Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oh, Mr. Pitiful

Living a life with horses is real and full and at complete odds with the virtual world of picture taking and video shooting and blogging. Every time I try to capture in photos and videos the amazing interactions with horses that I am fortunate enough to experience, it is over and I missed it. This happened when Maizie was younger too. I would run to get the video camera and invariably she would stop doing the adorable dance, or pose, or song, or whatever it was that I just had to video for all time's sake. Consequently, we have hours of tape of Maizie standing around doing nothing special. And, in my hurry to get the camera, of course I missed the actual real life in front of me.  

There was a morning last week when I could not ride or mow because the fence guys were on the property adjusting the new gates and I had to hear/feel my cell phone vibrate if they had a question. I decided to rake and reseed the grass over the newly installed water pipeline. The horses were grazing with their masks on in a pasture close to me. I did have my mp3 player on and the sun was shining and the air was full of honeysuckle. It was stunningly beautiful and I was thinking how I wished I could capture this all on video. Just then, silly Foggy pulled Sovereign's mask off and started flipping it around in glee. It was the absolute cutest thing I've ever seen. Foggy's delight with actually getting the mask off Sovey's head was palpable. He was swinging it around in Sovey's face and as he did, he would hop and his tail would go up with each swing. The song playing through my earphones was "Mr. Pitiful" by Matt Costa and the beat was in perfect sync with Foggy's antics. Foggy danced over to Pie to show him and hopped back to Sovey and then circled all around the two horses. Dancing is the perfect word. I can only imagine that foals at play look like this. He was laughing, I am sure. Foggy's animation was juxtaposed with Sovereign's straight man reaction. Sovey just stood there taking all the abuse like, "Yeah, ok, you got it off my head. Real funny. Ha. Ha. Are you done yet?" Foggy was hitting Sovey in the face with the mask repeatedly and yet Sovereign kept his stoic pose of resignation like a mare with a foal. This went on for many minutes and I thought how I wished I could have a camera on the top of my head at all times. I suppose I do - it is called my brain.

This photo and the one at the top are two other examples of my frustration with trying to photograph horse life as it happens. I ride Sovereign all over our farm in his halter and he is such a great horse. He listens to my legs and seat completely. Yet I have no good photos or videos of him. He always looks like a llama with a halter. And, my head gets cut off in every picture. 

To add to this continuing theme of the dilemma of real life vs. virtual life, my blog blew up the other morning. That took a huge chunk of time (horse time) to sort out and I am not entirely happy with the results. The blog is now big and oversized and not the aesthetic that I am after. My artist brain is opinionated. My comments are back up except for the mysterious missing comments on the last post. I enjoy blogging because I have "met" so many wonderful horse people and I love the idea that we all share our trials and worries and love of horses. In addition, I enjoy going back and reading my old posts to see what my horses were doing at various times throughout the year. But, I personally have to learn to not lament about the photos and videos I missed. I didn't miss a thing, really. I was right there seeing it and living it. Also, I need to work on letting go of the guilt if I don't comment on other people's blogs. Every time I see a comment from someone on my blog I feel a sense of dread because they were kind enough to read my words and comment and I haven't been so great about commenting lately because I have been working furiously on another writing project. Isn't that ridiculous? I don't wrestle with dread and fear about riding - I wrestle with dread and guilt associated with blogging! Ugh.

On to very exciting real life news: This past winter I met a great person, Barbara, in Florida. We rode every day together and Barb is in Pennsylvania this week. She is visiting me and staying on our farm today and tomorrow! I am hopeful (if it stops raining!) we can ride together these next two days. Maybe I'll capture some photos of our rides :)


  1. I know what you mean by their antics. They're like children who, the minute they see a camera, stop what they're doing. What has helped me is the new smartphone cameras. I have an iPhone and the pictures and video are great. I try to keep with me most of the time so I always have a camera at hand.


  2. I always have problems getting a good picture too. My camera is so big that I do have to take it out purposely and try to photograph something interesting. Never happens. I always forget my little pocket camera to I've been sent back to my photo archives more than once to find a decent picture to go with a post.

  3. I can't tell you how many times I have missed a perfect picture or a silly one. I am not good at photography!! Plus the animals all move way too quick for me!
    The other night our home phone rang, and my silly Sadie started howling at the phone, which she has never done before. I made my OH call the house phone back so I could video her howling. She knew I was videoing and would not howl. I was so mad! I wanted to get that on video so bad. Oh well. We did get a good laugh that made you cry moment when she first did it!

  4. Oh - I saw your giant blog the other day, and there was no way to comment either. It still seems larger than usual... ;)

    Love the mental image I get form reading about Foggy's dance party. And I can relate to your photo frustrations. I have been trying to catch on camera / video Val doing his horse yoga for years now.

    In the early morning hours when I feed and clean up before work, he often does a really nice downward dog pose, followed by stretching his hinds straight out behind him. It is both comical, and sweet.

    I never seem to get the camera out of my pocket in time to snag the image, and then usually miss out on enjoying watching the real life version while I stress out...

    Silly humans. :)

  5. Just carry a camera everywhere: problem solved!!

  6. Aren't they a bunch of characters? I love watching horse antics and the herd hierarchy thing. Just like you, I don't have my camera way too often! I've got to get a better compact one--better low-light shooting since the flash seems to always go off in the woods!

    Even though the special moments aren't captured by the camera, they are in your head and that's a wonderful place to store them.

  7. I'm still laughing about the fly mask incident! Our appaloosa is just the same in his antics. Some horses seem to have a great sense of humour! What a funny boy you have :)
    I too feel your frustration - so many missed great shots. I think oyur description captured it perfectly though.
    Glad you got your blog back. It looks good to me :)

  8. I always love your photos! They seem to say "I'm enjoying the moment too much to stop and take a posed picture so just enjoy this blip of a moment!" :)

  9. Juliette, What a cute story about the horses and the fly mask toy! How priceless for you to see their antics, and thanks for writing about it.
    I'm sorry you feel guilty about not commenting. I, too, have times when I just read about everyone, but don't always comment. I guess it is a reading phase. And I, too, have problems with my blog, and it takes so much time to get it fixed and then some things are still wrong. I recently upgraded my Internet Explorer, and went to the new Blogger interface, but I had problems so I went back to the old interface, but now I can't always see a blogs photos! I'm just so glad that people write stuff!


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