Category Archives: A Horse’s View

A Horse’s View: Newt meets his first elk

Dear Diary,

As you know we have been moving a lot. We have been in our current location in Flag-staff for three days. It is nice here. I have a stall with shavings and I can still go outside and play games with Hope.

The stuff up here isn’t as poke-y to taste test as it was at the last place. I did find something unusual today. I think he might have been a distant couzin but he was pretty shy. I tried to chase him down so I could ask him a few questions but Mom wouldn’t let me. She doesn’t understand.

Maybe he will come visit me tonight. An owl visited last night. I will stay up all night and see.

Newt, the horse, signature


Posted by on February 6, 2015 in A Horse's View, Video


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Asking my horse, Newt, to lie down while I’m riding him.

Here is another video where you get to watch Newt think. It should remind you of watching Newt learn how to stand on the box. The more things I teach a horse the more I can learn about how they think and process what I am doing. Can you see the consistency in Newt’s thought patterns?

I forgot to mention that I was cueing him by tapping his belly with the lead rope. If you watch for it you can see it. If your curious about how that works you can read my previous blog about teaching a horse to lie down.  When you watch the video of Jac learning to lie down, can you see the similarities to watching Newt learn how to step up on the box? Can you see how allowing them time to think gives them the opportunity to participate in the training by making choices?

Below is a copy of Newt’s previous diary entry from March 21, 2014

I also made an interesting discovery this week.

My mom has been riding me on a very loose rein…she even took the bridle off once.

That made it really easy to play in the dirt. I like digging in dirt with my nose.

Newt bow

Well, I had my head down to push dirt and a thought occurred to me.

I don’t have thoughts often…so I decided to go with it.

You see, mom has been teaching me to lay down sometimes.

I like it.

It is easy.

She doesn’t have me do it while we are riding.

She should.

It would be easier.

So I decided to lay down.

This is a bit embarrassing to admit…I got stuck half-way down.

It happened like this; mom asked me to move my hip, I did and I put my head down too, I had the idea to lay down, I buckled my legs and went down on my knees…and then mom started kicking me.

I guess she didn’t want me to lay down…but I couldn’t get up either (I fell over once trying and with her on me I didn’t want to do that)…so I just knelt there. She got off and got me up.

Newt 1st lay down

I wasn’t sure if she was happy I had the idea…or not.

Later, at the end of the ride she showed me a cue to lay down. I was so excited! She must have liked my earlier idea.

The next few days I tried laying down but I guess I’m only supposed to do it when she asks me to.

Newt, the horse, signature


Posted by on February 2, 2015 in A Horse's View, Video


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#Horsie : take a selfie style photo with your horse


As soon as I read the email I knew I was going to open the attachment:

“I remembered one of Stacy’s blogs that talked about “terrible horse pictures” especially when you take those “head on shots”.  Well this is certainly one of those!”


You can tell that Gus is clearly enjoying his ‘horsie’ photo with his owner.

After seeing the photo I also knew that I was going to try this. I’m terrible at selfies BUT add a horse and I’m fine with looking terrible, especially if it turns out funny.

Lets start a movement! Take a selfie, um, or should I say horsie with your horse and post it. Remember to use the #horsie when you upload, tag or post.

I can’t wait to see your #horsie online!

I need longer arms! No matter what angle I go for I can't seem to get both of us!

I need longer arms! No matter what angle I go for I can’t seem to get both of us!

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Posted by on January 24, 2015 in A Horse's View, Life


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A Horse’s View: Is the long-eared guy a ‘mule’?

Dear Diary,

I can’t decide if I was more surprised yesterday or today.

Yesterday we went for a ride. It was fun…until we got near these GIANTS. At least that is what I thought they were at first. But then I figured out it was just a huge wall. I think it was a can-yin like my mom told me about when I was a foal. I kept expecting to see some relatives but I didn’t. There were little bits of grass that were REALLY tasty – and – a couple that I wish I hadn’t tried. They were pokey and tasted bad.

Newt trying not to stare at the long eared guy.

Newt trying not to stare at the long eared guy.

Then today was a totally different kind of strange. Mom put me in a trailer that was great because it had alfalfa hay. I love alfalfa hay. Then some, well, strange looking guy jumped in beside me. I tried not to stare at him. I know it is rude…but his EARS WERE HUGE! I finally snuck a peek at him and found that he was staring at me. I guess he is OK. He didn’t mess with the alfalfa so I was happy.

Well, time for bed. I’m still tired from yesterday.

I wonder what will happen tomorrow.


Newt saying hi to his new friend, the mule.

Newt saying hi to his new friend, the mule.


Posted by on January 12, 2015 in A Horse's View


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My horse, Newt, learning to balance on a box.

This is a video of Newt, my horse, trying to find his balance standing on a wooden box. Newt had previously been trained to cross over a wooden bridge, so when he first saw this box…he walked straight over it. For each of the seven days prior to this I spent a few minutes a day asking Newt to step onto the box. His first response was to want to walk directly over it. To change this, I asked him to step one front foot up and then immediately asked him back off the box. This resulted in Newt slowing down instead of trying to walk straight over it.

Next I asked for two front feet up and then asked him to back off the box. During this phase Newt figured out how far forward he could step until he found the front edge of the box. He even tried to step directly over it in a very wide straddle! If he tried to step to far I would ask him to back up. He did step off the front and even lost his balance and slipped off the front without harm.

Now that he knows where the front edge of the box is, and understands that I don’t want him stepping off the front, he is now stepping forward with his hind feet. What I love about this video is that you can see how s-l-o-w Newt thinks. Many people would have asked him to do something during the long period while he was standing there. I like taking my time. It is funny to watch him mentally process this nice and slow.

It surprised me that Newt lost his balance so many times when he picked his last hind foot up off the ground. He seemed to think that he should counter balance by sticking that last leg out instead of adjusting his head. Another interesting observation to make about how Newt thinks. I love watching horses learn.

I have a bunch of this footage but I couldn’t decide how to best use it. I have one version that is 25 minutes long but that seemed too long. How much of Newt’s box footage would you like to see? How many more times do you think Newt had to practice before he found his balance?


Posted by on January 8, 2015 in A Horse's View, Thought provoking, Training, Video


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What New Years Resolution do you wish your horse would make?

What New Years Resolution do you wish your horse would make?


Posted by on January 1, 2015 in A Horse's View, Life


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A Horse’s View: Newt and the box trick


Dear Diary…I can’t even explain this new ‘thing’ I am learning to do. I’m just going to put some pictures in here so I can try to remember it all. Newt, the horse, signatureStacy's horse Newt 2 Stacy's horse Newt 3 Stacy's horse Newt 4 Stacy's horse Newt 5 Stacy's horse Newt 6


Posted by on December 21, 2014 in A Horse's View, Life


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