The 2021 LOPE Benefit Horse Show is October 23 →

Category: Horse Wise

Hiroshi Hoketsu. He was a dressage competitor in the 2012 Olympics — and qualified for those Games at age 70. Credit: David Hecker/AFP

What’s My Age Again?


For the past couple of years, I’ve noticed an interesting trend among women equestrians who inquire about LOPE horses or meet me at clinics for the first time. About eight times out of ten, they will volunteer their age as part of their introductory email or greeting. Often that age is above 35 — but […]



In Praise of Imperfection


A good friend and talented competitive rider once gave me some excellent advice. She told me to buy a “nice, broke” horse — so I could concentrate on riding well and maybe even competing effectively one day. A few months later, a professional trainer urged me to only ride quiet, pretty horses at clinics — so that […]



Hand Feeding Treats — Why We Don’t Do It


There are many thoughtful articles about hand feeding treats and how it harms the horse-human relationship. I have listened to many top horsemanship experts repeatedly advise against the practice during their clinics and seminars. In the past, I also have hand fed treats to my horses and suffered serious consequences before finally realizing that my […]



Times of Trouble: Dos and Don’ts


Three Scenarios You are out trail riding alone on your trusty steed on a familiar path. Suddenly you encounter two adrenaline-crazed deer being chased by wild hogs dragging a tarp behind them. Your horse is teetering the edge of sanity, leaping and snorting — and then your right stirrup leather breaks with an emphatic cracking […]



Good Intentions and Cruelty to Horses


For ten years, I’ve been in the horse adoption profession. Before that, I had several years of other horse-related experience — ranging from owning horses, acting as a working student in assorted barns, teaching beginner riding lessons, and exercising horses for pay. As you can imagine, I’ve seen many types of horses, owners, and trainers […]


Silver Red Bird

Making a Profit on Training


For those of you who follow LOPE’s blog closely, it is familiar news that we have started a racehorse education program. Last year, we began outreaching to local professional trainers who wanted to work with LOPE — and they helped us form a training initiative drive. After ten years of our work, LOPE had learned […]



Six Word Philosophies


When I first started working with the LOPE horses, I felt at a loss much of the time. Although I admired the ex-racehorses and wanted to be useful to them, I didn’t have much training experience or advanced riding skills. And my response to unexpected veterinary situations (colic symptoms, lacerations, any sign of blood) was […]



Taking a Vow of Silence


Full disclosure — I am occasionally guilty of chirping at my horses. By chirping, I mean chattering away about nothing (like repeating the horse’s name or bleating “good boy” for no apparent reason). I need to knock it off. Really, I do — because it isn’t useful to anyone (especially the horses). All it does […]



10 Lessons Learned from Racehorse Career Counseling


I have an unusual job in the horse world. Instead of a more traditional equestrian career such as teaching lessons or training horses, I manage a nonprofit adoption program for ex-racehorses. My work is varied, often straddling the line between farm hand, equine psychologist, horse wrangler and kindergarten teacher — I often refer to myself […]



Meaningful Work


When I meet new people in social settings, my favorite moment is when I’m asked what I do for a living. The answer — “I run a nonprofit racehorse adoption ranch — often creates a flurry of surprised faces and eager questions. People like hearing about horse-related jobs, especially ones with a charitable twist. And […]


Austin Equine Hospital Schleese
Paddock Foundation American Association of Equine Technicians and Assistants Sam Houston Race Park
Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance The Ranch Broker Moose Pants Studio
Thoroughbred Charities of America Scissortail Hill Equestrian Secretariat Foundation
Treaty Oak Equine Express