By Amy Kathleen Miller
A Facebook friend of mine, Randy Kroll, is a photographer and he loves animals. Since I have a couple of horses, he’s wanted to take photos of them. Monday was that day, and he shot some photos of me exercising my horses that morning.
It was fun, and it was hard to not stop and do some gabbing that I usually do when people come and are there when I ride. I usually ride alone, and it can get a little lonesome day after day doing that. But there are days when John comes out and does some ditch work, and there are weeks when I have assistants to help me with Cheyenne’s hat trick. Otherwise, I ride alone.
Cheyenne did a good ride for me while Randy was shooting photos, but she didn’t tuck her head like I wanted her to do. Gypsy didn’t do that well at all while he was there. It was like she became camera shy and didn’t behave well. But the photos look good, so you will never know, right?
Cheyenne did well in the photos when it came time for her tricks. I felt as if she became photogenic. There was even a moment where she was putting a ball in a hoop and she looked over at Randy as if to say, ” You are watching this, right?” She even waved the American flag well, and that is her least favorite trick. I really want her to get this trick down so I can sing the National Anthem while she’s waving it. I had her do the same tricks for other people Tuesday and she didn’t do as well. But I do think the more exposure she gets, the better and more experienced she will become.
But riding lessons and tricks are not all we have done with my horses. We have entertained children at two birthday parties with them, and it was a thrill as well as hard work. I made a birthday cake from scratch, and made it into the shape of a horse head. Then I frosted it to resemble horse hair and used candy to make the eyes and nose and the mane.
Gypsy was the main horse to walk kids around on at the parties and, as usual, she did a fabulous job and was well-rewarded for her work. I have plans to train Cheyenne to also do a choreographed program, while riding in an arena, with music in the background. I can’t wait until I get to training hard for that. I want to do all that riding bareback so that I don’t get in her way with tack on. That is another dream that I am starting to shoot for as a goal for intermissions in rodeos, etc.
What it all boils down to is the thing that I love about working with horses — it’s time spent working on communicating with them in a unique way, time spent forming a relationship that’s based on trust because they have to learn to trust us as humans as much as we have to trust that they will take care of us without putting up too much of a fuss.
I feel that my horses and I have that kind of a bond, but it takes continued effort. I feel like Randy’s photos shows that bond very well.
All photos used courtesy Randy Kroll
Editor’s Note: “Amy’s Angle” is a weekly Wednesday feature in this blog.
- AMY’S ANGLE: The all-around beauty of dressage riding (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)
- And Rook Makes Three (redclayponies.wordpress.com)
- Horse Farm (giddysap.wordpress.com)
- Why I Hate Horses (shutupdad.wordpress.com)
- What’s the deal with way they tie up horses in old Western movies? (ask.metafilter.com)