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

Embracing Happiness

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This past weekend I’ve spent some time meditating on things that makes me happy. A conversation with my best friend triggered a storm in my mind. Not in a bad way.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. 
― Mahatma Gandhi

I ended up scrolling through hundreds of photos that I’ve taken the past five years. The ones that makes me feel something are all horse related.

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I need to get back into making Equine Photography a priority. The connection I feel with the horses while taking them, learning more about their way of communicating, and the conversations with the people in that world, is actually something that I miss more than I thought I did.

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Maybe my recent purchase of a young horse have something to do with my thoughts as well? Maybe it’s the beginning of the year that makes me feel that there’s a new world of opportunities, and adventures waiting out there?

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I don’t know exactly how I am going to take this to the next level, but I trust the universe to show me the way. There’s a lot of anticipation, and excitement in the air. Here’s some of the photos I found on my computer this past weekend. It’s that feel that I’m after.

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I hope YOU had a wonderful weekend. Do you have any new goals that your working towards 2018? Tell me about them!

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