In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.


Shot in the Dark: Success

Success requires the alignment of your actions with your intentions.



Photo by Michael Ensch.

Fear is a question: What are you afraid of and why?

Our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them.

~ Marilyn Ferguson

I don’t think the real horseman exists who hasn’t been afraid at one time or another.  Mary Twelveponies breaks the fear of horses into three, common categories:

1. Fear born of inexperience;

2. Fear resulting from trauma; and

3. Fear based in respect.

I’ve felt all three at various times, usually more than once and sometimes for extended periods.

The third is positive; I don’t mind keeping it.  As the vaqueros used to say, “A man won’t make a good horse until he is afraid to ride.”

But the others…they must be faced squarely, evaluated, and addressed.  Through education.  Through creativity.  Through graduated exposure.  And sometimes, through good, old-fashioned “getting back on the horse.”

Fear is a question:  What are you afraid of and why?


Tuetano, Barb stallion (Fuego x Quieta). Photo by Michael Ensch.

Play more.  Fret less.  ~  Tuetano  🙂

Shot in the Dark: Tuetano

Give me a wildness whose glance no civilization can endure!  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuetano (Fuego x Quieta), Barb stallion standing at In the Night Farm. Photo by Michael Ensch.

To see more photos from this shoot, visit In the Night Farm on Facebook


Today, I worked with Tuetano.  He was curious, nervous, wary of being touched.  Not long ago, Sandstorm was like that.

Today, I worked with Sandstorm.  She enjoyed being scratched, but resisted the halter.  Not long ago, Ripple was like that.

Today, I rode Ripple.  Just a few, tentative steps in the round corral.  Off balance on the corners.  Unsure.  Not long ago, Acey was like that.

Today, I rode Acey.  We explored six miles along the irrigation canal.  Tried the world on for size.  Reckoned it fit.  Not long ago, Consolation was like that.

Today, I rode Consolation.  For miles we trotted, cantered, even galloped. All on the buckle, all trust, all together.  I thought of the children’s rhyme, this is the house that Jack built.

This is the horse that I built.

One by one, my babies are growing up.  What will I do when they’re all gentled, all trained?

Perhaps I’ll take in youngsters to start, or mustangs for gentling.  Perhaps I’ll turn my energies to campaigning Consolation for War Mare, or taking on Tevis.  Maybe someday, one of these horses and I will be nominated for the Pard’ners Award. 

As far as I’m concerned, they’ve already won it.  Real partnerships are forged where the wild things are.  I’ll miss these shaping times, these early days.  I’ll want my babies back.

At least I don’t have to send them off to college.

Shot in the Dark: Trust

To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.

~ George MacDonald


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Shot in the Dark: Vigilance

The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone.
It is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.

~ Patrick Henry


Related Posts
Shot in the Dark: The Mutual Pledge
Shot in the Dark: Liberty

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Shot in the Dark: The Mutual Pledge

And for the support of this Declaration,
with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,
we mutually pledge to each other our Lives,
our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

~ The Declaration of Independence, 1776 ~


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Takeout Today

It’s carnival time! Trot on over to Enlightened Horsemanship for links to posts by a variety of equestrian bloggers, including yours truly.

While you’re there, be sure to read up on EH’s First Annual Guest Blogger Search & Sweepstakes. Be a horse blogger for a day — you know you have something important to share! — and win a signed copy of Linda Tellington-Jones’ The Ultimate Horse Behavior and Training Book. (Just don’t submit anything really great, okay? I want that book!)

If you still have some time on your hands, come on back here to enter the Best of the Barb Wire contest for your chance to win a free, custom Indian bosal from Crazy Ropes by Debbie.

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Shot in the Dark: Gentleness

The power of gentleness is irresistible.

~ Henry Martyn


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