Tag Archives | horses

Why Consider Communication With Our Animals?

Why Should We Consider Communication With Our Animals?

Why should we consider communication with our animals anyway? Why is it important to even think about how and why we communicate with our animals? Because it benefits us as much, if not more than it benefits them.

This afternoon when I went to feed my horses I decided to see if my attitude made a difference in my interaction with my little band of mares and yearlings.

My normal experience is feed the grain and then argue with the two younger brood mares because they come out of their pen and steal the last of the grain from the older mares and the yearlings. We go round and round. They test me and I end up yelling at them.

Today, before I fed, I spent time rubbing and scratching on each one of them, simply interacting with them and talking to them. All of them came to get loved on and couldn’t seem to get enough. Especially Zanny and Star, the two trouble makers.

communication, horses, dogs, cats, cowboys, ranchers, cowgirls

Look at those faces! Zanny and Star my beautiful trouble makers!

Our communication was so intense I decided to test my theory. While I was rubbing and scratching them I simply explained why I needed them to leave the older mares and the young ones feed alone.  And I asked them to stay in the round pen and eat their hay rather than come out and try to steal the rest of the grain and eat their hay.

Now I know that sounds pretty touchy-feely for me, but I wanted to test this and just see what happened.

Believe it or not, we had the most peaceful feeding time we’ve had since the two younger mares came. They stayed in their pen and ate their grain and then their hay and never came out or caused any commotion.

Eventually, the younger of the two, Zanny, came out and finished out of the feeder that Chili, the oldest, had already left.

I’m not making this up! It was amazing! Seriously!

Zanny, colts, barn, communication, horses, dogs, cats

Zanny and the two yearlings

So I’m headed to Mika’s tomorrow and I am going to video her riding while thinking her cues and we’ll see how it goes.

Now I have a challenge for you. Try it yourself. Practice communication with your own horse, dog, cat, pig, whatever and see what happens. And then please tell me about it in the comments section!  This will be fun!

Go at it from a place of complete love.  Just tell them how much you love them and are honored to have them in your life and see what happens.  We’ll do our own little mini scientific study!

I can’t wait to hear “communication” on how it goes for each of you in the comments section!!

And if I don’t get another post up before Thanksgiving Day, Happy Thanksgiving my friends!  I am so thankful for each one of you!!  Thank you and God Bless!





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cattle, horses, God, Jesus, love, happiness, joy, mountains, cattle drive, dude riders, picnic, Colorado, splendor, family, joy, love

What Do You Think Heaven Is Like?

What Do You Think Heaven Is Like?

Now that is an interesting question isn’t it?

Today we have many published books about people that have died and gone to Heaven. They tell us about going to a brilliant light. One of my favorites is “Heaven is For Real“. It is the true story of Colton Burpo, a little boy that died during an emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix.

He gives vivid details of how Jesus loves us in his wonderful description of Heaven, God, and Jesus. It is one of those, “Out of the mouths of babes” kind of stories.  His own family was blown away when he told about Jesus holding him on his lap while he was in surgery.

He describes what his mom and his dad were doing during the surgery, even though they were in different rooms far from the operating room. The dad was locked in the bathroom, mad at God for taking his son. It’s a great book. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it! You will soon find it on My Book Table.

Today’s topic, What Do You Think Heaven is Like, comes from another day on the mountain.

cattle, horses, God, Jesus, love, happiness, joy, mountains, cattle drive, dude riders, picnic, Colorado, splendor


We had to give booster shots today to the soon-to-be-weaned, not-so-baby-anymore, calves. The vaccinations are similar to those you give a human baby. They keep the calves from getting the flu and several  strains of respiratory disease common among cattle.

cattle, horses, horse back riding, God, Jesus, Heaven,happiness, joy, mountains, cattle drive, dude riders, picnic


It was an incredibly beautiful day. The cattle worked easy and we finished vaccinating two big punches early in the afternoon.

Afterwards Mika, Hardy, and I took our horses to the creek to water them. When they were done drinking we turned them loose to graze for a bit and the three of us laid on the creek bank relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the day as we talked, laughed, and simply enjoyed being a family.

Here was my view laying on my back in the grass, beside the gentle little creek, looking up at the amazing sky. It was so warm and relaxing. Truly an epic moment!

cattle, horses, God, Jesus, love, happiness, joy, mountains, cattle drive, dude riders, picnic

My View Creek-side

I made the comment that I hoped this is what Heaven will be like.

I hope on any given day I can have my family with me, riding our horses wherever we want to, then be able to turn our horses loose to water and graze nearby as we lay down in the lush green grass beside the little bubbling creek, and just enjoy soaking up the sunshine.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

What do you hope Heaven is like?



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bridleless horse back riding, Rugged Lark, Lynn Palm, AQHA Superhorse, riding, horses, ranchers, dude riding, training

5 Life Skills A Horse Will Teach You

Learn Life Skills from a horse?

We all need life skills right?  To follow are 5 important life skills my horses have taught me.

This blog is about life lessons learned on the back of a horse.  So today is one of those personal sharing moments and is about far more than riding.

The following was one of the most humbling, but powerfully educational moments in my life.

AQHA World Championship Show

The first horse I took to the American Quarter Horse World Championship Show was a Jr. Hunt Seat Horse we called Mervin. He was a great horse but he hated indoor arenas.  Wouldn’t you know it, every arena at the World Show is an indoor.

I rode, and rode, and rode, getting this horse ready to show and had him right how I wanted him when it was our turn. There were over 1000 of us qualified for that one class so they had to judge us in small groups, or “goes” and only take the top 5 horses from each “go” back for the final cut to make the actual finals. When our turn came we rode into the large coliseum with 30 some others on equally great horses striving to make the first cut.

AQHA, horse back riding, life skills, horses, cowboys, cowgirls, hunt seat

AQHA Hunt Seat Horse

He started out performing his best and I gained confidence with every stride. But about half way through the class someone ran down the stairs. I expected him to react so of course he did. And every time we turned the corner to head down that side of the arena his head came up and he fell apart. We rounded the top of the arena and he calmed down and everything was great down the other side.

If any of you think a horse can’t sense nerves, anger, or frustration, you are absolutely Wrong. But rather than relax and enjoy the ride, I kept trying to fix him. Of course that only made him worse.

In a huge horse show like that you have several judges spaced around the arena judging you at that same time. You can’t mess up anywhere without being seen.  But I still thought there was a chance the judges on the good side would place me high enough I would make it to the next go.

Finally the class ended and time came for us to bring our horses to the center of the arena, line up, and await our fate.

Rugged Lark and Lynn Palm

A gorgeous bay stallion lined up next to me ridden by a petite blond. As we stood there she never moved but her horse’s nose slowly came around and touched her boot, held there a moment, then slowly went back to normal. She never moved but he did the same thing the other direction, then slowly to his knees and back up. Back to her foot next to me.  There was no perceivable movement from the rider, but her horse was doing something the entire time.

Finally, I stopped trying to be inconspicuous and started openly watching the rider. All she did was barely move the tip of her ring finger on the same side the horse moved its head toward. And I mean BARELY.  She tapped the rein. That was it. And the horse responded all the way around to her boot.


I watched her intensely the entire time we waited. Wanting to learn how to be that soft on a horses mouth and marveled at how incredibly light and responsive the horse was. I had worked for some of the best horse trainers in the business, but that was the moment my training went to the next level.  Unbeknownst to me that great duo was Rugged Lark and Lynn Palm. They ended up winning that the Super Horse twice and Reserve Super Horse once – the highest honor a Quarter Horse can receive at the World Championship show. He was one of the greatest Quarter Horses, ever.

Life Skills- Bricks and Mortar Create a Foundation

That experience taught me about more than just horse showing or training.  It was mortar around the bricks of my foundation in life. Here are the life skills I learned during that painful, embarrassing, but incredibly educational experience that I have carried with me ever since:

5  Life Skills A Horse Can Teach You

  • Focus on Subtlety in all your actions
  • Remain calm, no matter what
  • Never act or react out of fear or anger
  • A simple touch is enough
  • Always be building on your relationships

Where did you learn your most important life skills?

Did you have any embarrassing moments as you built your personal foundation?







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Colorado Back Porch Sunrise

What is Country Living in Colorado?

What is Country Living in Colorado?

My kitchen window looks out on gorgeous river bottom meadows with mountains as the backdrop. Country living in Western Colorado is awesome! It really is the good life! I am incredibly blessed.

 Just like this photo – sunrise off my back porch!  It is beautiful.

Colorado, sunrise, mountains, horses, ranch


Riding at sunset

I love to jump on a horse and ride through the fields. There is nothing like a ride as the sun is setting. The shadows are long and the warm yellow light filters through the branches like flickering golden glitter. You feel the warmth on your skin and smell the meadow. There is no sound except the quiet swush, swush, swush of the horse’s legs through the tall grass. It’s glorious!  The peacefulness washes away all the worries of the world and I find my true self.  No one to impress, no one to listen to, just quiet, peace.

Black Horse, Kristi Ross, country living, mountains

Little Kristi and her wonderful Black Horse

This is my first “big” horse. His name was Black Horse. I loved him and he loved me! The outside of a horse truly is good for the inside of a man (or a woman)!He carried me all over the country here in Colorado and dedicated his life to making mine better.

Living in the country here in Colorado allows that incredible luxury. We are so spoiled. But we often forget to appreciate what we have. No matter where you are today I hope you pause, look around you, reflex on your blessings, and enjoy where you are and what you have. No matter how great our how little, let us rejoice today.

I treasure my family, my home, my kitchen windows, my horses, my country living, and I thank  God for those blessings everyday.

What is special for you today? Do you have a great family? Or a lovely home?

What do you do for peaceful quiet time?


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