friday's foto

(our half lab/half australian shephard)


as the world turns

This is my year to tackle my endless I really should do, things. One at a time. They won't all get done this year, but some already have. I can't continue just talking about what I want/wish/should be doing. I need to do them. For me. And so, after 10.5 years I resigned from my full-time Marketing position. 

The decision wasn't made lightly, many things factored in. Including my family, who knew long before I did that I should make a change. Not just for me, for them. I needed to take my own sage advice, and be the person of my word. Now I wonder what took me so damn long?

As planned, I enjoyed the second half of summer off. To just be, me. It was bliss! Still is. Yes, I got plenty of raised eyebrows. It's okay, they just don't get it. My plan was not to have one. To be able to figure things out. So why am I telling you all this on an equine blog?

The last horse show I was at, something became apparent. Three people asked me where they could view my photographs. One offered me cash on the spot. I asked her to keep it, until she liked what she saw. So I scrambled, after the fact, to put together a photo website - and Aurora Williamson Photography was launched.

I had already decided not to go back to work for someone else, and re-open my design business. I wanted to give it a new spin. Now I knew what that spin would be, an emphasis on equine photography!

I would love to be able to mesh my previous work experience, with horses. I've thought about it for years, and always been interested in photography. Back in the day, long before the digital age, I almost switched career paths after taking a couple college photography classes. I knew then, and know even more so now, that the world doesn't need another photographer.

I'm not expanding into equine photography for the money. I'm going to pursue it, because I love it. Plans aren't fully developed, and will always be a work in progress. It's how I roll. I have a ton left to learn. I know that, and love learning. It's exciting to be on a new adventure, full of creative possibilities!! I'll be okay if it doesn't work out in the long run. At least I won't be standing still, as the world turns.

Trainer Patty
My favorite shot from photographing my first show.


10 Rules to Live by in Evacuations with Horses

Disasters can happen anywhere, natural or accidental, and at a moments notice. Here are some wise tips shared from RFD-TV:

10 Rules to Live by in Evacuations with Horses from Wildfires or Natural Disasters

1. TEACH YOUR HORSE TO LOAD (and tie)! And I mean immediately step into a trailer.

2. Take at least one bale of hay and a BUCKET, you never know where your horse is going to end up.

3. No matter what, if you take your horses or not, MAKE SURE you take your proof of ownership/BRAND INSPECTIONS! This will help you prove the horses are yours later on! (Photos work in non brand inspection areas!)

4. If you CANNOT TAKE your horse, TURN THEM LOOSE! They have great survival instincts, its better than dying in a locked barn.

5. IF YOU TURN THEM LOOSE, write your phone number on them in some way! Spay paint/shoe polish, whatever you can find.

6. If you turn them loose TAKE THEIR HALTERS OFF! Imagine all the debris your horse is going to encounter! You don't want them caught on!

7. If you turn them loose, LOCK THEM OUT OF THEIR BARN/PEN/STALL/YARD. They WILL go back!

8. If you take your horse to an evacuation center, it is still a good idea to have your horse marked in some way. Sometimes evacuation centers have to evacuate!

9. If you take your horse in a trailer, PLEASE tie them if you safely can! I cannot count how many times we were evacuating and found a loose horse we needed to load with ours, if the horses are loose in the trailer that is a disaster waiting to happen.

10. If your horse is in a large pasture area, cut the fence in corners and leave gates open! When horses can't find their way in smoke/debris they will follow fence lines.

For more info: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/livestk/01817.html


friday's foto

Our Trio ~ Cierra, Nemo, Koda (L-R)


Miss Congeniality

....and the award goes to....MJK Dudes Dream Girl (aka Cierra)!! While she didn't win any physical awards, she won Miss Congeniality in the eye's of the observant.

Cierra went to her first big show, a combined SWBA/ABRA Approved & Palomino Show last weekend! Our trainer took a handful of competitor's and their mounts, and a couple of young horses for exposure. Cierra was there for four days, and appeared to love every aspect of being at a show. She was happy in her stall, content and interested in everything, and well behaved around the show grounds & arena's. People noticed, and even stopped to comment on her demeanor.

Not only did she walk around taking in the show atmosphere, practice in the warm up pen, she also rode in the show ring during open practice several times. Our trainer has never ridden a young horse on a first visit in the show ring, and said it was not the norm. It may sound concerning, but it wasn't. Apparently she was ready. Cierra walked in the show ring, and didn't take one step out of place.

We did take her to a Futurity Show, a brief trailer in/out one weanling class with her breeder, right before we bought her. So technically Cierra had been to a show, but completely different circumstances. 

Of course I brought my camera, and this is what I saw in the warm up ring...

Cierra & Trainer Patty

...and in the open practice show ring...

Cierra & Apprentice Sammy taking a break in the center

Hay, those are my humans!

Riding around like a big girl

Exiting among a sea of Palomino's

...my hubby's girl is growing up, and winning over hearts ~ one dream at a time.

Miss Congeniality


let the dreams begin

Stay tuned, it's just the beginning...



how do they know?

After riding we put Koda & Nemo back into the pasture with Cierra, and this promptly begins...

I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine

...Nemo wants no part of public displays of affection, he is much too dignified...

Nemo, pretending he is not watching

...if you interrupt a grooming session, you get looks like this...

excuse you

...they itch harder, and softer, in unison. Sometimes they move on to different itchy spots. When they are done scratching each other methodically, they look like this...

relaxing together

...but once in a while, when a guy gets reeeally itchy...

Nemo scratchin' on Koda

...they don't care who is watching, and initiate a scratching processional. On this particular day, Nemo started near the top of Koda's tail. I wanted to interrupt the grooming session. I would rather he not chop up the top of Koda's beautiful tail. However I knew as soon as I walked away, it would just start all over again. Who knows, maybe the top of Koda's tail itches? Eventually Nemo moved on to a new itchy Koda spot. The entire time, Koda was scratching Nemo's left hock. My hubby, our trainer & I just stood and watched, in wonder...how do they know where to scratch??


feeling alive

We committed to riding our horses two to three times a week. It could happen, right? It did. At least for the past couple weeks, and it's been rewarding! Especially the back-to-back weekend rides. There is something to be said for riding your horse on consecutive days.

Our trainer was off at the ABRA World Show, resulting in a quiet barn. We had unusually cool weather the last week in July. It felt like Fall. We wore extra layers and enjoyed the refreshing break from the melting heat.

We've been thoroughly enjoying the large outdoor arena, with the varied obstacles and room to lope. Getting Koda to take a left lead has been "work", the rest has been play. Sometimes we use each other as obstacles, which is fun. One of Brad's favorite things to do is track us. Not sure how much Koda likes playing "cow", until we outsmart them! Pretty sure our horses can maneuver the gate with their eyes closed.  We mix it up with trail poles, boxes, backward L's, side passes & turns - none of which will win any awards, but that's not why I ride. Among other reason's, I ride to feel alive. Why do you ride?

Koda & I
This past week brought opportunities to ride with different horses in the arena, and different obstacles. Cones had been set-up to practice speed events, we took full advantage of them. My biggest joy yesterday, was that Koda repeatedly took a left lead with ease!!

Brad & Nemo
My husband reminds me to stop focusing on trying to do everything right, and that includes horseback riding. Being in the present doesn't come easily to me. Neither does letting go. Sometimes I worry that I might ruin my horse, or that he should really be doing "fill in the blank" instead of just being my horse. I know I won't ruin him. Koda knows how to do everything mentioned just right, and more. He has been very patient, a great teacher. I remind myself to be present, observant, feeeeling my horse. Doing things right feels good, but doing things naturally feels better.

Cierra & Koda, scratchin'


Sunday Stills ~ Chains

For this weeks challenge I chose to shoot some ordinary, but very important, chains that secure our horse trailer:



Use this chain link to see other Sunday Still entries.