Andalusian Horses – Andalusian World Cup

Andalusian Horses

Since the Andalusian World Cup is taking place in Las Vegas this week, (starting today,) I thought it was only right to post some photos of Andalusian Horses, to get in the right state of mind.

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Their beauty, and intelligence captured my heart as a little girl. These photos are taken with an old fashion film (yes!) camera, six years ago, during a visit to a breeding facility in Eastern Spain.

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The photos are not edited. You can see all the mud. It was spring time. Despite the mud, a trained eye can easily see that these horses are really nice horses.

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I’ve never had an Andalusian Horse in my stable. They usually comes with a very high price-tag. I almost bought a 3 year old Lusitano (from Portugal) once. The reason why I didn’t in the end, was that he was a little too desensitized.

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Who knows, maybe my next horse will be a beautiful Andalusian Horse?

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I am very attracted to intelligence, in people, and in animals. These magnificent creatures are extremely intelligent. I’ve spent a lot of time observing them, during some of my childhood summers in Spain.

On another note, have you ever used a film camera? I mean, the kind were you develop the negatives to get your photos? I loved my old Hasselbladh, that my grandma gave me. Probably not the easiest camera to learn with, but I sure loved it.

Looking back at these photos I am getting excited about seeing some pretty horses this week. I am working a full week as well, but I am definitely going to make some time to enjoy the party.

Love,

Ms Zen

Mirror Of The Soul

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I’ve always been fascinated by eyes. Belonging to both two, and four legged friends. They tell us so much. It’s true that some people learn to manipulate this to their advantage, but never animals. Animals live right here, right now. I love their honesty.

A few years back I started to collect my favorite close-up photos of horses, and dogs, with focus on their eyes. My intention was to publish it in a beautiful coffee table book; Mirror Of The Soul.  Well, unfortunately I lost the majority of my collection, due to some poorly protected files, and computer crashes. I could save smaller files of some of my favorites. Maybe in a few years my new photos of captivating animals eyes will be published, who knows? 🙂 For now, the photos in this post are my favorites. I think they speak a million words.

The first photo (above) is a wise, older, Arabian mare. She belonged to my friend Kate. She passed the rainbow bridge a while ago. The first time I met her, I visited my friend to take some family photos for her, and this mare told me, loud and clear, that she was part of this family. Her penetrating eyes were kind, but it was hard to meet her gaze. It was like if she was searching my soul. I had a challenging home life at the moment, I didn’t show that to any of my friends, but I couldn’t fool this mare. She was a confident alpha mare. Her eyes looked into my soul.

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These trusting, beautiful eyes belongs to my German Shepherd Gretchen. She is the most loyal dog one could ask for. When my own ayes are failing, her eyes sees for me. She is 4 years old now.

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These eyes also belongs to a German Shepherd. She never belonged to me, but I worked with her on and off for several years. If you compare her eyes, to Gretchen’s eyes, there is a big difference. This dogs eyes are insecure, and this was not a dog you could trust 100%. She was very insecure, and that means potentially dangerous, when it comes to dogs. Especially one powerful dog as a GSD. You can’t fully trust a dog like this. I come to love this girl very much, but I did not trust her. My dog Gretchen is of working bloodlines. Beautiful in her own way, but this girl came from a long line of show dogs. She was bred for her beauty. She was the most beautiful German Shepherd I ever seen. Physically she was perfect.

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This beautiful eye belongs to a gorgeous rescue horse. An extremely flighty horse. He used to jump the fence when the neighbors car pulled up in their driveway. He had a strong dislike for men in general. I started him under saddle, and I spent a long time befriending him, before I started to ride him.

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I think you can see that these curious eyes belongs to a young horse. In fact a wild mustang. This was the 5th day working with him, and we were able to take a walk outside the ranch he was stabled at. This is how focused he was on me, during our first walk. He was an incredible horse. A master of reading my slightest intent. During this walk, our very first one. I wouldn’t consider him halter broke, since it only was our 5th day together, I had no idea how he would act to things. Maybe it was stupid to take him out on a walk, but I could swear he begged me to. I had him in a rope halter, and a long lead rope, (for more control if I needed.) Halfway into the walk we meet a man. I can see from a distance that this is a man that I don’t particularly like. He lived in a house nearby, and he was always a little too friendly.  This mustang felt that. This early in our relationship. He was walking on my right side, but as we came closer he switched sides, to my left side, placing himself in between me and this man. He reared up when the man came to a distance of around 5 ft from us. Telling him to not approach. I encourage the horse to get down from his hind legs, and I took him over to the other side of the road. The man turns around, and gets back into his house. We continue our walk without further incidents.

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Naturally I have to finish with my favorite horse Trigger. This was after our very first trail ride together. A moment to remember.

I hope you enjoy these Close-Ups. They are a part of this week’s Sunday Stills. Feel free to make your own entry. I would love to see it!

Love,

Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share; STAYING BUSY

This morning I really need my coffee. I’ve been awake half the night thinking. How about you? How was your week?

I’ve been keeping myself busy, even busier than usual this week. Trying to not think about the fact that my daughter is not with me. However happy I am for her. It is hard! There’s a thousand thoughts running around in my head. I’m as far from the worrying kind as one could be. I know by experience that the only thing in life that is constant, is change. I can handle her being away for a visit with her dad, no problem, but there is even talk about more. I’m not really sure how I am going to handle that. He has offered to let her start school in his town, in another state. She is happy, and thrilled about finally getting some dad time. All I know is that I would do anything for that little girl. I love her to death. Since I found out that I was pregnant with her I’ve been showering her with love, reading to her, and had educational conversation with her every single day she’s been with me. I’ve happily tailored my life around her, only accepting jobs where I have been able to bring her with me. Just to spend as much precious time as possible with my daughter. (Imagine how easy that have been, to find/create jobs where you can bring a small child.) The few days now and then she haven’t been with me, have been an exception to the rule, and very few in between.

I want her to have a relationship with her dad, that is why I gave up my life in my home country. (I love America, and it’s my home now, but in the beginning it wasn’t as easy as I showed family and friends.) So far, I’ve felt that we have not been a priority. In the end I guess one could say that we have different survival strategies for hard times, that I read as not being a priority. That is why I left her father (but not the country,) when she was a baby/toddler. We’ve been able to stay friends, and I think highly of him. For the most part we’ve been living within a few hours from each other, and when he’s been able to make time, I’ve been driving her to him. For her sake. I want her to know her dad. I feel that I have been going out of my way, a lot, to make it happen. Now he lives an 11 hour drive away, without traffic. In reality it takes two days to drive safely with a kid, one way. All of a sudden he wants to see her more. So far it’s been very easy to cooperate around her. I am so hoping that it will stay that way. I think it is. I hope it will. It’s been heavily on my mind this week. My daughter is my number one priority. Her well being, and her education is more important than anything to me. You get the idea, lots of things to think about. What is in her best interest? That’s all I really care about. But how do one know what’s in her best interest? My gut feeling want to keep her close, always, but a little voice tells me that’s selfish. How could I deny her spending more time her dad, that she adores? I’m sure the universe have a solution for this as well. Please just make your solution known in time before the new school year! The uncertainty is killing me. I can work with a definite decision, and make the best of it. Not knowing is challenging.

In the beginning of the week it was easy to think of other things, as my cousin and her boyfriend from Sweden, and my aunt from Washington was visiting. I wrote about our visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park, and McCloud Falls earlier this week. Having them here was wonderful. To say the least.

We had a visit from our amazing barefoot trimmer Donna on Tuesday. Fancy’s hooves were very neglected when I bought her in April. They were cracked, too short on most places, with long parts sticking out on other. Her heals were kind of pushed up into her hooves, and her toes were partly too long, and flared. She was walking on her toes. She had an untreated abscess on her left front hoof. After a first trim, Donna’s been balancing her hooves once a month. They are growing out nicely, and her heals are starting to take a more normal position. (You can see the progress in the photos below. There is still a way to go, but it is going in the right direction.) She is moving more freely by the day. She is making great progress. This week Donna told me that Fancy will not have any lasting injuries on her hooves, from the neglect. It’s such great news! The new growth is straight, and looks very healthy. Nutrition, and TLC goes a long way. Right now Fancy is on alfa alfa (hay), Stable Mix, and California Trace.

I ordered a new bitless bridle for her last week, that came this week. It’s handmade with her measurements, made out of biothane.

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Doesn’t she look beautiful in it? You’ll have more control if you put the noseband a little further down, compared to where I placed it on Fancy. (She has an old injury in her mouth. Healed, but she has a bad deformation on her tongue. Her tongue was almost cut off at some point, and left untreated.) I have only used the headstall for work-in-hand (on the ground) so far. It seems like she really like it. I’ve successfully started, and restarted, different horses in this type of halter. Including wild mustangs. It’s soft, but the signals to your horse is very clear, and easy for them to understand. I order them from Moss Rock Endurance (they are having problems with their website right now, but they are working on it.) They also have great customer service. If you’re interested in one for your horse, contact the owner, Lisa. She has been very helpful to me throughout the years.  

Do you need a refill on that coffee? Do you have a  garden this year? How is it doing now? Is it at is peak? Or have you already harvested the majority of your bounty? I’d love to hear what garden zone you are in, and about the plants that thrives there. 

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I’ve planted three different varieties of smaller tomatoes; grape, cherry, and cocktail. When I pick them, I just pick the ripe ones, all together. The different tastes makes for great salads. Speaking of which, I tried this recipe the other day, it was amazing.

I’ve harvested at least 10 lbs of cherry tomatoes this week, some squash, cucumber, salad, and corn. To the benefit of friends and family. I’ve also added one Meyer Lemon tree, and one Navel Orange tree, to my container garden. I’ve been wanting to add citrus trees for a while, so this is exciting 🙂 It’s a start. There will be more. I’ve also done a lot of mulching. We’ve had three digit temperatures the whole week, most days more than 110. (The new saltwater pool is even more awesome than I imagined. I’ve spent a lot of time there this week.) I’ve started to clean out plants that I already finished harvesting from, some squash, and corn. Those beds I’ve started to prepare for my fall garden. The fall garden is still weeks away, but I will keep feeding those beds until it’s time. I spent time planning my fall garden this week, and ordered the heirloom seed I need from RareSeeds.Com. I will have eggplant, carrots, lettuce, kale, Chinese meat radish, and two tomato varieties in my fall garden. I will start those seeds indoors as soon as they arrive. When the temperatures are cool enough, I will plant them outdoors. 

I have not been able to write anything on my book this week. Maybe next week? LOL. On an interesting note, I’ve had three hawks visiting me for hours every day. There’s a hummingbird feeder hanging from a tree, a few feet outside the living room window. Someone placed a beautiful bird bath made out of stone underneath. There’s never any humming birds there. Now these three hawk, have started to hang out there (maybe that’s why there are no hummingbirds there..) Sometimes it’s just one, or two hawks, but most of the time three. I’m far from a bird expert, but I believe it’s two males, and one female. They are just a few feet from the window, and I’ve enjoyed watching them very much. If I’m sitting very still on a chair outside, or in the pool, they come. If I make any moves, they are gone. I have not yet been able to take their picture. I’ll work on that. I don’t know what kind of hawks they are. They are on the smaller side. 

I hope you’re having an amazing week! Don’t get me wrong, despite my thoughts about my daughter in the beginning, I am having a good week, just more to think about than usual. My dog Gretchen is working wonders on my happiness levels. She always does. I’m working a little harder than normal to keep my zen balanced this week. I’d love to hear about your week! Help yourself to another cup of coffee, and tell me about it 🙂 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

PS. I am NOT an affiliate to any of the links I share. I just enjoy sharing things I like, and appreciate.