Monday, May 30, 2011

Aliens Took My Gray Horse

I've been super busy and been a bad blogger lately.  I have found that when I had a scheduled lifestyle I had an easier time fitting in my blog posts.  But now, with my new life in Kentucky and becoming a full time photographer, I've been having a tough time fitting in blogging and reading all my friend's blogs!  I miss you guys!

Last weekend I went to Maryland and attended the Preakness.  It was a great experience with my first time shooting remote cameras.  Remote cameras are cameras set up in various places such as a metal "tree" or under the rail - as in my case.  I have a remote control on my hand held camera which makes the remote cameras fire when I fire my hand held.  I think I did pretty darn well!  Here are a couple of my remote shots:

The Preakness field coming by for the first time.

The finish of the Preakness - Shackleford with the blue and white silks wins, Animal Kingdom on the outside is second and Astrology on the far inside comes in third.

I was a little disappointed that Animal Kingdom didn't win since I'm friends with the people who train him.  But he sure did have a great run to get up where he did when he was 18 lengths back at one point! 

The next morning, I got to see Animal Kingdom in his stall at Herringswell Stables which is in the Fair Hill Training Center.   Animal Kingdom was doing well and was a bit playful as he tried to eat everyone's shirt off their back...
Me and Animal Kingdom the day after the Preakness.
Animal Kingdom with one of his owners (he's owned by a syndicate) and his wife.
Then I came back home and tried to get back to a more normal and routine lifestyle.  This is when I noticed that aliens took my gray horse...

Ollie hadn't been worked in sometime so I decided the best way to get him into work mode again was to go back to basics and do exercises on the lunge line. 

In my mind his biggest problem is his super high energy and nervousness.  My goal - get him to be methodical on the lunge line.  No yahooing, no head tossing, just simple circles of walk, trot and walk/trot transitions.  Ollie did exactly that.  He walked when I said walk, he trotted when I asked for trot, he went from trot to walk when I asked.  It was amazing!  I was so proud!  Not a single head toss, no protesting?  Nice little circles in a workman like attitude.    After we did that for a little while in both directions, we wandered over to the mounting block.  I got up on the mounting block, put my weight in the saddle and made him stand - which he did!  Work is done!  Good boy!

Next day, more of the same.  Same exact results.  Nice horse, no rushing around the circle, listened to every command, stood at the mounting block!

It sounds so basic but his whole attitude was what made it so exciting for me!  He was like a normal horse!  No inner Ollie telling him to "GO! GO! GO!"  It was a sweet, kind, gentle Ollie politely asking, "What's next?" 

Next phase is to introduce canter in the same way.  No rushing or anxiousness on his part.   Part of my success is that I'm working him after he's been out all night long in the field and he's ready for his morning nap.  At least that's my theory.

I'll keep you posted...  :)

Ollie in his field - photo by Sarah Kusey, workshop participant!


  1. I LOVE that shot of you! And SO glad to hear of Ollie's improved attitude.

  2. That's great about Ollie. Some horse just LOVE their time out and are able to find their brains again! :) Mine is definitely one of those.

  3. Your photos are amazing. Thanks for posting them.
    Good news about Ollie. We leave our horses out 24/7 (they can go in when they want) and they are pretty sensible most of the time.

  4. Lovely photos! I, like Carol, leave mine out 24/7 and there is a HUGE difference in attitude when compared with those who are stalled more than half the time.

    Maybe, instead of aliens, the maturity switch in Ollie's brain clicked "on?"

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