Tag Archives: horse

Adventures with my new camera (1)

I bought a new camera! I love my huge SLRs, but I wanted one that I could slip into my pocket and not worry about it at the barn or when I go snorkeling. So I bought the sony DSC-TX30 in blue!!! (check out specs here) I haven’t had a chance to test it at the beach, but I did take it to the barn, where, as the cats were about to lick it and I pulled it back in horror, someone reminded it was waterproof and really, if Carson wanted to lick it, it would be allright (something to consider).  So, this time around, I wanted to test the “pet mode”.  As you can see, it works pretty darn well even on my horse who is technically “livestock”, not “pets”. All photos below were taken without flash. The first one was taken under fluorescent lights and the rest outside.

The camera has a good macro mode, but it doesn’t work that well with furry things that move. Carson was just waking up as a prelude to licking the camera.

Carson before he wakes up

 

Simon on the other hand, was nice and still except for the yawn and a moderately close range, the camera does produce nice results. Simon was in the shade and I still got a nice colour on his fur.

Simon Close Up

 

Larry on the other hand is “livestock” not “pet”, but the camera doesn’t care.  In the full sun with quite a breeze blowing, it renders the blues, greens and browns nicely while still compensating for the movement of horse and my hand.

Larry's Ears

On a pretty good close up/zoom, it handled BT’s ever moving body and total furriness.  It still captures his buff colour as well as really green grass.

BT in the Grass

On moderate close up (why do animals always want to come towards the camera????), it does do well even if Simon’s head comes out as a bobble head.

Simon Really Close Up

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30 Days of Beauty – day 15

Moving as one with my horse. When I ask for something and he understands right away, it’s like the perfect partnership. Just pure harmony.

30 Days of Beauty: An exercise in writing and recognizing the things that make my soul giggle and sing.


What my horse has taught me

Quick post today! As I am spending so much time with my horse, I thought I’d share some of his wisdom….

  1. Eat dessert first….why not? It just tastes better.
  2. Dig deep to find the good stuff….this would explain why he moves ALL his hay from one corner to all other corners and eats the stuff on the bottom
  3. Be polite…if everyone else is running like an idiot, join in, even if you don’t quite know why or if you really want to
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want…he tries to walk out his open door and see how far he gets before someone puts him back inside
  5. Conserve energy…no unnecessary movements are needed, walk rather than trot, trot rather than canter, stand still when possible
  6. Always present your best side…you never know when furry cuteness will pay off in dessert (see lesson #1)

 


My mom told me to buy a hoUse, not a hoRse.

But I bought a horse anyway, and here’s why.

Winter north of the 49th parallel: that’s the top reason to not own a horse. Have you ever seen a barn at winter (and I’m not talking about those of you who are lucky enough to ride at places like the Hong Kong jockey club). If it isn’t a skating rink (slid my car almost into another car/tractor twice), it’s a mudbath (and not in a skin-cleansing way – remember what the horses left on top of the ice).

Winter north of the 49th parallel: is not a bad reason to own a horse. Owning a horse gets you out of the house. With animals, you can’t tell them to take a raincheck, you don’t feel like it today. They have to be exercised, cleaned, medicated, fed, and all around tended to. Plus, once you put on 7 layers of clothing and start riding, you warm up pretty quick. (in modern times, I have managed to reduce that to 5 layers of clothing using thermal undies.)

Injuries and vet bills: are definitely on the reasons to not own a horse. OMG, have you SEEN what animal medical costs? And this is CHEAPER than for a dog/cat? HOW much was that ONE steroid shot?

Injuries and vet bills: does have some benefits like allowing you to meet a wide range of really nice people. Let’s face it, anyone who chooses to work with animals probably is pretty nice and pretty mellow. You can’t be excited when dealing with a half a ton animal who is still trying to decide if he likes you or not AND has steel shoes. Plus there is the horse’s eye doctor, massage therapist, blacksmith (aka shoe salesman) and x-ray technician for you to meet and pay. And if your horse regularly loses his shoes or pulls muscles or has an undiagnosable illness, you get to know all these people really well.

A horse can think for himself: which is a great thing when you have issues steering a car or bike or judging distance. I have never ridden a horse that crashes into a wall. Nor one that falls over or stops running in the middle of a gallop (yes, my car decided to test my driving skills while I was on a highway).

A horse can think for himself: but you may not always agree with the decision. Like when I ended up behind the saddle (on the horse’s butt) and she decided I really didn’t belong there. The people watching said I flew at least a meter over her in the air. Or when a horse decided at the VERY LAST MINUTE to skid to a dead stop in front of a jump….and I went over anyway. ouch. (look out for good sales on painkillers and muscle relaxants)

Spring, Summer and Fall anywhere: good reason to own a horse. Riding in shortsleeves with the wind in your hair (under a safety helmet, of course) is amazing. It’s the ultimate stress reliever and relaxation and just plain fun! I love riding in the field with Monarch butterflies fluttering around and swallows swooping and diving.

Spring, Summer and Fall anywhere: can test you and your horse. In spring, your horse will go crazy after being cooped up all winter. He starts thinking: “OMG WHAT IS THAT SOUND!? oh, it’s a bird. OMG, WHAT WAS THAT?! It was the tree moving in the wind. I’M SO OUTTA HERE! because I’ve never seen an umbrella before”. Your horse will calm down just in time for the bugs and flies to come out in the Summer and for him to spook and run away from that.

Cuteness: top reason to own any animal.  Yes, my horse is cute. Totally and utterly cute.  When he grows in his winter hair and his main grows long, he looks like a big furry llama (in a good way). Everyone loves him and when he begs for treats, you hear “awwww” all around. I love seeing him at the end of a long day. Just being there gives my spirit a lift.

Cuteness: only goes so far. My horse decided to shed all his winter hair….in December, then re-grow it, then shed it again.  Last year, he decided to keep the last batch he grew until he was sweating just standing there (it was May/June already). When you de-shed your horse (see other post here), you need special implements (a Furminator is flipping $70+!!!! and isn’t even available in this country!) and still the fur goes everywhere. Hint: keep your mouth closed during this process. However, when you clip (shave) your horse, it’s even worse. I didn’t know hair could get in my underwear through 3 layers of clothing.

He loves you: best, best, best reason to be owned by a horse. I’m pretty sure my horse has some feelings resembling affection for me. He does look up when I call his name. He does tentatively take a step in my direction. He certainly has loads of patience when I ride him. Once or twice, I’ve even heard him nicker at me. And he puts up with all my photography attempts.


Spring is coming! Spring is coming!

That MUST be why my horse is shedding like crazy. Oh the joys of owning a horse. Not only does he masquerade as a llama with a big bushy mane and fuzzy neck just like in this picture; he insists on losing all the hair on the rest of his body in the middle of winter. So, all I can think is that he knows something I don’t and spring is coming.

Larry's unwanted hair

In the meantime, I am his shedding support. I stand ready with implements to hasten the process before we all drown in his hair (this is the amount of hair on a good day).Larry, his hairy blanket and pile of hair If it were clean (he hasn’t had a bath since fall last year), I would collect it and make yarn. If it were any dirtier, I’d worry about what I was ingesting everytime I breathe in while grooming him.

It will be over soon though, and until then, I have his undying gratitude for the extra tummy rubs (yes, he’s shedding there too).

In the meantime, he’s not the only one who’s furry at the barn.

Another Hairy Barn Creature