which one makes you happy?

One of the things we enjoy when we go out to the barn is the resident dalmatian, Happy. We've watched him grow up from a wee pup, and are fond of him. At first I found his name a bit silly, it reminded me of a clown. But now I can't imagine this dog being named anything else. He is always happy. It's a perfect name for him. 

When we arrive on the farm, our buddy comes running and greets us at Brad's truck door and then wags his way on over to my side. When his owner needs to be away, she entrusts us to help let him out. He recently turned one and can get into a bit of mischief. Happy still needs someone to keep an eye on him when he is a free bird. We love it when he hangs around with us! It makes us long for the day, when we will have our own land, and can enjoy these simple things in life more often...

We turned our horses back out, after enjoying an indoor ride. I had my camera in tow, in attempt to capture some pasture action. I was so glad I turned around and caught Happy playing in the arena puddle that was leftover from evening storms. It all happened so fast! I was giddy with suspense, wondering how these photos would turn out. I've learned not to get too excited, and fully trust camera viewfinders. The computer reveals all. 

But now I have another problem, which one (s) are the keepers? I have a terrible time deciding, and look for any one little thing to sway me one way or the other. It's not that my photos are all that great, it's just so hard to hit delete - and yet who needs sooo many similar looking photos? If you take a lot of photos, you know exactly what I mean. In this digital age, they pile up quickly. I've been reading up on other's photo sorting/cataloging methods, to see if I can glean some tips - but alas, when choosing among a similar group of photos I remain wishy-washy. It takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r for me to decide. I probably keep more then I should. However as my collection continues to grow (and grow) I am getting better at sorting, out of necessity. I think I know which photos of Happy I will keep, but just curious...

Which one of these photos makes you happy, and if you care to share, what made you choose it over the others? 

Here are the best of the bunch, in no particular order:







I'm going to let Happy's owner pick whichever ones she likes too. It's the least I can do for letting me take photos of all the critters on her farm. I will post back in the comments which photo's I think make me happy, and why I am keeping them vs the others. Cuz I'm Happyyyyy (sing along)...


the never ending balance

When asked what I'm working on today, I sound like a broken record. My answer revolves around the same thing. Getting the left lead. Feeling the left lead. Keeping the left lead, and all the other stuff that goes along with it.

Wondering about the last one? It's not just keeping him going, Koda has a talent for switching back to his preferred right lead willie-nille. Might be at the beginning, middle or near the end of our lope. Anything can trigger it. A dip in the sand, my wandering mind, or nothing at all. Sometimes it's obvious to feel, sometimes it's not. 

So now that I've conjured images of loooong stretches of never ending loping circles to the left, day in and day out, rest assured that never happens. We always do a lot of different stuff, every ride. It would probably do us some good to focus our rides on specific area's that need work. There are plenty to pick from, but that's not how I roll and neither does my horse. We both like to mix it up. The only thing that feels like work, is his left lead. The rest of it feels like practice. Fun practice. 

Why does every thing have to be over analyzed, and perfected anyways? Seriously, it takes all the fun out of riding. I want to have fun riding, just being with my horse. Practicing moves, and yes - working on some things that need fixing or tweaking - so that we can have even more fun. But all work and no play makes Aurora a dull girl. I suppose ones definition of work, and perception of fun, plays into ones state of mind.

After not seeing us ride for over two weeks, our trainer popped over to the arena to chat and we happened to be loping at the time. She was very complimentary on Koda's positioning, and our lope in general. It made me feel good that I've managed to work on myself, because trust me - my horse knows exactly how to get his left lope and continue correctly. 

I mentioned how odd it was that now Koda's left lope feels better then his right. The right side feels off. She said that happens to trainers when balancing out horses. So now I have to strengthen the right? Since I always lope both directions equally, it never occurred to me. I clearly don't have a trainer mentality. However I will be the first to admit I really dial in my focus getting/feeling/keeping/collecting/softening/rating the left lead, because the right has always come so easily.

Well, I guess now I can change my answer. I am working on strengthening myself while loping to the right, while practicing everything else - and of course, having fun!


what's buzzin'

It's been a while. Summer is going great, and fast. This is what's buzzin' around my place...

Cierra continues providing pasture entertainment, fueled by her free spirit...

The baby at our barn is growing like a weed, here he is at four weeks taking a rare break...

Nemo's allergies haven't been bothering him, but he continues to wear his fly mask to keep them under control. So far, it is working. The fly mask makes it even harder to get a good picture of the big guy. However, this one turned out nice - it's very Nemo. 

Brad is having great rides on him, as if anyone had any doubt. They have the most relaxed jog I've ever seen. Among other things, Brad is working on getting Nemo to bring his high head back down some (at the lope) within his build limitations. Nemo will try anything for him, and is very honest...

I'm happy to share that Koda and I are working really good together!! Our trainer did a nice job of explaining what was happening when asking Koda to lope off on his sticky left side. It really helped me to focus on alignment first and foremost. I am getting the correct left lead more often, and can even feel it by briefly closing my eyes upon departure. Many thanks to Sherry from Fern Vally Appy's for reminding me of that technique! It worked for me. For some reason I have to shut off one of my senses, in this case seeing, in-order to be able to focus on that particular feeling. Other then the previous things I've shared that play into this never ending challenge of mine, I have no idea why it's been such a struggle and on the left side only... 

I know it sounds ridiculous, and probably looks even more so. No worries, I am not loping around blindly. Altho I did do a few laps initially, in order to find out that it worked for me. At this point, my eyes are only closed for a few steps upon take-off. I'm hopeful that by repetition and focus I can eventually feel which lead I am on when heading left - with my eyes open.  I think I am slowly getting there? 

Koda has been a lot of fun to be around this summer, his personality continues to keep us all laughing...

What's buzzin' around your place?