Lonesome Dove Stables

Lonesome Dove Stables Equine facility where the horses come first! We give horses that are no longer wanted a second chance Courage - real courage - is no quick fix.

It doesn't come in a bottle or a pill. It comes from taking everything life hands you and being your best either because of it or in spite of it!!

Looking for some extra help around the farm over the next couple weeks while Jill goes in for a much needed surgery for ...

Looking for some extra help around the farm over the next couple weeks while Jill goes in for a much needed surgery for her wrist. Any extra help week day mornings, Mon/ Wed afternoons and weekends would be greatly appreciated! Can offer ride time in exchange โค๏ธ

Ordering sweatshirts! Let me know if interested and size! Sign up in barn as well

Ordering sweatshirts! Let me know if interested and size! Sign up in barn as well

Heritage dressage Year End Banquet Jan 28th noon $50/ ticket. Come show support for our two riders a their first season ...

Heritage dressage Year End Banquet Jan 28th noon $50/ ticket. Come show support for our two riders a their first season of competing! Please let me know asap who would like to go!! Anyone is welcome

Happy new Year to all of our clients, friends and barn family!! We wish you all good health and a great happy 2024 with ...

Happy new Year to all of our clients, friends and barn family!! We wish you all good health and a great happy 2024 with lots of pony time!
And of course happy birthday to all the TBs out there ๐Ÿ˜‰

Such a fun day with the barn peeps today

Such a fun day with the barn peeps today

Comet is on the lookout for Santa!!๐ŸŽ…

Comet is on the lookout for Santa!!๐ŸŽ…

Iโ€™d like to officially welcome Victoria and bellboy a.k.a. Barney to Lonesome Dove Stables. I look forward to watching y...

Iโ€™d like to officially welcome Victoria and bellboy a.k.a. Barney to Lonesome Dove Stables.
I look forward to watching your progress here


In the snowy silence, a girl and her horse share moments of pure joy and trust. โ„๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿด



This ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our students, boarders, clients and friends!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our students, boarders, clients and friends!


As we enter Thanksgiving week in the US, many of your vets will be out of town or spending much needed time with their families.
Itโ€™s times like these that horse owners need to practice ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐ .

During this holiday time, as an emergency only vet, I recommend the following:

- ๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ deworm your horse right now.
- ๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ start a new feed right now.
- ๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ get a new round bale of coastal hay right now if youโ€™ve let the last one go to dust (give small amounts at a time or mix with a stemmy hay until theyโ€™ve had their fill, then give the round bale).
- ๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ change schedules.
- ๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ vaccinate your horse right now, especially if you have a known reactor.
- ๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ be in a rush and fail to soak your feed for long enough (choke risk) - especially if youโ€™re late to feed due to holiday errands/get togethers.
- If you have visitors, limit treats. Ensure gates are closed. Make sure feed doors and bins locked. ๐๐ž ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ!

There is already a shortage of equine vets - and the few we do have will likely be out of town or trying to enjoy the holiday.

Letโ€™s all have a very ๐‡๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฒ ๐“๐ก๐š๐ง๐ค๐ฌ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐ . And letโ€™s let our vets stay home with family!

Remember: ๐‘ท๐’“๐’๐’‘๐’†๐’“ ๐‘ท๐’“๐’†๐’‘๐’‚๐’“๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐‘ท๐’“๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’๐’•๐’” ๐‘ท๐’๐’”๐’•๐’‘๐’๐’๐’†๐’… ๐‘ท๐’๐’•๐’๐’–๐’„๐’Œ๐’”! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿฅด


Great visual!


It's that time of year again... ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿฅด


Quiet people make spooky horses, and spooky people make quiet horses.

We are humans! We are weird! And if we keep tiptoeing around our horses, or being as quiet as possible on and off their backs...then they aren't getting the full experience of us. Have a dance party with your horse next time you see them! Randomly scream into the wind. Make weird sudden noises on their back, sing karaoke on the trail, play some charades while tacking up...whatever it is, do it. It's good for horses to get used to humans doing strange things, so do them! Step outside your own comfort zone and get extreme. We work hard to desensitize them to plastic bags and other objects...but don't forget to desensitize them to the most unpredictable of things...us ๐Ÿ’•

๐Ÿ“ท Charles E Brooks


The horses nervous system is designed to keep them upright. This is not different than ours, except for the fact that a horse lives entirely in a sensory world and is a prey animal. Falling means death on a subconscious level- while we might be uneasy about losing our balance, they know inherently it would be disastrous for them.

This is not an exaggeration by stretch, considering how many ridden horses stumble regularly, or occasionally fall to their knees.

Every time we pull the horse at the horseโ€™s head and neck, they brace- this is because a) they donโ€™t like it and b ) they are contracting to maintain their balance. So every time we pull the horse, we threaten their balance, ie we threaten their very life.

Over time this contraction creates dysfunction and leads to pain and lameness in the body.

No horse can feel entirely safe until they donโ€™t have to worry about their security. If we really want to develop a true relationship with a horse, step one is to divorce ourselves from pulling on their heads and necks. This is a bumpy road of self awareness, diligent practice, and sometimes the ugly realization that, no matter how much we think we donโ€™t pull, we actually pull quite a bit and often.

The second step is to teach them to balance their bodies in a real way. To help them learn to use their bodies as a unit free of dysfunction and to carry us, or to simply live out their lives, in a balanced and comfortable posture.

This is hard, this is not a small task, this is a journey of self awareness and discipline. But these creatures were brought into our lives by us - and it is our responsibility to protect and care for them. This goes far beyond good feed and brushing- being a steward for the horse means being the best human we can possibly be for our four leggeds.


George!! ๐Ÿ’™ feelin good this am


The life of a trainer:

They spend way more hours at work than you could even imagine. They work holidays. They work weekends. And just because their office is outside and they get to be surrounded by beautiful animals the whole time does not mean they arenโ€™t working. The barn to you is your sanctuary. Itโ€™s your escape. Itโ€™s your place to vent. Your place to relax. Your place to unwind. That is not what the barn is to them. While they have moments of serenity when everything is quiet, this is still their job. they are still on the clock. They still need to be on their game. Always.

Their job is not just riding. They deal with all of you every day. Long before and long after they have come and gone from the barn. During dinners. During drinks with friends. During family time. On days off. They are here for you.

They care. They care more than you could ever know. Each and every horse is a part of their soul. They know their mannerisms. They meticulously watch their weight, their movement, monitor what they eat and how much of it, how much they work, whether they are happy doing their job, and how to make them go in a way that pleases you without jeopardizing them. They stay up late with them if they are sick. They write down every time they batted an eyelash wrong. And they remember what they need when.

They take pride in them going well for you. They listen to every flaw you find with them, even if it is in fact your flaw, and try to help them do their job better. When you are unhappy with how they go, they strive to never let it happen again, even if your expectations are unreasonable. They bend over backwards to make your horse perfect, even if what youโ€™re asking for is a horse without spirit, or personality. They stand up for them when they can, trying their best not to make you upset in the process. They are their lifeโ€™s work, and they know them inside and out.

They listen to you. Whether you are rational or not. They remain calm when you bring the stress of your day job to the barn and take it all out on your horse and on us. They pick up the pieces when youโ€™ve been unforgiving with your horse, who was simply surprised by your lack of patience after a long day. They are your rock, your shoulder to cry on, and your horses.

When they go home, they still reply to your texts and your emails and your calls. They are never off the clock. They take in stride as best we can your rants of frustration when your horse or your riding isnโ€™t exactly where you want it to be exactly when you want it. They take the blame. For you. For your horse. For everything.

And yet here they are. Still showing up. Still being here for you. For your horse. No matter how you treat them. Regardless of whether you deserve them. They are here. Appreciate your trainer.

~borrowed but truer words have never been spoken~



๐‡๐€๐ˆ๐‘ ๐–๐‡๐Ž๐‘๐‹ ๐๐Ž๐’๐ˆ๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐ ๐€๐๐ƒ ๐‹๐€๐“๐„๐‘๐€๐‹๐ˆ๐“๐˜ (๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž) ๐ƒ๐„๐…๐ˆ๐๐„๐ƒ

This knowledge is a game changer in the horse training business and for those in all the competition sports, and a valuable guide for horse owners looking to find the perfect horse for their lifestyle and riding pleasure. Geneticists in three countries have provided the first scientific evidence of the inheritance of hair whorls, links to behavior, and specific genes linked to certain hair whorl patterns. There's no scientific evidence more definitive than genetic evidence. Dr. Temple Grandin and I at Colorado State University waited 28 eight years since we published the first scientific evidence of the link from hair whorls to behavior for the genetic evidence we always knew would come. We never claimed to discover the relationship between hair whorls and behavior; people worldwide for thousands of years have casually observed the relationship. What we did that was new was show the link to lateralization of the nervous system and the hair whorls association with functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. I studied and documented the relationship for ten years before meeting Temple Grandin, working as a farrier and horse trainer. I learned the practical application of this knowledge in real-world situations before seeking and finding the academic support needed to make this useful information available to everyone.

This post aims to clarify and unify common terminology and principles of hair whorl height and position, either left, right, or center. For future posting on this page, this information is essential for you. The most important language to clarify relates to the side preference exhibited by horses and its relation to horse welfare concerns. The terminology in the horse industry, as is in the scientific language, is broad and varies between people in the US and other countries. The formal scientific term for this phenomenon is lateralization of the nervous system. Some scientists use a less formal term, ๐’๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š. ๐‘ฏ๐’‚๐’๐’…๐’†๐’…๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” is the general term used to describe the phenomenon across species that includes human handedness, paw preference in dogs, footedness in birds, and side preference in cattle, horses, and other herbivores. In my writing, I interchange the terms laterality, handedness, and side preference depending on sentence context, but they all mean the same thing.

I drew this graph on this horse because this horse represents a large proportion of horses and the hair whorl type that suffers from the most severe welfare concerns. It has a single whorl, is left of center, and is very.

๐‡๐€๐ˆ๐‘ ๐–๐‡๐Ž๐‘๐‹ ๐‡๐„๐ˆ๐†๐‡๐“

"Very Low" defines a non-reactive horse with low fear. "Low" whorls represent a horse as slightly more reactive than the "very low." "Very Lows" and "Lows" show minimal side preferences, and the hair whorls are usually in the center of the midline. The V-lines on the graph represent how, as the whorl gets higher, the side preference increases.

๐Œ๐ˆ๐ƒ๐ƒ๐‹๐„ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‡๐ˆ๐†๐‡

Most horses are in the Middle and High Range. The reactivity and fearfulness are in the mid-range, with some variation. Reactivity is higher in the top portion of the High range and lower reactivity in the lower middle range. The V-shape on the graph represents side preferences. The higher the whorl on the forehead, the stronger their side preference.

๐‡๐ˆ๐†๐‡ ๐€๐๐ƒ ๐•๐„๐‘๐˜ ๐‡๐ˆ๐†๐‡

A smaller portion of horses are in the "High" and "Very" High range. Both high and very high define highly reactive and fearful horses. Side preference is highest in these two ranges, and the distance left or right from the midline also increases the side preference strength. This horse represents very high nervous system reactivity and laterality but not extreme laterality (side preference). A hair whorl closer to V-line would be an example of extreme laterality.

๐‡๐€๐ˆ๐‘ ๐–๐‡๐Ž๐‘๐‹ ๐„๐๐ˆ๐‚๐„๐๐“๐„๐‘

The epicenter defines the position of the whorl. This horse has a very high whorl slightly off to the horse's left side. This horse is highly reactive. The side preference is strong but not the strongest., and its natural fearfulness is very strong.


Approximately 70% of horses have a left side whorl in the medium to high ranges. 10% to 15% have hair whorls on the right side. Approximately 10% have two side-by-side whorls, always in mid-to-high ranges, never low. The double side-by-side whorls we considered normal in our research.The doubles, either side by side or one above the other, are harder to define and require a separate post to clarify.

The remaining 5% have multiple or two whorls, one above the other. In our research, we considered these types of whorls abnormal.

The horse in this picture will favor the right lead and travel better in a circle to the right or clockwise. The left whorl and right turning preferences are similar to most right-handed people. The right side whorl is opposite, like left-handed people. The horse with a high right side whorl favors the left lead.

This horse's left eye is the "look out for danger" eye in horse's with a left side whorl, and prefers the right lead. The side of the whorl is the side the horse will give a farrier the hardest time. The opposite holds for the horse with a right side whorl.This horse's right eye is the "look out for danger" eye in horse's with a right side whorl, and this horse prefers the left lead.

The high reactivity(fearfulness) and the laterality (side preference) of the horse in the photograph and a horse with the opposite on the right side are the types of horses I encountered most while working as a farrier and horse trainer. The horses with the high right and left hair whorls show the most potential as high-performance horses, but they also represent the horses with the most severe welfare concerns. Unfortunately, when they have behavior problems, they are the most dangerous and unpredictable. It all depends on how they are raised and handled. Any clarifying questions are welcome.


646 Locust Street
Raynham, MA

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Tuesday 8am - 7pm
Wednesday 8am - 7pm
Thursday 8am - 7pm
Friday 8am - 7pm
Saturday 8am - 7pm
Sunday 9am - 6pm




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