The 3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 1

Laura Bruno Lilly, nominated me for The 3 Day Quote Challenge. Thank you for the nomination, I feel honored. I think one of the few things that can make a photograph stand out, is if it’s paired with a lovely quote, or story, that makes me feel even more emotions than the photo alone.  This is the first day of the challenge for me. I’m imagining sharing different kind of photos each day, to be able to enjoy different types of quotes. Today I’m going to share some action filled photos from the rodeo I went to a couple weekends ago. The rules for the challenge are:

– Thank the person who nominated you
– Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
– Share why this quote appeals to you so much
– Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day



Rodeo careers can end without warning, as quick as the next try at an eight-second ride.

– John Branch

I figure this might be a good quote to get you introduced to the rodeo with, if going to the rodeo isn’t your regular choice of entertainment in the weekends. In bronc riding, like the photos in this post, (and bull riding,) the goal is to stay on the horse (or bull, in bull riding,) for 8 seconds. After 8 seconds an alarm goes of, and if you managed to stay on for 8 seconds, the ride get scored by a team of judges. 8 seconds is a very long time when on a violently bucking horse, or bull.  If you fall off before the alarm rings, you don’t get any points at all.


br3 (1)

If you’re lucky enough to draw a good horse, you still have to ride him, then the next ones. So It’s probably 80 percent luck and 20 percent skill.

– Chris LeDoux
The score the riders get, is based on how they ride the bucks. Some horses bucks more violently, twists, turns, and make it really difficult for the rider. A good rider wants a horse like that, it means that he has a chance to take first place (more price money.) A horse that doesn’t buck furiously, don’t give you much points. In fact, if the horse is to lame in its bucking, you get to do a re-ride, on another horse. Many of these cowboys are living of their winnings, so it’s more than just a game for them.
Sometimes a hard day’s work is easier than a lot of things you can meet in life.

– Chris LeDoux

Chris LeDoux, in the quotes above, is one of my favorite artists. Along with Johnny Cash, he is probably the one artist I listen the most to. If I’m making dinner in the kitchen, editing photos, or drive somewhere, you can bet either Johnny, or Chris keeps me company. Chris LeDoux was first famous for being a hard to beat cowboy, an excellent bronc, and bull rider, before becoming an artist. At the time of his death in 2005, he’d produced 36 music albums.
Some guys work 125 to 130 rodeos a year. They’re just goin’ all the time.
– Chris LeDoux
br4 (1)
Don’t be afraid to go after what you want to do, and what you want to be. But don’t be afraid to be willing to pay the price.
– Lane Frost (Lane died in an accident, back in 1989. Being charged by a bull, just after completing his 8 second ride..)
br6 (1)
It’s a good thing you got bucked off. If you’d stayed on any longer, you might have been hurt. – Unknown
Imagine the life of an old time cowboy. Getting up before first light. It’s freezing cold outside. There’s animals to feed, young horses to train, fences to mend, stray cows to locate in the wilderness. When the cold give away for the first rays of light, it gets scorching hot. There’s no shade in sight, but you hear plenty of rattle snakes, that you need to watch out for. You’re not even halfway through your work day, but it feels like your back is going to break in two. Daylight starts to fade, and you haven’t even had one conversation with another human being.
The concept of rodeos, where cowboys (in the beginning it was only men/boys,) come together to show their skill in different ranch related events, makes sense when you think of what kind of lives these men most likely lived. This was long before the time of internet, and probably even before we drove cars/trucks to visit our friends, and travel the world. Most of these hard working cowboys likely lived, and worked their whole life on a secluded ranch, in the middle of nowhere. I personally know what that’s like, after working a couple years in Nevada’s desert, but I could drive in to town at least once a week, and I did communicate via the internet with my friends every day. The kind of solitude that this kind of life offers, becomes so much more manageable when you’re able to get together with other people from time to time. After all it’s not all that glamorous to get up before first light every day, feeding and caring for animals until it feels that you back is going to break in two, I can understand that it would feel awesome to get some credit for your hard earned skills, a couple times a year. Something that perhaps made the young cowboys work a little harder.
I admit that before understanding the history, and tradition behind rodeos, I didn’t understand why anyone would put themselves in this kind of danger. I still would never do it, but I definitely feel the thrill every time I go to a rodeo. There’s a lot of pride and tradition behind each event.
There’s a big difference between me and a real, legitimate working hand, or a world-champion rodeo cowboy. I play ’em, and I aspire to be like that, but those guys are tough.
– Luke Perry


No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.

– Winston Churchill

I have this famous Winston Churchill quote on a wooden sign, currently placed in my kitchen. I saw the wooden sign in a little country store, while walking around aimlessly, feeling sorry for myself for all the time I’ve wasted in a marriage that wasn’t meant to be. It sort of reminds me how horses makes me feel, no matter what the world around me is doing. Seeing that quote at the right time, when I really needed it, was a sign for me to take responsibility for my own life, and happiness. I’ve taken that quote with me on my travels, and I try to always put it where I can see it. No one have ever commented on the wooden sign, but for me, it means something.

br7 (1)


My rodeo photos are available as prints in my online gallery, just click on a photo that inspire you, and it will take you to my gallery.

My three nominees for the first day of this quote challenge is;

Jane, from Jane Lurie Photography . Simply because no-one master matching amazing images, with inspiring quotes, like Jane.

Eliza, from Eliza Waters. I never grow tired of watching her beautiful nature imagery.

My third nominee is Diana Prastka Stuckey, who’s positive, encouraging stories I want more of!

I hope you will accept the challenge! I can’t wait to see what you come up with 🙂




Ms Zen


fm2b (1)

Red Bluff Round-Up Parade 2018, part 2

p21 (1)

This is the second post from Red Bluff Round-Up, last weekend. It is the largest three day rodeo in the country. These participants were part of the parade, in downtown Red Bluff, Saturday morning.


When you take pictures of rodeos, and things connected to rodeos, you always get hate emails, and comments, about animal cruelty. That’s OK, everyone has the right to an opinion. Anyone who knows me, know that I care very much for how animals are treated. I think it is worth lifting positive aspects, besides the pleasure of watching beautiful animals, and the festive atmosphere. The young lady in the photo above had some challenges with her horse, just before I took this photo. They actually went down. She handled the situation like a master horsewoman, calm, and supportive of her horse. I posted a public album on Facebook with my photos from the parade, for the participants, and their families to enjoy. I did not share that story, but she saw this photo, and started a conversation with me. I was already impressed by how she handled the situation, but when she talked about her horse Sam, it was obvious that she loves him very much, and that she knows a lot about horses. It made me very happy to see the inside beauty of this beautiful equipage. BTW, it is both of their birthday today!


If you see yourself, or someone you know, in any of these photos, feel free to share this post. Share buttons after the post. If you’re in one of the photos, and would like a free digital copy, let me know in a comment, and I’ll send one to you.


Look at that smile!

p25 (1)

p26 (1)

p27 (1)

The rodeo posts are a little longer than my usual posts, there’s so much fun to share!

p28 (1)


These Andalusian Horses are absolutely gorgeous. Always a favorite in the parade. They look so proud of themselves as they dance their way down Main Street.

p30 (1)



p33 (1)


p35 (1)

The weather on Saturday was just perfect for the parade, it was sunny and in the 80’s. A beautiful day.


p37 (1)

p38 (1)

This was the last photo of the beautiful Andalusian Horses, and a natural end to this post. I have photos for one more post of the parade, that I’m going to share later today. I hope the sun is shining where you are 🙂


Ms Zen

Story – Toddler and Horse

b5 (1)

Horseman’s Handshake – Even toddlers can learn a respectful way to be with animals. Well supervised of course.

When my daughter was 1,5 year old, I met this glorious half Arabian mare named Bella. She was an 8 year old Arabian/Hackney Cross. She belonged to an elderly lady, that got Bella, and her dame years ago, for her son. The son had left home, and Bella, her dame, and her little brother was enjoying their days out in a pasture. They were fed, but not handled, for years. The owner started to look for homes for her beautiful horses, she physically couldn’t handle them herself. At the time I fostered several horses in need at my property, until they were physically and mentally ready for forever homes. Many of them came from abusive homes, or were owner surrendered because of problems caused by human stupidity. I had room for one more horse, but not all three.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I entered their pasture. They were on a 40 acres pasture, and the owner did not want to come with me into their pasture. Neither did her sister. I was warned that they might come running, and be pushy. The only interaction they had with humans were at feeding time. They did indeed come running. The older mare, Bella’s dame, stopped at a distance when she didn’t recognize the person in her pasture. Bella’s little brother came running at full speed. He wasn’t that little, around 15.5hh, a 4 year old unhandled Morab gelding. He was beautiful, despite his long hooves. He did not have any manners, and I had to drive him away from me, as he did not respect my space. He was not used to someone setting a boundary, not letting him come up. He quickly turned around, and returned to his mom. That left me with Bella. That I secretly was most interested in. She had been handled, and even ridden, by the son, five years earlier. She trotted up to me with dancing movement, but with soft eyes, in a respectful way. She stopped a few feet away, and asked to be invited to my space, begging for attention.

That was how our friendship started. It was a smooth journey. She wanted so badly to be friends. She never said no. Bella was not the least insecure, or scared of anything. She was very brave, just craved interaction. I visited her a couple more times, and brought her home a week later. My house was in the middle of the property, with a horse shoe shaped, 10 acres horse pasture around it. If I was in the house it did not matter what window I looked out through, Bella was there looking at me! She always knew where I was.

Bella and I, the day I brought her home.

Bella immediately adopted my daughter as well. I could be busy doing chores, while my daughter would waddle out in her diapers, calling out Bella’s name, and Bella would come. Every time. They took walks together around the property. (Always within eyesight.) There was other horses in the pasture, but they knew better than coming close to Bella and my daughter. Bella was the alpha. Bella was a very special horse. She had the typical high leg movement of a Hackney Horse, was very beautiful, despite her stocky build, she looked light when she moved. By herself, she never just walked, or trotted, she danced like an Arabian. With my daughter she would walk extremely slow, usually with her head low, next to my daughter’s arm/shoulder. My daughter sadly don’t remember Bella at all. I am sure that her subconscious remember her clearly.


My daughter inviting Bella to come up to her.


My daughter standing still, waiting for Bella.

b3 (1)…waiting. b4 (1)Making eye contact, in a soft way, non-aggressive way. b5 (1)

Horseman’s Handshake, a polite, respectful way to greet a horse. You let the horse approach you, and when he/she does, you offer the horse to smell the back of your hand. (There’s never treats involved in this.) Only if/when the horse wants. You respect the horse’s space, and the horse respects you. I think this is especially important to teach our children, since they are so small, and we don’t want them to get run over.

b6 (1)

Many horses enjoy to smell their humans hair, as a part of the greeting process.

b7 (1)

..and off they went, to explore together.

I often think of Bella. I did make sure that she got a good home. I truly believe she did. Even though she screamed the whole way leaving our home. I heard her screaming, until the sound of the horse trailer vanished in the distance. It was one of the most difficult good-byes I’ve ever had to say. The story I shared with my photos, was a typical day in the pasture with Bella and my daughter. What’s your story today?


Ms Zen