2017 Favorites; Ghost

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I sincerely thought that my last post was going to be the one ending 2017. It turned out I was wrong. With only three days left of the year (yesterday,) I found a special horse. Like in the kind of special I’ve been wanting to find for a couple years. These photos might not technically be the best I’ve taken this year, but they are very special to me.

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He is a 3 year old half Arabian, an Arabian-Mustang Cross. It will be interesting to see changes in him as he grows, and get more muscles. He already have a good conformation. He is strong and healthy. Well built for his age, and breed. Several of his relatives are successful endurance horses. I’m going to name him Ghost. He is very likely going to be all white later in life. He is fast. When he’s older, and ready to start his career in endurance racing, you’re not going to be able to see us, until after we crossed the finish line 😉

Ghost have lived his whole life in a pasture, up until now. He his not halter broke. He have never been groomed. He have never had his hooves cleaned, or trimmed.

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I desperately wanted to interact with him in a round-pen, or some kind of smaller, enclosed area. That wasn’t possible. After spending some time in his pasture I felt that we connected. He did let me touch him. He was curious, and friendly, but cautious. After another one and a half hour of hanging out together, he allowed me to put light pressure with my fingers on the majority of his body. He was still cautious, but he did allow me to thoroughly check his back, and legs. I did this without a halter, I was told that he ran in the opposite direction if he saw a halter, so I decided to skip the halter for now. His hooves are in need of a trim, but they are not terrible. They have been naturally trimmed when he’s been running around playing in his pasture.

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I will bring him home next week. There is going to be a lot of firsts in our journey.  I have started several horses under saddle before, including three mustangs (born wild.) I’m not  a horse trainer, just a girl that loves horses very much. I am very excited, and thankful for this new friendship. I’m going to enjoy this journey, and take the time it takes to make things right the first time. I love all aspects of life with horses. What I enjoy the most is the relationship you get with that special horse, that you spend a lot of time with. I just know deep inside of me that Ghost is a special horse. I’m looking forward to getting to know him.

Love,

Ms Zen

PS. Keep your fingers crossed for his safe arrival home. Please. It’s always a little nerv-wrecking transporting an un-handled, un-experienced horse.

 

 

2017 Favorites; Lake Tahoe

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The last Photo Challenge of 2017! I couldn’t think of anything better to end this year with than a photo from one of the most beautiful places in the world, Lake Tahoe.

To breathe the same air as the angels, you must go to Tahoe -Mark Twain

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Cheer to an amazing 2018!

Love,

Ms Zen

The Horse-Less Rider

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We’ve reached the end of 2017. I’ve read many wonderful posts, and seen many amazing photos, that wraps up the year perfectly. This is going to be a more personal post. The photo above is my favorite photo from 2017. It’s two wild mustangs at the Virginia Range in Nevada. I’ve been watching the pinto colored stallion for years, and his dad before that. I’ve seen him several times during 2017,  looking very healthy. The stallion was injured last year. It makes me incredibly happy to see him, still wild and free on the range, safe, and in good condition.

For a while my life have been more of the nomadic kind, moving, working, and traveling a lot. To some degree due to my passion for photography. There was so many photos that I needed to take. Places I needed to see. I’m at the moment a horse-less rider. While I am blessed with a tremendous amount of good things in my life, I hate that part. I still wake up every morning thinking that I’m going to go out and feed the horses, and wondering about what horse to ride first. It’s been my life for so many years. It’s not just about having a horse, or riding. I could get a horse today, or ride someone else’s horse today. It’s not that. I crave for the monotone routine of caring for my horse(s) every day, working towards a goal together (wether it is overcoming a fear, learning something new, or getting prepared for an event.) The pleasure of reaping what you sow. The pleasure of feeling that all the time, love, knowledge, and training you put into a horse pays out, when he becomes your best friend and faithful partner. The infinite pleasure of walking out to the pasture any time of the day to share a moment of stillness together. To experience the trust of such a powerful animal as the horse. When the softness appears. It’s that spiritual experience that I miss.

My timeline is to have my life more structured within the next few months, to be able to experience this again. It is exciting, yet challenging to not run out and just get a horse, any horse. I know that I wouldn’t be happy if I did. In fact I have been looking at a few horses. None of them have been the right one. I like horses, most horses, but I’m very picky about the horse that I’m going to invest hours in every day, for many years. I keep reminding myself about that, when I feel impatient. I also make it a priority to work on my own fitness. I’m in great shape, and that feels good. I believe that it is my responsibility towards my horse to be in good balance myself.

In a perfect world I would like to get a well trained, semi conditioned horse, that I can ride from day one. I know that I am going to start many young horses the next coming years, some for myself, and likely some for other people. Having the feel in your body of what it should feel like to ride a well trained horse is priceless in that process. That horse is worth its weight in gold, and he/she would have a forever home with me. I don’t want to get that horse until I am ready to offer that forever home. That is one of the major reasons why I don’t have a personal horse right now. I’m not super particular about breed, it’s more about the individual. That said, I want to get into endurance riding again. Considering that, and our hot climate here, an Arabian, mustang, or cross thereof is most suitable for what I want to do. That narrows it down a little. I enjoy training a young horse tremendously, but when starting a young horse, I do not take any short cuts. It takes a lot of time. That’s the main reason why I at this point would like to get a horse that have a good foundation already. I’ve been without a horse for too long.

After getting to know my new horse, I would want to adopt a young mustang that I gentle and train myself. Having one older, trained horse, and one young prospect is the ultimate bliss. You get to enjoy riding, while having all the time in the world to shape your young horse into your dream horse. I have started mustangs before, and it’s a phenomenal experience. Despite my frustration of being a horse-less rider for the moment, things are going in the right direction. I know that my goal of riding the world toughest endurance race, the Tevis Cup, is realistic, even though I’ve had to postpone the date a couple times. That only means that I’ve had more time to prepare myself, mentally, physically, and geographically. I have actually ridden most of the rugged trail from the start in Truckee (CA,) over the Sierra Nevada mountains to Auburn (CA.) I’ve had time to get more accustomed to the extreme temperatures of the area as well. I feel very excited about the future. Cheers to a prosperous New Year for everyone!

Love,

Ms Zen