A Few New Photos of the Mares and Foals


I still make plenty of mistakes with my camera. But I’m starting to feel like I know what I’m going to get in the end when I press the shutter. I know better how I want the camera set up for specific situations.

The other morning I got a couple of nice photos of the mares and foals just as the sun was coming up. I knew when I took them that I’d have to do a bit of editing to fix up the exposure. The first couple of photos below were taken before it was light. And they were handheld. So they were underexposed and very dark. But I took them in RAW format and was able to bring them up when I processed them.

Broodmares and Foals at Dawn
All three broodmares with their three foals, moving out into the pasture. That’s Bernice, Dora, and Loula. The foals are Ruby, Sammy, and Gabriella.

Ruby and Bernice at Dawn
Ruby is a very exhuberant filly. So it’s easy to get shots of her in motion. Her mama, Bernice is quite often in motion herself (though not in this photo), so Ruby takes after her. When there is this little light though, it’s very difficult to prevent motion blur (or blur from camera shake). So I was very happy that this one turned out as sharp as it did.

Ruby And Bernice
Ruby and Bernice again. The sun was above the horizon here, so I didn’t have to do much to fix the exposure.

Gabriella
Dora’s foal, Gabriella. The very perfect filly.

Gabriella and Dora
Gabriella, with Dora in the background.

Bernice and Ruby
Bernice and Ruby

Ruby
Bernice’s filly, Ruby

Diva and Sammy
Sammy, introducing himself, rather rudely, to Diva. Diva is Dora’s foal from two years ago.

Dora and Gabriella
Dora and Gabriella

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Baby Pics of Sammy


I took more pictures of Sammy (Loula’s colt) while he was scampering around in the small paddock. I wouldn’t blame Loula one bit if she were already tired of him. He’s a bundle of energy and not all of it polite energy either. Sure is lucky that foals are cute or we’d never tolerate the little demons.

Click on any of the photos for a closer (and thus cuter) view:

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Loula’s Colt


Loula’s colt is doing very well. He’s not at all shy with humans, and will undoubtedly be pure trouble very shortly. Anastasija came up with a name for the little guy… Sam. And the boss didn’t immediately ridicule it. So Sam it is.

They went out to the paddock to enjoy some sunshine this morning. He started out wobble-legged and worried. But soon gained a bit of confidence. Mind you, he is carefully staying glued to his mama’s side!

Isn’t he cute?

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This and That, and Pictures


I haven’t written much lately. Obviously. Quite a bit of stuff happening, but I’ve just been a bit cranky and haven’t felt like inflicting my bad mood on the world. The weather has been atrocious for months. Snow and ice everywhere, which has severely limited what I can do with the horses. But the temperatures have finally gone above freezing.

Dressy came home on Monday. She and Brooke have been getting along very well together. But unfortunately Brooke was not getting along so well with the boarding barn. And whether it was a consequence of that situation or a lack of attention to the problem, or just being cheap (they charge $750 a month so you would think….) I don’t know. But Dressy really wasn’t being fed enough. She’s not in terrible condition, but she’s leaner than I like to see her. Apparently the barn staff didn’t like Dressy either. Which I wasn’t too happy about. She’s a sweet mare with people. It’s just horses that she grinds beneath her queenly hooves.

Dressy checking out her territory with Diego and King devotedly following her Highness

Dressy checking out her territory with Diego and King devotedly following her Highness

We do have another place in mind to send her (not nearly so fancy, but with someone that I know and trust), so that Brooke can continue on with her. But it will be another month or two before she can go. In the meantime she can lord it over the geldings and they will like it. She seems very cheerful and full of herself.

Dressy

Dressy

With the improvement in the weather, all the huge snowpiles are melting. My driveway has now fallen apart. In a big way. I took the horse trailer out yesterday for a short trip down to the farm to do some trailer training with the young thoroughbreds (Reno and Al). And coming home, I got the truck and trailer buried in the muck. We managed to completely block the main driveway for about an hour. Luckily we have been getting piles of free wood chips from a local tree service and were able to shore up the whole mess enough to finally shift the rig. But it’s quite a mess.

On Saturday, I am taking McCool to a charity fundraiser for Canter On, the rescue that twisted my arm into bringing him home. We are supposed to do two demos. The first will be a talk about assessing problem horses (McCool had some behavioral issues that are what got him into trouble in the first place). I’ve written out an outline of what I think riders should look at before they label a horse as just having a bad attitude. Things like pain, fear, badly fitting tack, teeth/bitting, bad training or lack of training, conformation or lack of fitness, etc.

The second demo is a clicker training session with McCool. He does love clicker. But he’s kind of a pushy, enthusiastic guy. He was like that before the clicker, and we’ve actually made quite a bit progress with it. He’s a lot more polite than he was at first. But I hope that he maintains a reasonably gentlemanly demeanor through the demo. I don’t want the audience to think that he’s become that way because of the training. I wish the weather had been better this winter. With all the ice, I’ve really only been able to work with him inside the barn, which is a bit limiting. And he hadn’t been ridden since November.

I have been riding him this week though, and he’s been very good. He had one moment the first day where he hiked a little bit when I first got on and put my right leg on him. That’s the side where he had two ribs out, and he was very goosey there before the chiropractic treatment. When he hiked, I put my leg back on and just held it there with light pressure until he figured out that there wouldn’t be any pain. After that, he was fine and went forward happily. Forward being the key word. He likes to move and has lots of energy. And it’s not nervous energy either. He loves to explore.

With everything melting this week, the grey horses are looking pretty disgusting. McCool is getting dirtier by the minute. I have no idea how I will get him presentable for this event. One way or another, he’s bound to embarrass me!

Can you tell that I’m nervous about the demo? It’s not exactly that I’m afraid to speak in front of an audience. I’ve been teaching at OCTRA clinics for years (Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association). But I’m so familiar with that material that I don’t need to prepare. This one I had to really sit down and organize my thoughts. I’m sure we will be fine once we’re there. But in the meantime, I’m fussing.

Here are some random photos that I’ve been taking lately…

King

King

Diego

Diego

Ella (Spanish Lady). Veronica's Standardbred mare.

Ella (Spanish Lady). Veronica’s Standardbred mare.

Bandit. A friend's cat.

Bandit. A friend’s cat.

A friend's very friendly cat. Snorkely.

A friend’s very friendly cat. Snorkely.

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One of the Ladies

One of the Ladies

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Still No Riding, But Lots of Pictures


The footing here is still dreadful. It has snowed, and in places the snow has stuck to the ice. But there are polished sections of ice hidden under the snow in any of the well-travelled areas, and in the fields there are two layers of very hard, very thick ice over layers of snow. The ice is hard enough that sometimes it will hold a horse’s weight, and sometimes it won’t.  It’s just completely unsafe for the horses.  My hay guy told me that he was asking our local dead stock removal guy if he was busy. And yes… very busy. Lots of catastrophic injuries to horses and cattle from the ice.

So I think the entire winter is going to be a washout for riding. Unless we get a massive thaw at some point.  I work on the computer a lot, so I really miss being outside riding.  I’ve been taking lots of pictures to get myself outdoors. Each batch gets a little better as I understand how to set the ISO, white balance, shutter speed/aperture, etc. to deal with the blinding white of winter scenes. 

Twister and McCool have been galloping around in little circles in the side paddock (which, since it was trampled down throughout all the storms, is relatively safe albeit very small).  McCool is looking exceptionally sprightly and cheerful these days. It’s a bit scary to think about riding him again actually! I attribute that to both the extensive dental work, and the chiropractic adjustments. He is one HAPPY guy these days.  Venice goes out with those two boys for the day. I think she gets pretty disgusted with their antics. But it doesn’t seem to have any dampening effect on either of them. 

Diego is fatter than I have ever seen him. He’s an A-framed and very lanky Arab. Very prone to worry his weight off.  I manage him as if he has ulcers (no medication, but lots of forage, beet pulp, and probiotics as needed… stress management, 24 hour turnout, etc.)   He has no visible ribs now. In fact, at this point he doesn’t even have detectable ribs. I was poking and prodding at him the other day and couldn’t find them. He’s very round looking.  He’ll lose some of that once the ride season starts. But I am very glad for him to have that buffer.

I am going to be starting a short course on basic digital photography tomorrow. So I am hoping to get a bit better at all this. But here are some photos from yesterday…    You guys are welcome to critique them if you see errors that I’m making 🙂   Click on the pics for a closer look.

 

Getting the Settings


I got a new camera recently. It is a Samsung NX1000, which is what is known as a “compact system camera” or “mirrorless camera”.  Although much smaller, it is sort of like a DSLR in that it has interchangeable lenses, manual and automatic settings, and takes much better photos than a point and shoot camera. Well… it is capable of taking better photos anyway. It’s not going to do that until I get a bit more of a handle on how to use it. And, let’s face it, until I get better glasses so I can see when it’s actually in focus!  (Man, I hate getting old. )

I got the camera just before I went to Florida. So I took it with me. But I am used to my little pocket camera that charges from my laptop. And I assumed that I could do the same thing with the Samsung. And I left the charger at home.  The battery did last all the way to Florida amazingly. But died on the second day there.  Whereupon I discovered what a dumbass I’d been to leave the charger behind.  But I did get one or two quite nice photos with it in those few days.

Once I got home, got the camera recharged, and read the manual, I started taking some photos around here with it. I’m still learning, but getting there. We had quite an ice storm over Christmas. The power was out for three days in my house, and for eight days on the rest of the farm. The ice was rather magical to look at. But trying to negotiate it with a camera in hand was very precarious.  And it sure did wreak havoc on the trees and the plumbing.

Jimi – my border collie

Diego in silhouette

Venice (Woizero)

Venice (Woizero)

King

King

Comical as usual

Comical as usual

Diego. Handsome in purple.

Diego. Handsome in purple.

Venice in winter mist

Venice in winter mist

Diego

Diego

Sundog

Ice on the Weeping Willows

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jimi

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Autumn Colours


On Sunday Veronica came to ride. We took Diego and Ella out, ambled around our home trails for a couple of hours, and just enjoyed a beautiful day.  Considering it was just my cellphone camera, the pics came out better than I expected 🙂

 

 

 

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