Weekend Coffee Share

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I usually have my coffee alone, at least in the morning, but I’d love to have coffee with you. Are you up yet? It’s actually almost 6am, Saturday morning..For now I would have to invite you to my living room. I think you’ll be rather comfortable there. I have a dream about a house on a mountain, with a porch, and matching rocking chairs, where I enjoy coffee watching the sunrise. I wish I could invite you to join me there. Maybe one day soon. I love watching sunrises, especially in the mountains, with an unobstructed view.

I just came back from walking my dog. (If you’re new to the blog, I have a 3 year old German Shepherd named Gretchen. She’s a rescue that I’ve had for a year. She came with zero training, and I’ve been working with her every day since she blessed me with her presence. I am very proud of her!)

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Our walk was slightly shorter than normal this morning, because we’re going on a hike in a couple hours. Where are we going? Funny you would ask that, I’ll share the photos with you later 😉

Before going on the hike, I’m going to see my horse. I currently board him at a stable about 20 min away. I try to go there in the morning, do a couple ground exercises, and take him out to a pasture for the day. Later in the afternoon I go back again, work/play a little more, and take him in for the night. I wouldn’t have to go there twice a day, I have all inclusive boarding, but what’s the point of having a horse, if you don’t spend time with him? It does makes a difference, especially with a young, inexperienced horse like mine. He knows that I’m his person, even though I’ve just had him for a month. I really like getting to know Ghost’s personality a little better for every day that passes by. He is very intelligent, a fast learner. New things makes him spook/freeze in one place. If he is allowed to stand still for a while, and compose himself, he will confront whatever the scary thing is. If he is put under any pressure, even a very light one, before I see the signs that he is ready (a lowered head in his case,) he goes into flight mode and tries to back away. He is not a terribly spooky horse at all, but he is sensitive. He’s 3/4 Arabian after all. He thrives on routine, and feels safe when he knows what’s about to happen.

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Yesterday my daughter’s lessons (I homeschool her,) took a little longer than I planned. When we arrived to the stable there were no turnouts available, they were all taken. Not ideal, but no big deal, if it only happens once in a while. I figure I’d take him for a long walk in the morning, play a little in the round-pen, and then repeat in the afternoon. That way he’d get to come out anyways, and maybe at some point there’s a turnout available. I start by walking him around the place where I board him. I ran into the owner that generously offers me to leave him in the round pen for a few hours, if I want too, she even offered to take him in for me later. I agreed. Ghost and I had lots of fun in the round-pen, and when it times for me to leave, I leave him there. He told me loud and clear that this is not part of our normal routine. I stayed nearby for  little while, keeping myself busy with little chores, until he settled down. Before leaving I groomed him for 30 min, leaving him with a good feeling. I had some errands to run in the vicinity of the boarding place, and I did plan on checking in on him before going back home. Before I got him, a month ago, he wasn’t halter broke. I’m the only one that handles him, and frankly I wasn’t sure that he was going to let the owner of the place catch him. She is a very knowledgable horsewoman, but a sensitive Arabian is a sensitive Arabian. They are very loyal to their person. (I don’t know what it says about me, having a German Shepherd, and an Arabian Horse? The two most intelligent and loyal kind of their breed of animals, one could choose to have in ones family. Is it my way of creating the family I’ve never had?  Who knows. I’m not going to have any sleepless nights about it. Though, it is true, that more than one man have told me, that he wished that he was my dog/horse ..lol.)

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When running my last errand yesterday, I get a text from the owner of the boarding stable, saying that Ghost doesn’t want anything to do with her, and she apologizes and says that she can’t take him in for me. Further down the road I want other people to be able to catch him, for safety reasons, if there’s a fire or another kind of emergency. For now it tells me something about the mind of my horse. That all the time I’ve put into him actually gained (some of) his trust. When I get there he is sweating, and I can tell that he’s been running around. He is not the nervous kind, and does not mind being out alone, in a place where he is used to be. He doesn’t usually run around mindlessly, like a crazy horse. He’s been happily alone in the pasture, and in the stable many times. He is not buddy sour. This was however a new place, the round-pen, where I’ve never left him before. This was out of his comfort zone. When he saw my truck pull in to the parking lot he started to call out for me. When I came to the entrance of the round-pen he trotted over, lowered his head and tried to put it in the halter, before I even opened the halter. That’s my boy. I am very proud of him too, and excited about our journey. We have so much to learn, and I really enjoy our time together. He is the reason why I haven’t written another blog post this week.

Ghost is not ready for a saddle yet, we still have some work to do. I’m not at all in a rush to get there either, as long as we keep learning together. We will get there when the time is right. My gosh, it’s only been 30 days so far. He’ve made HUGE progress, in this short amount of time. I did however, come by a beautiful saddle this week. It’s made by a famous artist; Frank Vela. He was the number one saddle maker in the beginning-middle of the 1900’s. He created handmade masterpieces for everyone who was someone, including many royalties. To come by one of his creations is very rare. I’ve been cleaning, oiling, and polishing the saddle thoroughly, and will oil it a few more times. Here’s some pictures of what it looks like now.

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The floral pattern is something extra, don’t you think? I’ve always been intrigued by old saddles. I like the feel, touch, and scent of leather. I like the thought of good quality that last for many, many years. It intrigues me to think about what horse the saddle been on before? Who did the saddle belong too? Was it a man, or a woman? I believe in this case it might of been a woman, going by the size, shape, and pattern. Of course this is just speculation, I could be wrong. Where did the little scuff on the cantle come from? It is a heavy duty ranch saddle. Maybe it belonged to a cattle rancher’s daughter, or wife? It’s made in Texas, where Frank Vela lived, and had his business. If only the saddle could tell the story. I am going to do more research about the saddle. What if I could find out who it was made for? All of Frank Vela’s saddle were custom orders to one specific person. Maybe I can find out. A lot of my thoughts this week have been about the saddle. I originally thought I was going to use it to put the first rides on Ghost. It is his size. It is a very sturdy saddle. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I’ve done some research, and the more research I do, the more I come to understand that it’s a very valuable collectors piece. I have been sitting in the saddle, feeling the leather move, underneath me (that’s another reason why I believe it was made for a woman.) It is almost like a living thing. It’s definitely not one of those assembly line made things. The saddle is somewhere between 75-100 years old, and in excellent working order! That says something about the quality alright. Even the sheepskin underneath is in excellent condition.

Sorry for hogging so much of the conversation! It’s been an exciting week 🙂 Can I get you some more coffee? I really want to hear more about your week! What’s going on in your life? What’s on your mind? Something fun planned for the weekend?

Love,

Ms Zen

 

PS. This is part of the #WeekendCoffeShare. Feel free to join it here!

Weekly Photo Challenge; Silence

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What does silence look like? Show us your take in a photograph.

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When being around wild horses, young horses, rescue horses, or any horse for that matter, it’s of outmost importance to have a quiet mind. As a little girl, riding at an English Riding School in Europe, I realized that even the most experienced school horses reacted to my energy. If I was upset about something at home, or at school, my lesson rarely went very well…until I realized this, and made an effort to take ten deep breaths before even entering the stable. Focusing on not bringing my drama to the horse. That was a huge change in my life with horses.

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Spending time observing wild horses, I always try to keep a good distance to the horses, but still, I quickly realized that to be able to see them at all I had to quiet my mind. Their energy sensors are extraordinary. If I put my minds settings to silence, they usually allow me to observe them from a distance.

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Horses are excellent teachers in mindfulness. With a sensitive horse you are forced to be right here, right now. That’s actually one of the things that I love the most about them. If you are incongruent in your behavior, they don’t like you.

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Yesterday afternoon when I was going out to the pasture to bring my new horse in to the stable, we had a little scare. As I was putting the halter over his nose, there was all of a sudden a lot of commotion right behind him. (This is his second week with a halter, wearing a halter is still new to him. He is a young, sensitive 3/4 Arabian 1/4 Mustang.) He spooked and jumped right into the electric fence, got shocked from the fence and jumped in the other direction. I let go of the halter, it wasn’t completely on yet. He ran around the pasture for about 30 min. He wouldn’t come near me, when I had the halter in my hand. He wasn’t scared of me without the halter, but now he associated the halter with pain, the shock from the electrical fence, and the sharp pressure on his nose from when he jumped up in the air. I put the halter away, did join up with him. When that was successful, I tried with the halter again. It was still scary. I sat down in the middle of the pasture for an hour. He came up, and we shared a peaceful moment of silence, breathing slowly together. I gave him a body massage. After that he put his head in the halter by himself. I love ending on a good note. Even when it takes almost two hours.

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Love,

Ms Zen

Experimental; Equine Macro Photography

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Since before my first memory I’ve been obsessed with the beauty of horses, not only their physical beauty, but their beautiful spirits, their wisdom and intuition. Since photography also is a long term friend of mine, I’ve done a lot of experimenting photographing horses. I have a collection of photos, (that may, or may not become a book one day,) with equine macro photography. When I see unusually beautiful details on a horse I can’t help myself, I need to take capture it with my lens. It can be extraordinary eye colors (like the mustang above,) a coats unusual color combinations, or texture, or swirls on their body.

 

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Above is a close-up photo of an Icelandic Horse’s muzzle, with an abundance of facial hair, and you can see a hint of a thick winter coat in the background.

 

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A horse coats have swirls, just like our hair. Since a horse have a lot more hair than we humans, many also have more swirls (sometimes called whorls.) The most common places to see them is on their face, neck, chest, and flanks. There’s many theories, and even legends about their meaning. To some degree I believe there’s something to them. Having swirls like the Arabian Horse above means prosperity to its owner, according to the Bedouine beliefs.

 

Swirls are hair rooted in brain cells; the rest of the hair is developed from hair follicles in the skin. The forehead swirl hair is the most influencial because it is the first hair to develop and grow on the body in the embryonic fetus. – Charlotte Cannon

 

Here is an interesting article if you would like to know more about swirls. All my personal favorite  horses through the years, had two, or three swirls on their foreheads. A coincidence?

 

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An older mustang with a beautiful, long, two colored mane.

 

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An Arabian Horse with big, clear, expressive eyes. I was called out to a ranch to take pictures of another horse, while this guy decided to hang out with me. His company was very pleasant. It was a cold, windy day, and I spent a good couple hours taking photos of his friend. The owner disappeared into her warm house after  a few minutes. I didn’t quiet get the shot I wanted of the crazy horse I was supposed to take pictures of, but I’m kind of happy with this one. (The owner was happy with the other ones too.)

I hope you enjoyed these experimental photos. I just realized that the horses in this post happened to be my three favorite horse breeds; Icelandic, Arabian, and Mustang.

Looking forward to see other entries in the weekly photos challenge. Have an amazing day!

Love,

Ms Zen

 

 

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