Tag Archives: horse

Our National Treasures

23 May


A little over a week ago I spent several days running around Assateague Island National Seashore with a wildlife lens. Why? Because WILD PONIES!!! Even as I was shooting, I kept mumbling “I’m going to blow the internet up with horse photos”….

It’s hard to put into words how magical it feels to observe wild pony herds, deer, birds, etc up close. It filled my heart with gratitude that we have designated places like this National Seashore to enjoy the peace that comes with being in nature. At the same time, I was sad that some of these spaces are at risk.

Humans are very good at consuming resources. Finite energy sources, deforestation, water pollution, endangered species, etc….they’re all the result of a lack of foresight in favor of “the now”. But the now doesn’t account for how our fragile the web of life is, and how interdependent we are with the rest of the environment and food chain. Every disturbance has a ripple effect, and without consideration, those effects can be devastating.

I don’t know where the perfect compromise lies, but I know for certain that we need to protect our future. We need to protect ourselves from ourselves, because we only have one planet. There is no plan B.

Letting Go

2 Mar
Horse Hug

Horse Hug

Sometimes your heart just knows.

There were a lot of reasons why adopting a horse at that point in my life was a bad idea. I was trying to find my way through a college class schedule and work three jobs. I would be setting myself back financially with the extra bills. And as horses go, Spot wasn’t “easy”. He was scared of everything, too big for his own good and stubborn as hell. When he wasn’t breaking things, he was running away, or kicking people, or (to mix things up) slamming them into walls. The farrier and vet visits were always an adventure, and trailering…? Forget it.
Oh…and did I mentioned he was only half-trained? The canter was interspersed with bucking, especially when he saw a whip of any sort…even if the rider wasn’t the one holding it.
Somehow, though, the idea of him walking out of my life was heart breaking.
Eleven years ago, while volunteering at Second Chance Ranch (a local horse rescue), I met and adopted Spot…and he changed my life. He taught me the meaning of patience. He blossomed as he aged, turning into a more confident version of himself. He became the “road block” on trail rides to keep the runaways in line. He gave lessons to beginners and helped teach children the joys of horsemanship. As he learned to trust, his personality shined through. He was challenging, playful and infinitely affectionate.
While he was never a “push button” horse, to me, he was perfect.
Yesterday Spot lost the battle with sinus cancer. As one person said, “now he is breathing easier, playing with his friends in horse heaven.” I’m so grateful for the time I had with him. He left some gigantic footprints in my heart and taught me so much about life, reliability and love. ❤

Our Animals Are Our Family

15 Aug
(B&W film) Photo Courtesy of Melissa Couture

(B&W film) Photo Courtesy of Melissa Couture

Today’s post is a little off topic, but it’s weighing heavily on my mind, so I wanted to share.

For those of you who are animal lovers, you know that our pets are more than just animals…they are smile-makers, they are listeners, they are therapeutic…they are family.  As most of you know, not long ago I lost my dog to a battle with lymphoma….  Within the last few months, my horse has also been dealing with a mystery illness and underwent a surgery to relieve some of the symptoms, and collect samples that might give us some clues.

The surgery was done on the farm (my horse doesn’t travel well), and he was a champ about the whole thing.  Of course, that could have been the sedatives. 😉  As I type this, he is recovering and we are waiting to hear from the lab processing the samples.

The worst case scenario is a tumor growing in the sinus, the best case is some rare/antibiotic resistent infection.

I’ve had this horse in my life for 10 years, a “rescue” who came into my life with more issues than positives.  He needed the sort of work most people wouldn’t put into him, and more importantly, he needed patience and kindness.  I always tell him he is lucky he found me…I might be the only person more stubborn than him. 😉

After 10 years, we are very bonded to each other and he has blossomed into a sweet, relatively low-key, mostly brave horse who loves people, especially children.  It’s been a tough few weeks for both of us, to say the least.  I’ve spent a lot of time appreciating the positive things that have come to my life from my time working with him, and rescue animal in general…the life lessons I’ve gained are invaluable.

Today I wanted to express my gratefulness for the positive things in my life, the great memories I’ve made with Spot (the horse), my hope that there is something more we can do to help him, and my appreciation for any good thoughts you can send Spot’s way.

Isn’t It Interesting…

13 Jun

The things that catch our eye?

One Man's Trash

One Man’s Trash

This is an old(er) image, taken with (*gasp*) film, and to this day, remains one of my favorite images.  It’s a photo of the junk bucket left behind by the blacksmith at our barn!

Can you believe it? Those beautiful lines? That texture…?