Friday, February 27, 2009

Driving Mister Olaf

Yesterday, Chris, Edwin and I took Olaf over to Blue Point Stables so that Brandy McDonnell, the trainer there, could have a look at him and determine his driving skills and abilities. Brandy is a trainer extraordinaire. She not only helped me to overcome the fear of riding that I acquired after a fall but she "cured" Mouse of all of the bad habits that I'd instilled in her through my ignorance as a novice horse owner. And she did all of that with a gentle touch and soft voice or as she always says, assertiveness but not aggressiveness. I've often said that she is a cross between a human psychologist and a horse whisperer. So, I had highly recommended her to Chris, the manager of Ten Oaks Stables, when he told me that he would like to train Olaf to drive. 
Vickie Boling, Olaf's owner, has been talking about selling him. There was a prospective buyer but Olaf doesn't like to canter with a rider aboard and unfortunately, he promptly put the buyer off the same way he does anyone who asks him to canter. Brandy says that she can fix the buck as well as teach him to drive. Which Vickie and Chris feel will certainly make him more sellable but I'm hoping that once they start driving him they will decide to keep him because he is definitely one of my favorite equine subjects.
 Brandy was very impressed with the boy saying that he is extremely intelligent as well as beautiful and she seems to be very excited about working with him. After first lunging him to get him relaxed and responsive, she put on the driving reins and Olaf stepped out easily. She had to slow him down at first because he wanted to do that big, beautiful round trot that he is famous least amongst the fans of my photos of him, lol. But after that, he responded to her cues very well and acted as if this was all old hat to him. He wasn't so certain about the buggy at first but Brandy allowed him to inspect it and smell of it and then she pulled the buggy behind and beside Olaf as Chris led him forward. Chris is taking him back next Tuesday and Brandy is keeping him for a month so that she can work with him everyday. She says that she should have him attached to a buggy and driving within a week. I can't wait; I think he is going to be spectacular and I will keep you all up dated.
Please note: the photos are in the reverse order of the way they should be so please, "read" them from the bottom up. Thanks:)~Sande

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

My photo, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, has been featured in a wonderful little video called, The Children of the Revolution, which was put together beautifully by David Parkin, a member and all of the photos are by Red Bubble members. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I've decided not only to donate the proceeds of sales of the two items below but from EVERY sale I make during the rest of the month on my Red Bubble site to the victims of the Australian brush fires.  There are all sorts of prints, cards, and Tshirts there so check them out if you can. 

The Phoenix Appeal

 the T-shirt is available in various colors and in long or short sleeves
 My sister-friend is kin to the wind, She lets my heart run free; Up to the airs of heaven's height, Her spirit carries me. 
I've donated a new design of mine both as a T-shirt and poster to a group on Red Bubble :
Called the Phoenix-Appeal Account, this group hopes to bring together the many efforts currently being made to raise funds and bring forms of relief to the victims of the Black Saturday bushfires (Saturday 7 February 2009) in Victoria, Australia. These events have been the worst in Australia’s history by all accounts and the death toll is horrific, loss of property widespread, and grief extending to all Australians.
You can find my contributions by clicking on the link above. They are in a file in my Red Bubble gallery titled, Phoenix Appeal donations. Redbubble will double the proceeds from all sales of donated items and forward that money to the Red Cross for the direct aid of all fire victims. I hope you can help.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ephemeral Pleasures

I've just published a new video featuring photos of Mouse, my favorite subject. The photos are not new and you've probably seen most of them before if you are at all familiar with my work since these are my favorites and the ones that I'm putting into my web gallery, For Love of a Gray Horse....BUT the difference here is the lovely music which was written by my friend Daryl Lunsford just for these photos. 
Several weeks ago I joined Face Book...already wrote about that long delayed event in a prior blog submission:)......and I "met up" with several old friends, many of whom I hadn't seen or heard from since high school (back in the dark ages of the SEVENTIES!!) One of those friends was Daryl Lunsford. I remember Daryl as an extremely talented(he not only played several instruments but was artistic and creative as well), sweet, funny, always smiling and full of personality, hardly typical teenage boy. My sweetest memory of Daryl was that he dressed up as Santa Clause (now what typical teenage boy would do that??) for a club I belonged to in high school that had organized a Christmas party for local kids. Daryl even brought his guitar and played for us. The kids loved him and not just because he was disguised as St Nick! So, Daryl and I reconnected on face book and he saw some of my photographs. He told me that they reminded him of this beautiful Tennessee valley where we both grew up (blocks apart) in tiny little Loudon. He was inspired by my photos to write a beautiful short piece of music (I put up a video with it a few weeks ago) which he has since expanded on. The song was always very lovely but this new longer version is just outstanding. I know you will enjoy it. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good News and Bad

The good news is that I've been included in two more beautiful Etsy Treasuries: I Dream of Horses & Tarot of Horses. Both were put together by members of the Etsy Whoa Horses Team Group & Blog. It is a team made up of artists, artisans, and photographers whose main subject is the horse. There is some gorgeous work there and if you love horses and great art, you should definitely check it out. 

Now for the bad news. I received an email from my friend, Cathy Hill. Cathy is the niece of Huston Jenkins, the man who raised and trained Mouse and is one of the finest horsemen and people that I have ever met. Cathy is a special person, too. She  breeds and raises gaited mules. Usually they sell their mules and mollies as yearlings but five years ago there was one special little molly born that Cathy just couldn't part with. Her name was Tessa and she had a very rare genetic makeup that made her a beautiful and extremely rare champagne color with golden eyes. She was also extremely bright. Mules are known for being intelligent animals but Tessa was truly exceptional. There is a website where Cathy tells Tessa's story: the story of her birth and life as a youngster, the story of what happened with the trainer they sent her to, the story of Cathy trying to save her life and finally the story of Tessa's death. Cathy concludes with links and addresses to the authorities in Missouri who have failed to followup on Cathy's charges of abuse against the trainer. When you see the photos of what was done to Tessa (and I warn you they are very graphic!), I'm sure you will want to write to those "authorities" and demand justice for Tessa. 

If I Could Fly

If I Could Fly
The wind of heaven is that which flows between a horse's ears.