Training with Oxytocin

After reading the book Made For Each Other by Meg Daley Olmert, I should probably change the name of my blog. I brainstormed long and hard to come up with name “I Feel Good, My Horse Feels Good.” My other choices were “I’m Smiling, My Horse is Smiling” or “Training Horses the Way I’d Like to be Trained if I Were a Horse.”

All of my name choices revolved around how happy I am when I’m working with my horses. The reason I started my blog in the first place is that when I saw other folks working with their horses, neither they nor their horses seemed to smile as much as I would when I was working/playing with my horses. Continue reading

Free downloads on Books Page

Check out these feel good stories now available on the Books page.

Home Sweet Home with Romeo & Juliet

Starring my two Paso Fino horses, this children’s picture book is about two adorable horses who move into a house and eat cake with a Chihuahua.

This is a book I wrote and my husband photographed. We also built horse size sets just for this project. We were inspired by seeing how much Romeo and Juliet loved to paint and interact with their environment.

We decided to really let them interact by creating a story where they get to pack suitcases, cuddle with stuffed animals and wield giant forks. Scenes were choreographed in advance. Romeo took his job very seriously whereas Juliet loved to improvise.

And Cheeka the Chihuahua did what she does best – being absolutely darling! This is a great book for a bedtime story. You can buy printed copies online. (It even got five stars on Amazon!)

What Should I Do Today?

This little story was written and photographed by my daughter when she was 16 and stars our four-legged fuzzies. See how four playful pups spend their day together baking cookies, reading and playing dress up.

Both are free to download in PDF format.


Why I Feel Good and My Dog, Cat or Horse Feels Good

Many, many thanks to Kimberly Cox Carneal from Enlightened Horsemanship Through Touch for information on Meg Daley Olmert. Meg is a documentary producer and the author of Made For Each Other, The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond.

Meg’s blog on Psychology Today called Made For Each Other: Exploring how people and animals bond–and why it makes you healthier and happier, is fantastic and very timely for me.

I’ve been reading a local dog  magazine called The New Barker. It has a very classy cover and resembles The New Yorker. The magazine features everything you can imagine about dogs. I was literally awestruck by the love emanating from it’s pages. It seemed every breed was celebrated and the community was united in their unconditional love for all dogs.

Then I was struck by how this energy is often missing in magazines about horses. I’ve been relentlessly questioning and discussing with my friends to see why there is such a difference between canine and equine literature. Continue reading

If Horses Were Dragons

Here’s a piece I wrote for the April issue of the online magazine Going Gaited. As always, I’m exploring why dominance theory is so prevalent in work with horses. It seems like words like leadership, trust, respect, obedience are very popular. I think they’re popular with the human handlers, but do horses view the methods to establish these catch words with the same interest?

I’ve seen so many obedient horses that aren’t happy. They’re behaving out of fear or threat of something irritating happening if they don’t comply. Yes, they are following the leader, but for what reason?

Continue reading

Gate Training

I write a monthly column for a wonderful online magazine called Going Gaited. This month, although, Raleigh is not gaited, we have been having problems with what he thinks is his gate, which is actually my gate. The gate in question is the source of much attention by Raleigh’s giant hooves. In month’s column I show a fun attraction-based solution to improving the health of a very important gate, the one the keeps my horses in their pasture. You can read the article and see a photo of the solution here.