Long-Lines and Young Horses

A teenager was around on the weekend. You know – those young people that can still touch their toes on leaping out of bed first thing in the morning, kind of deal? Ah, what a concept! I was doing pretty OK until 2008 with a spectacular all-down-the-left-side whiplash (on a veterinarian’s freshly mopped floor, can […]

Nature…Going, Going…

Charles Dickens nailed the situation I’m in right now with his opening lines from ‘A Tale of Two Cities.’ Dickens, interestingly, wrote his classics in installments, published weekly in Victorian England’s penny press – the whole books only were published in their entirety after the final chapter ‘installment’ went out to avid readers waiting for […]

Insights into the Wildies

There’s been constant correspondence chatter on social media for months now from those who took on ‘wildie’ ownership after bidding at Innisfail [auction] following the March 2015 government sanctioned capture/cull/sale. Some were stallions, mares, youngsters, mares-in-foal (one mare dropped a foal three days later so a two-for-one package there!). A collection of new owners went […]

Back in Action

September’s started with a definite flourish after a disastrous August. By four o’clock after giving a long lining demonstration August 1st exactly, there was a hint of a scratchy throat, an hour later a raging temperature and one very nasty bout of summer flu. Feeling better five days later, one sort of OK day, then […]

Talking Tactics

My, how the Internet can be useful these days! I do media advisory activism work sometimes behind the scenes – land conservation, headwaters, groundwater, clearcutting forestry – and yes, stacking up information about horse welfare issues, and Alberta wildies. The latter was one roaring maelstrom of politico-speak and misrepresentation during the previous Progressive Conservative government. […]

Awareness in a Big Way

The wrens started it all, during a photo shoot capturing their quick-as-a-flash movements in and around the old farmhouse here. This year unusually there are two pairs – unusual as they’re supremely territorial, even although in this case one tiny pair are raising their brood on the south-facing aspects and the other in thick spruce […]


Recently I watched an informal workshop to the local ‘Geezers’ (an unofficial riding club that mentors, educates, and shares knowledge over nice lunches and nibbles, wine, coffee and cookies too). Ethelle Patrick was talking to this informal gathering about her life through horsemanship, absent mindedly running a slight careful hand down her mare’s neck. Both […]

The Idea of Riding Clubs Sings!

Back seven years or so I was just wrapping up five years of writing a weekly newspaper equestrian column. I wrote about shelters in Chinook wind country, trick riding and ranch kids, saddle-fitters, bit makers, outfitters and probably darned near every clinician trotting around in North America. On average, about 20 emails or telephone calls […]

Speaking Their Language

Mops hasn’t had much handling the last month (life and working with other horses!), so as an experiment, photographer Shannon Daly came along a few afternoons back to document if all those hundreds of groundwork hours in 2014 were going to show payback. It was, gloriously, Alberta springtime at its most encouraging – sunshine heating […]

Apache Goes to Driving School

Last Monday, unlike today, which is cold and dank and overcast and snowing – was a daisy of day – sunlit, dry driving conditions and two sweaters warm as the Apache and I slid southwards a mere hundred kms to Rise Massey, an avid combined driving competitor and coach operating near High River. In Alberta […]