Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An Amazing Day with Horses (and Cameras)


And yes, it's quarter after seven at night and I'm about ready to hit the sack. That's what happens when you get up at three am to go to the track in order to help with the daily runs (and walks of the sick) race horses. It's freezing cold and the sun wont be up for hours but most people there are happy to be - I am not the only one enchanted by these animals. Though that isn't what brings all these people here. If not love of horses, then love of being a jockey- or, simply the love of the gamble and thrill. Though I don't think many of those people are at the stables at 4am.

R was thrilled when I actually got up in the morning to go with him, I think he doubted how much I really do love horses. It's a childish love, one that I was rarely indulged growing up (though my grandmparents did take us to ride a few times on trails where you could pay $20 for an hour, at your own risk). I shake with excitement whenever I'm around them, truly believing that horses are a part of the perfect existence.

I told R that I would be happy to brush horses, I love them so. He says, "They say what's good for the inside of a man, is good for the outside of a horse."

In my mind, dogs might be man's best friend but horses are a link to something spiritual. When you ride a horse, you're becoming part of them, moving with them, feeling with them. The are extremely empathetic and obviously ridiculously large and strong. I have never felt the overwhelming thrill and accomplishment like I have with moments of experience with a horse.

Today I sat bareback on a horse again. I was lead, like I was last time, but still, I sat. I got up via the fence and getting down R asks if I want the fence or if I can jump down myself. Pff, of course I can.

When I was about 12 I went riding with my sister and grandfather, in a group that was lead for the first half of the hour and the second half you could roam the trails on your own, though you were supposed to stay in pairs. Of course, I didn't. We got pretty deep into the woods and then turned back towards the barn, where the horse knew we were headed back and started going fast. Grinning, I held on, bent over it's neck while it jumped a log and ducking under branches. I had no business doing these things, but had no concept of what I was doing- just that it was fun. We came up on the stables pretty quickly and I was scolded for not letting the horse cool down and made to turn around and do it right.

Now I am older and have more concept that I can be hurt, but not enough to keep me from loving all up on as many horses as I can get around. My hands tremble with nerves every time I am around them, though how much of that is fear and how much excitement, I have no idea.

Afterwards we had a great shoot, to top it off. Naturally, I had my camera with me all day.

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