A Horse, Of Course!

“He’s of the colour of the nutmeg. And of the heat of the ginger…. he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.” -William Shakespeare, Henry V.

It was a cool 42* when I woke up Sunday morning. I dreaded looking out the window to check on the weather. I had already had o reschedule a shoot the day before because of bad weather, and we were expecting snow. Surprisingly, it was beautiful outside. In complete disbelief, I checked my weather app on my iPad. It was supposed to be amazing today! I quickly sprang out of bed to start getting ready.

After checking all the equipment I packed the night before, I hit the road. It was cloudy, but no rain clouds; That’s all that matters to me! About 20 minutes later, I arrived at my clients’ home while they were saddling up Kai and Spud, a quarter horse and a paint. The property was littered with orange, red, yellow, and evergreen trees. It was… magnificent. Growing up in Texas, we never had these colors in our landscape, not unless they were flowers. When the trees start shedding their leaves, they go from green to a dull, crispy brown and fall off. Not appealing.

We headed off their land and down a four-wheeler trail to a nearby field with the kind of look we were going for. The hike lasted about 7 minutes and about half-way through I realized that I don’t exercise enough since moving to Maine. Once we arrived, the real adventure began. Spud, the paint, is a rescue horse and we suspect he is from an abusive home. How someone could physically abuse a horse is beyond me! They’re massive animals… not a dog… even though Kai behaves like one at times.

Spud decided that he didn’t want his photograph taken. The moment one of the clients placed his foot in the stirrup and applied pressure, Spud reared back. The client quickly grabbed his reigns and tried to pull him down. The left side of Spud’s reigns broke, then shortly after, the right side. He frolicked off into the field, heading towards home. We wrangled up Spud and headed home for new reigns and to inspect the horse’s saddle for comfort. We discovered that the stirrup wasn’t placed properly and jabbed his rib cage. I’d have reared back too, Spud. Upon further inspection, his bridle had also pinched his lip while trying to calm him down. Sorry, Spud. Our bad.

Once Spud was settled, we set out for another field, closer, and enclosed. The whole afternoon Spud was very tempestuous and you could tell he didn’t want to participate any longer. I knew I should have brought carrots! The rest of the shoot went off without a hitch until Kai decided that his sciatica hurt and he attempted to bunny hop my client off his back. The first thing she says when she’s back on the ground? “Did you get any pictures?” NO! I’m too busy freaking out that your horse is going to hurt you!

Good times. Good times.

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