Saturday, May 25, 2013

Focus on Life Week 21 - Reminisce





This weeks Focus On Life topic is "Reminisce" I originally intended to post a old photo of me and a girlfriend goofing off many many years ago, but I couldn't find it. What this did was spark a wonderful hour of me thumbing through old photos. Plopped on the floor of my studio still in my stinky running clothes I got lost in photos from so long ago. I decided to focus on horse pics for this particular blog post. The one above is of Hoka a pony I owned from age 5 until he passed away (still living with me) at age 26. He impacted my life in a major way, I learnt all my basics on him. I then went on to use him as an important part of my school string when I was a riding instructor. He was pretty versatile and loved jumping, did western and english performance, some eventing and I even played polo off him for a while. I miss the quiet trail rides I used to take on him.



George was a gelding I bought in alberta and was he ever a project! This photo was taken at Luxton riding ring. The first season I showed him there he became rather notorious for bucking in one corner, bolting to the next where he bucked again and repeated his pattern. In the end I realized he was just too big a horse for me and he was sold to a man up Island where he is still living out his days.



Ah Henry, to say henry was a problem child would be an understatement. He was my first major rehab using alternative meds. He was claustrophobic so trailering was a major issue for him, which he did overcome with use of bach flower remedies and careful hauling. He also suffered from headaches, something that took us years to figure out but once we did he became a much more settled horse. We've lost track of him over the years, I hope he's doing well. He had a very very curious personality.



Kinsley was a handful, to say the least. She was the only horse I barrel raced and looking back I have to wonder "what the hell was I thinking?" as her temperament made it a challenge. This photo was from out second race. Previous to this I had opted out of taking her in grand entry since she was volatile, I took Roddy's horse Eazy instead. He got spooked and did his damndest to buck me off while carrying the canadian flag! This race started with me almost trampling a family of four, you had to enter the arena crossing the spectator walk way and the person in charge of stopping people so the racers could pass wasn't paying attention. Kinsley was NOT easy to stop once she got going and fortunately the family moved fast and got out of the way. On the way to the first barrel she bucked (and she always bucked HARD!) causing me to loose a stirrup. The second barrel was this picture, you can see she's not exactly being agreeable. On the way to the third barrel she sunfished and I lost my second stirrup. I forgot to mention I was also in my husbands team roping saddle which was about 2 inches too big for me. We tore down to a closed gate and all I could think was "OMG she's going to jump the gate!" Which she tried but fortunately my husband was there to flap his arms and stop her. She did eventually run a decent pattern if you left her alone to do her job, but you had to HANG on as you never knew when she'd decide to buck.



This is Kinsley and her foal Annie. I was doing a lot of hunter jumpers in this stage of my life and I wanted to breed Kinsley hoping for something with the physical pluses she had but NOT the temperament. Annie was my "dream horse", I carefully picked the stallion and we awaited what was to be my fancy hunter jumper. I dreamed of a bay gelding, what I got was Annie a chestnut mare. Horse people will understand how opposite these two can be. Annie was a typical chestnut mare, tending to me temperamental like her mother though no where near as bad. She hated being outside the ring and never did settle into being trail ridden. She was very athletic, almost to much as some times. I broke her myself and she was one of the easiest horses I ever started, very smart you rarely had to show her the same thing twice. She had loads of energy and could be ridden 5-7 days a week without getting wore out. This was eventually what prompted me to sell her. She needed to be ridden more than she was getting with me. She is up Island doing dressage.



This photo was from a summer trip to my grandparents, I don't think I was even 16 yet. Yes I had no hard hat on and am wearing runners, kids, what can I say? My sister and I had a blast on this horse that summer, a sweet temperament he'd tackle anything you threw at him. I remember jumping, chasing cows and trail riding on him. 

You'll notice there are some (many in fact) horses missing from this walk down memory lane. I decided to only use photos that were NON digital for this as it is a reminisce theme and pre digital seems to fit nicely. So while these certainly are not all the horses that have impacted and shared my life over the years, it is some who I remember fondly.

9 comments:

Shel said...

Wow - those are some beautiful horses!! I loved reading your stories of them and how they were each so different and individual. A lifetime of memories,...and it's great they are all 'pre-digital'! Love that part!

Patty Woodland said...

Beautiful, beautiful animals. If I had more land and lots more money and a head that was attached with all of its vertebra I would so have a horse. I rode a lot as a teenager and it is so free-ing.

Janet Bocciardi said...

So you're the lucky girl that got to have a pony! : ) Fun post filled with love for horses and the freedom they provide.

Debi said...

Riding horses is a brave thing to do I have to say. I have always been scared of them, although they are so beautiful. Thanks for your stories!

Mary K. McGraw said...

You sure have a love affair with horses. I enjoyed the story you told of each horse and your love came through.

Becky Pancake said...

Great story Nicole. You sound like quite an accomplished horse woman. Thanx for sharing your passion with us.

Alice said...

What a fascinating story! I have loved horses since I was little, but we had only one old mare. Still, I fancied myself as a rider then, as kids will do. I've ridden a few horses in my adulthood and really enjoyed it.
Kudos to you for caring for these lovely creatures.

Beti Horvath said...

What a wonder set of horse-related memories!

LoriF said...

What beautiful children! They are all such individuals~I used to love to ride, it was one of my favourite treats. We didn't own horses, but there was a stable in our little town.