Archive for Horses


First day home. So frail and tiny.

First day home. So frail and tiny.

Not anymore! She's big... strong...

Three years later – Big and Strong!

Mouse Today

See the Video of Mouse
at Three – Two-and-a-half Years After Rescue

Below is an excerpt chapter from the book The Soul of a Horse about the adoption of Mouse from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. The League rescued her and 13 other horses from extremely grotesque circumstances. She’s an American Saddlebred and was approximately seven months old when adopted, skinny and undernourished, and came to Monty Roberts’ Flag is Up Farms completely untouchable with hooves that looked to be out of a horror movie.
Read More→

On the Hay Trail

Horses need free-choice grass or grass hay 24/7. And they need movement around the clock. It’s in their genetics. So we make sure our guy and gals have fresh grass and/or Bermuda grass hay (quantities of each dependent upon the time of year) around the calendar and around the clock. After every feeding, morning and evening, the hay goes into the Gator and gets distributed in what we call a hay trail, small piles strung out across the pasture, where the horses can play musical hay piles to their hearts’ content. During the winter, Read More→

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Barefoot Trimmer

Taking your horse barefoot is more than just pulling his or her shoes. If your horse doesn’t move 8-20 miles a day on the hard dirt and rocks of the American west where the horse evolved for millions of years, your task becomes: to replicate what the horse would be doing for himself if he did live in the wild of the American west.

When we lived in the high desert of southern California and our horses were moving at least 8-10 miles a day they were almost taking care of their own feet. Not quite, but almost. They were trimmed every eight weeks and it was generally just a “maintenance” trim. Especially during the winter when most of their protein was going to their winter coats.

Mother Nature is growing that hoof to be able to deal with the wear and tear of 8-20 miles a day on that American western terrain, so if the horses are living in middle Tennessee, where we are now (or anywhere other than the American west actually) they need assistance (trimming) to reach that level of wear and tear they would be getting in the American west. Because Mother Nature doesn’t know they’re living in middle Tennessee. She prepared them genetically for the American west. Read More→

Happy, Happy Y’all!


From Miss Mouse, the Herd, Kathleen and Moi

Skeeter Celebrated Around the World


Emails, comments, and messages have poured in from all over the planet celebrating Skeeter’s life and how much he meant to so many personally. Keeps us in tears. I don’t think we ever thought of Skeeter as a very public horse. Cash was. But Skeeter was… just Skeeter. Gentle, sweet, quiet, smart, kind Skeeter. Kathleen’s sofa. Thank you all so much for your words. Here’s a short sampling:

Melanie van der Woude wrote, “Just wanted to say that I am sorry for your loss. And thank you for allowing Skeeter to be a teacher to all of us who read your books and follow your blog. Thank you for giving him a wonderful life! It might be nice to know that Skeeter had a worldwide impact (which I’m sure you know). Tonight here in Spain we’ll be raising our glass in celebration of Skeeter. Because of you, he got to change the lives of people and horses all around the world.” Read More→


March 16, 1987 – November 9, 2016

It’s true that a horse who doesn’t like to jump, or rope, or cut cattle, or run barrels, or race can be made to do it. If the horse is strong and athletic, he can probably be made to do it pretty well. But doesn’t it stand to reason that if the horse really enjoys doing something, he will do it better than if he doesn’t? And he’ll be a happier horse. And he and his human will have a better relationship. And he’ll be without the stress that comes from doing what he hates, or what he is mortally afraid of doing. Which means he’ll live longer.

And if participating in the competition is of his choice because he likes doing it, and if he’s been taught well, there will be no need for force. Or cruelty.

What kind of force or cruelty?

When Dr. Matt was out to vet check Kathleen’s new Skeeter, he ran his hand gently across the big palomino’s rib cage. There were thirty or forty small dimples in the coat and skin. On both sides. Dimples like you might see in someone’s chin.

“Know what those are?” he asked.

“No idea,” we said.

“Internal scars from spurs.” Read More→