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September 11, 2015

Jitterbug's Guide To Being Photographed By Your Human

If you are a trainer of Humans in this day and age, you’ve probably noticed that they are unusually obsessed with their Dumb Phones, and equally obsessed with taking photos of everything from their alarming makeup jobs to their fattening brunches/gravyfests.

Unfortunately for Quadrupeds, this probably means they fancy themselves photographers, and that they will almost certainly try to capture our likeness in pixels. Consider this a teaching experience that will not only make the biped a better photographer, but a better Human.

May 7, 2015

Jitterbug’s Guide To A Happy Marriage

The day my Human bounded into the barn aisle with a glittery thing on her left hand (which turned out not to be a peppermint fragment, as it happened…oops) probably delivered the largest surprise of my week. I will never quite understand how I managed her through that relationship successfully, yet still can’t get her to boost my hay ration to a first-world level.

April 10, 2015

Jitterbug’s Mud Classification System

No matter what the groundhog says, warmer temperatures and springtime rains find their way to my pasture eventually. (Actually, I really resent groundhogs and their sense of superiority. I tend to chase them out of my field. Arrogance is so ugly.)

With spring rain comes one of my favorite features of the outdoors: mud.

Humans despise mud, but as with many things, I think they just fail to completely grasp the concept.

March 6, 2015

Jitterbug's Winter Management of Your Human

As a draft cross, I am likely the only horse in my barn who doesn’t mind a few single-digit days now and then (although I’d be much more in the winter spirit if my Human could figure out how to ration hay better—it’s THIRTEEN flakes in my field please, not THREE). I gather however, that my Human doesn’t feel the same way about it.

December 18, 2014

Jitterbug's 2014 Letter To Santa

Dear Santa Hoss, 

By now you are used to hearing from me each year, upon the advice of my legal counsel, just before you make your final "naughty and nice" list.

Judging by my feed bucket on Christmas morning, I think we have come to an understanding about how angelic I really am. However, I thought it my obligation as her trainer to write to you this year with suggested edits to my Human’s Christmas wish list.

November 20, 2014

Gymnastic And Your Human

Gymnastics are an excellent way to help your Human expand her jumping skill set. Or, in some cases, just endeavor to create one.

September 16, 2014

Jitterbug's Guide To Dressage Tests

This week, the time finally came for my Human to step out of the bathtub and into the kiddie pool with a move from USDF Intro Test B to USEA Beginner Novice Test A.

I wish I could say it was because her lower leg has really (finally) improved, but in reality I got so weary of the 2” (yes, that’s inches, not feet) fences that usually accompany Intro Test B that I practically began falling asleep on course. I alleviated my boredom by inventing creative new ways to pull rails (more on that in a future column), and eventually she got the message.

August 1, 2014

How To Help Your Human Pack For A Show

My Human and I enjoyed a successful, if somewhat surprising start to our show season this year. I think she may finally be learning how to stay out of my way during the dressage portion—now we need to teach her to stay in the saddle for the rest of it.

I was horrified to realize how ill-prepared my Human was for our show. Every time I looked up from my hay, she was hunting for a hairpin, digging through her grooming box, or frantically trying to scrub a grass stain out of her breeches.

July 4, 2014

Jitterbug’s Guide To Bucking

As we all know, being a biped trainer requires a lot of sacrifice. My Human doesn’t appreciate it, but I spend an inordinate amount of time exercising my core muscles so that I can cultivate hers. (Though personally, I’m beginning to think her core muscles weren’t installed under that doughy midsection. )

My favorite method for doing this is well-timed bucking. Bucking is a controversial treatment, but I believe that some situations call for extreme measures, such as arrogant or impertinent behavior from the Human.

Or anticipated arrogant or impertinent behavior.

May 14, 2014

Hand-Grazing Your Human

Now that the grass has finally popped back up again, I like to let my Human stretch her legs (and arms) with a good hand grazing session. It’s a good way to limber her up before, (and after; and sometimes in the middle of) an under-saddle session, and I like to think that she’ll one day follow my example and go vegan.

Jitter’s hand-grazing tips: 

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