Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I made my way out to the barn on Sunday.  The weather had warmed up a bit and I wanted to check on the boys.  When I got there they were turned out into their pasture and were grazing side by side.  They paid no attention to me whatsoever until I made my way into the pasture with some horse cookies.  It was then they decided I was their long lost benefactor.

As they ambled across the pasture toward me I was struck by just how beautiful they both are.  Even in they're dirty blankets, even with their manes in a tangle and shavings clinging to their tails.  They are both pretty fuzzy.  I think Bay may even be fuzzier than he has ever been.  His tail is longer than I've ever see it.  It's past his hocks now.  Boo's tail has grown too.  It wasn't but a couple of months ago that I had banged it just above his fetlocks.  Now it's dragging on the ground again.  Looks like I will need to go out and wash it and bang it again on the first available 50 degree day.

I haven't been feeling well lately, but today for that few hours spent with my horses,  I forgot about everything but how much I love being with them. I have heard it said that people who have something that speaks to their soul, no matter what it is, will become so engrossed in it that they will lose time when doing it.  That is exactly what happens to me when I am with the horses.  Time slows down and eventually I lose track of it altogether.  I know I am not alone in this.  I know that almost everyone who will read this blog post knows exactly what I am talking about.  Aren't we lucky to have that? I know I'm grateful for every single moment.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wondering About Blanketing

I am sitting here in my office.  The sun is filtering in through the windows.  Everything is warm and cozy inside.  Outside is a different story.  It was 25 degrees when I got up this morning.  That is unusual weather for the Pacific Northwest. Oh, we get cold weather but we don't usually get it for more than a few days in a row and then it's back to the 50's for daytime highs and lows in the 40's  to upper 30's at night.

I understand that for many people this is just your every day winter weather.  It's far worse in many parts of the country and around the world.  At least this has been a dry cold spell.  Still, it's not that normal for us and I find myself wondering if I'm doing right by my 22-year-old gelding.  I have him stabled about 30 minutes from home.  The elevation is a little higher and the temperature is a few degrees colder than it is here at home.  I have a light blanket on him (no fill) with a neck cover.  It's just to keep him dry and to break the wind.  He has a very fuzzy winter coat of his own, and I've always felt that was enough for our normal temperatures.  Now, with these temperatures, I am second guessing myself.  Should I be putting on a heavier blanket?  It's still getting to the upper 30's and lower 40's during the day...

He is outdoors during the day and indoors at night.  He seemed fine the last time he was checked.  He was warm and dry under the blanket.  His weight is still good.  I'm concerned that if I put on a heavier blanket he will just sweat under it.  I've had that happen before.  I've heard other people say they've beefed up the light turnout sheet in this cold weather. 

What do you all think?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Learning About Equine Photography

I spent some time this fall taking an online photography class.  It is a fine art photography class and the emphasis is on capturing the essence of the horse.  I heard about the class from a good friend who is a much better photographer than I am.  She encouraged me to give it a shot and I am really glad I did.  I’ve owned a Canon Rebel XTI for about 3 years, but I was lost when it came to taking pictures off auto mode.  With this class I would be required to get off auto. 

I was pretty nervous in the beginning.  I was worried I wouldn’t understand the assignments or even how to upload them.  I am definitely not a techie.  However, the emphasis here wasn’t going to be about the technical aspects as much as it was going to be about beginning to define our own vision regarding the essence of the horse. 

All that was needed for the class was a DLSR camera and some version of Photoshop.  I bought PS  Elements 9 from Amazon and I was set to go.

I didn’t turn out to be the star of the class.  I also wasn’t a total bust.  I didn’t get a photo that I thought worthy of printing and framing as fine art, but I did get an idea of where to begin my photography education which I intend to follow up on.  I am planning to take some of those technical classes to help me better understand the capabilities of my camera.  I’m also planning to take some classes in photo shop.  I’ve developed a better understanding of what fine art photography is.  The class was well worth the money and the time I’ve spent on it.

Although the actual goal of using photo shop was to take a good photo and then enhance it with photo shop techniques, I did learn how to make an interesting sort of photo out of what most would consider a real dud.  Here are a few examples. 

The website for the class is www.learntotakephotos.com  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Have Been Missing In Action

I have many reasons but no good excuse.  My last entry was in mid September.  It was just a short blurb about the Pendleton Roundup.  We had moved our two horses to a new barn just a few weeks earlier.  It had not been our choice.  Our old barn had gone self-care.  The new barn was nice.  It was no further away.  It was just something new to get use too.

Both horses have settled in nicely.  It has not been quite so easy for me.  It's difficult sometimes to accept change.  It's difficult to lose the connections with old barn friends.  It's sometimes difficult to build new connections, especially if a person is not going to the barn very often.  Such is the situation I have made for myself in the past few months.

To top off all the difficulties I've been having dealing with change, I have also been dealing with some health changes.  It is amazing how incredibly slow the health care industry moves.  In mid October I visited my PCP due to some recurring symptoms I had been having.  They had been ongoing for a couple of months prior to the visit and were beginning to scare me.  About mid November I finally received all the test results we had been waiting for only to be told I needed to be referred to a specialist.  It took almost two more weeks to get an appointment with the specialist and that is not going to happen until December 30th.  I've been waiting...and waiting...and waiting.  I've put my life on hold and it is finally dawning on me that no matter what I end up dealing with health wise, I just cannot continue to do what I am doing.

I must get back to the things that sustain me.  I need to get back to being with my horses.  I need to get back to being active.  I need to push through the unfamiliar, and the doldrums, and the pain and just be present.  So here I am.

I'm back.