Sunday, November 17, 2019

Chrome in Action!

I decided to practice taking action shots with my DSLR camera... I've never taken action shots with a manual focus.  It is SO hard!!  I'm not fast enough, but even though some of these were fails, I still love how a lot of them turned out.  Chrome is SO gorgeous and such a good model. He was feeling his oats today!!  I hope you enjoy them and if you have any tips for my next try please share them.  I'm still using the automatic setting which is why some of white balance is off, but I really wanted to just practice with the focus without complicating things.

Focus fail, but he's so cute!

He looked like a racehorse.  I don't think I ever realized how fast he is!

An improvement.  I love how he's backlit.

Focus was off on this one because he came closer and I wasn't fast enough.

These were awful, but I like his silhouette so I made an artsy collage.

I wish there was a way to edit this one so it looks better, but this is the best I could do.  I couldn't leave it out though because his trot is amazing!  All four feet are off the ground.  Look at the reach behind.  He isn't reaching in the front because he was transitioning to canter, but I still love it.

Another one that looked better in black and white.  This one looks magical.  Click to enlarge.

 I swear if he wasn't DNA tested half Friesian I would think he's pure Arabian at times.

 He was really digging in and launching himself.

 At liberty half pass??  Pasture dressage?  Hehe!

 Again.... didn't realize how fast he was.  He was flying!

 Did this one in black and white for fun.  Compare to above in color.

 I think this one is my favorite.  He is so pretty!

 I got almost the same stride in the two above.

 Again look at the reach.

 That's all for now.  I wish more of them had turned out.  I just need more practice. :)  Let me know which one is your favorite and please share any tips for taking action shots with a manual focus.  Thanks in advance!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

New Blog Design (and news about Rocky)

I changed the blog design.  It hadn't changed since 2015 and it needed it.  I know it may be bland for some people's taste, but I'm in a simplistic, minimalist frame of mind right now, so it is what it is.  Please let me know what you think!

Also I've been meaning to mention this, but Rocky went back to my best friend (his prior owner) during the spring of this year.  I was having trouble managing two horses and she was back on her feet, so it was the best decision.  I miss him desperately, but he is happy and Chrome is happy.  I didn't really mention it on the blog, but Rocky was bullying Chrome, leaving him with almost daily cuts and keeping him away from the hay which caused him to lose weight.  If I had a bigger property I would have separated them, but it just wasn't feasible.  He's over an hour away, but I still get to ride him when I visit her.  I'm grateful for that.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

I rode a mule at the Grand Canyon!!!!

Anyone who follows me on Instagram already knows this, but I finally made a dream come true! I rode a mule named John John at the Grand Canyon!  I wanted to ride to the bottom of the canyon, but there was no way I could afford it.  So expensive!!  So I just did the three hour ride along the rim of the canyon.  The views were incredible and the experience was amazing!

The time in the saddle was probably only an hour and a half, so not bad for beginners if you know anyone who wants to try it that doesn't ride normally.  The rest of the time was spent on the bus going to the stable, listening to the safety spiel and waiting on everyone to get mounted up.  While waiting I noticed this adorable mule....

He or she actually reminds me of a horse named Molasses that I rode on a guided tour when I was a kid with my family on vacation in 1996.  So cute!!

First thing I have to mention is people told me it would be cold there.  I thought that meant I would just need a jacket and it would be no big deal.  I was wrong!!!!!  It was in the fifties but because of the wind it was FREEZING!!!!  I thought I was going to die and actually considered not doing the ride.  I'm glad I did though because once we got in the forest the wind died down a bit.

When they lined us all up and started picking out mules they asked if I'd ever ridden before.... I told them I'd been riding for thirty years and they immediately said, "You get John John!"  I was a bit apprehensive when they said that, but they explained he just has a mind of his own and needs more steering than the other mules.  I was totally fine with that.  He actually behaved better than some of the other mules and one girl who had never ridden asked me why that was.  I told her the truth... it's because I know how to ride and I expect him to behave, so he did.

Here is the picture I posted on Instagram.  It's not the most flattering picture (I took my glove off to take my phone out of my pocket and forgot to put it back on.... we were also required to wear hats...), but I still love it.  All of the mules wear muzzles to stop them from trying to eat on the trail so the forestry people would stop complaining about damage to the foliage.  It also helps with steering for beginner riders.

We rode across a highway and then through some trees. While in the trees I spotted an elk cow!!!  This is the first elk I've ever seen in person even though I've been through areas that supposedly have them.  She was gorgeous.  My picture isn't very good because we weren't allowed to stop for photo ops and I was under the impression we couldn't use our cell phones, so I was using the DSLR.  I was a bit irritated when I found out later we can use our cell phones as long as they are on cables around our necks... and they sold them in the gift shop.  Oh well!

I tried to get a shot of the view between John John's ears, but with the 50mm lens on the camera I couldn't get the angle right.  Again, wish I'd known about the cell phones.  The views were incredible!!!  We were literally less than six feet from the edge of the cliff at times.

 I sort of got the view between his ears on this picture.

You can click to enlarge the pictures.

 I finally got his ears up when some hikers came up beside us.

I also saw two mule deer bucks (first time seeing mule deer too) and one was an 8 point! He was huge!

I didn't even realize until we got back and dismounted that John John had paint markings because I never saw him from the rear.  He's the one on the left obviously.  So cute.  He was such a sweetheart.  They said when they retire the mules people can adopt them..... I SO wish I could adopt him when he retires.

This trip to the Grand Canyon was part of an epic road trip my husband and I went on about a month ago.  I've been too busy to go through pictures until now and it's going to take me AGES because I took over 1000 photos.  I'll be posting more pictures of the views at the Grand Canyon on my other blog (LINK) when I have time.  They are incredible, so try to check in when you can.  That's all for now!