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 […]

Mustang update and links

A lot has happened in the days since the Advisory Board to the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program dropped the nuclear option and recommended the potential euthanasia of tens of thousands of animals in holding facilities. Read our op-ed here. There was a collective […]

Backing up to move forward

Last fall, before making the move to Colorado, Jolene and I took several mammoth leaps backwards in our training progress. Read more about the debacle. Since then, we’ve gone back to the very basics: ground work, round pen work, roadside walks, jogs, and hikes on […]


By Maddy Butcher Despite the admonitions from the grain and supplement industry, scientists and horse folks increasingly agree: your horses will be just fine on pasture and/or hay and little else. But the qualities of pastures and hay vary depending on myriad elements including soil, […]

Progress gets bloody & backwards

If progress is measured by two steps forward and one step back, then this summer would follow perfectly along that zigzagging course. Recently, Jolene and I have successfully partnered up several times a week to tackle our weak points: She’s more comfortable with having a […]

A “Big” Scare

Since Sackett’s death, I’ve been more wary of our horses’ wellness, especially when it comes to anything related to possible sand ingestion. Read about sand colic and other forms of colic. Over the last month or so, Jolene seemed to be getting bloated. She was […]

Introducing the ‘Not Too Old to Learn Challenge’!

We’ve been celebrating the NickerNews and BestHorsePractices community with guest columns and photo albums dedicated to our readers and their equines. Inspiring stuff. And as often happens in the dark, quiet months of winter, I got to thinking: Let’s do something with these inspirations. Let’s […]