucky enough to find one—the good horse. He (or she) is the horse who turns a bad day into a good day, who takes the tension from your shoulders, and makes life’s problems drift away. He’s the reliable one who always tries his best.   …

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What’s Your Horse’s Dream Job? Equestrian Sports Offer Many Options

Photo by Jerry Pfannenstiel

One of the harder situations of horse ownership is when a beloved horse doesn’t want to do the job you hoped he would do. We humans have goals and aspirations, so we fix a label to our chosen horse that’s frequently related to his pedigree or conformation. Dressage horse, barrel …

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Love Your Horse and Yourself – Friendship with Your Horse Makes You a Winner

Photo by Ford Photography

While sorting through my father’s belongings after his death, I found this photo of me riding Pumpkin, the mare of my childhood. The photo triggered a powerful insight in me. It depicts a moment I remember clearly, and one that defined much of what I believed about myself for the …

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