Mule Notes: Backwards is Forwards

Faithful readers might have wondered about Jolene. The beloved mule, who I’ve come off several times, has gone back to basics with me. Since an incident that traumatized both of us, I’ve only ridden her a few times. Instead, we’ve done a lot of ground […]

Mule goes up & over

Smiling through gritted teeth, I’m making some progress with the mule. Like a lot of paths of progress, it has its bumps, hazards, and hairpin turns. Most recently, Jolene gave me a lesson in pressure. As I learned months ago, pressure with the new mule […]

Mule Progress comes in Leaps and Bounds

My first trail ride with the new mule was successful if success can be measured by staying on and nothing bad happening. But Jolene’s lack of bend and the absence of a one-rein stop revealed glaringly large holes in training. So, we added two elements […]

Cool Mule News

That look Jolene gives me? It’s not one of stubbornness, it’s one of smarts. Imagine my delight in reading the recent findings of a British study with horses, donkeys, and mules. To summarize in three words: Mules reign supreme. [Jolene, if you’re reading this, I’m […]

Learning and Teaching the new Mule

What’s the most striking difference between the new mule, Jolene, and her horse herdmates? Not how she moves. Not how she looks. It’s how she eats an apple. When you give Jolene a chunk of apple, she will: Smell it Take it in her mouth […]

Licking and Chewing: The Process Illuminated

Say what you will about Facebook. Occasionally, a productive conversation on the social media platform can illuminate and educate. That’s what happened when Cayuse Communications contributor Amy Skinner posted this video of a horse in training. She asked several professionals, including Warwick Schiller and Dr. […]

Donkeys: “We don’t need no stinkin’ blankets!”

In winter, equines are generally best off if you provide them with plenty of hay and the option of shelter. More specifically, Best Horse Practices views blanketing as not only unnecessary but potentially harmful in most horse-keeping situations. Read more about that here. What, then, […]

Summiteers: Come Early for the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Coming to the Best Horse Practices Summit? Come a few days early to check out the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This year’s focus is “Laughing Stock” and, as words suggest, is all about humor. Check it out here. The Durango Cowboy Gathering Parade, one of […]

Who’s the Freeloader in Your Horse-Rider Partnership?

Editor’s Note: Amy Skinner is a regular guest columnist and has been a horse gal since age six. She works with owner/operator Jim Thomas as a trainer at Bar T Horsemanship where she rides and teaches English and Western. She also maintains Essence Horsemanship. Skinner […]

The Brain’s “Low Road” and “High Road”

Mechanics know that one big problem – smoke under the hood – is often caused by tiny, less visible issues. To solve the big problem, you need to understand finer points and foundational concepts. The more you know, the more effective you can be in […]