Busy Day at the Farm

Today was a busy day with the horses at Finca Las Alturas. First I had to go find them. It’s said that Costa Rica has 6 directions, the usual north, south, east and west, plus up and down. And you’re always doing one or the other of the last two. I finally found the herd at the bottom of pasture two, which meant we had to climb back up to the top of pasture two, then down into pasture one and back up again, then up into the main property. Let me just say, it was a very hot and sweaty trip.

The shed far in the distance is at the top of pasture one.

The shed in the distance is at the top of pasture one.

My first goal of the day was to trim Brownie’s mane. That girl has the thickest mane I have ever encountered. If it weren’t for her colour and where she’s located, you’d think she had some Norwegian Fjord in her. Continue reading


Grooming at Liberty

I had an amazing day today. Patsy, Heather and I went down to the pasture to go for a walk. The horses were all there at the gate as if waiting for us and were more than happy to indulge us in our offer of hand-grooming at liberty.

I’ve never liked grooming with a horse in cross ties, which is commonly done throughout the world. I especially don’t like that it prevents them from having a normal range of motion with their head and from expressing an opinion about where or how they are being touched. Grooming at liberty is one big step up from grooming  loosely tied, as it shows just where your relationship is with your horse. If they don’t want it, they can leave. And as you can tell, this herd was more than happy to stay.

We had such a beautiful, peaceful time sharing space and affection with this wonderful herd.


Old Friend, Special Memories

After an afternoon in a field, hanging out under the trees with a horse I haven’t seen in a year, I’m gratified and grateful today. Gratified that spending time building a relationship can make such a difference in a horse’s life and grateful that I was chosen and trusted by this criollo (grade) mountain pony.

Princesa at the gateWhen I first met Princesa (Princess) over 3 years ago she was shy, lacked confidence, distrusted humans, and was quick to shut down when faced with pressure or uncertainty. This time, not only did my special friend remember me, she greeted me with a resounding whinny.
I’d gone down into one of the pastures looking for the horses and not far down the lane saw them in the next pasture over. “Princesa! How is my lovely?” I called out. She answered immediately and rushed to meet me at the gate. Continue reading