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Planet Project 3: What Is It?

Posted Monday Oct. 14, 2019

Horses for future Goats around the plane

A weed is a flower growing in the wrong place.

I’ve forgotten the source of this quote. I may have encountered it first through the English writer Beverley Nichols. Whoever gets the credit for saying it first, it has become a common phrase that applies to many things, including horse training and pasture management.

The horses have taught me that there are no behaviors that I never want to see. That’s one of the may reasons I don’t want to use punishment when I train. I don’t want to suppress behaviors. I just want to make clear under what conditions they should be expressed.

Most of us don’t want our horses to paw. I certainly don’t want my horse pawing when I’m grooming him, but when a confirmed non-loader starts to paw at the trailer ramp, I’m celebrating. Pawing is forward movement. This is a horse who is considering taking a step forward onto the ramp. Hurray!

The same type of thinking applies to the management of our pastures and hedgerows. Black walnuts are beautiful trees that produce food for wildlife. I love seeing them in the woods behind my house. But I don’t want to see them anywhere near the horses because they can trigger laminitis.

Most of us who have horses know all too well what burdock is. When we’re pulling the prickly, sticky seed heads out of our horses’ manes and tails, we want to eradicate every bit of it. But that same stick-to-you property gave us the idea for velcro. And in many parts of the world burdock is eaten and used as a medicinal.

A weed is a flower growing in the wrong place.

So the question is what flowers do you have in your fields and hedgerows that are in the wrong place? Do you need help identifying what you have growing?

That’s what this week’s Planet Project is. I’d like us to help one another with plant identifications. Do you have any mysteries growing that you need help with?

I do, so I’ll start us out. I’ve posted some photos of a very vigorous and hard to discourage plant. It grows to a height of about four feet and produces the purple berries that you see in the photo. What is it? My wildflower books haven’t turned up an answer so I am asking you.

Horse people can make a difference!

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My mystery plant was identified as pokeweed.

Planet Project: Friday Celebration

Posted Friday Oct. 18 2019

This week’s Planet Project asked the question: “What is it?”


A weed is a flower growing in the wrong place. Thank you for identifying my mystery plant. Odd that in all my years of gardening I had never encountered something as common as pokeweed. One source I read says that it proliferates in disturbed areas so it makes sense that it would colonize the building site around the barn. So far I have not seen any in the horse pastures.

One of my favorite quotes is: a teacher is someone who started before you.

I love that. I’ve been busy this week creating a “Horses for Future” podcast. I want to interview the many teachers who have started before us.

The first guest will be Jane Myers. Jane has been so generous in sharing information here in this group about her equicentral system. I’ve wanted to meet her for a very long time. Manda Scott and I interviewed her this past Wednesday. So next week I’ll post the interview in the new podcast.

If there are people you’d like to hear, send me an email.


The more we know, the more of a difference we can make!

Horses for Future horses looking at plan
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