Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Favorite Moments on a Horse--2013

                                    by Laura Crum

            Happy New Year to all! Here’s hoping 2014 is a banner year for all of us—2013 was a difficult year for many people I know, including me. But there were happy moments, and many of them were on a horse.
            I didn’t ride as much this past year as I have in the previous five years, but I did ride quite a bit, even so. And today I am going to post my favorite riding photos from this year, in order. Right up front I have to say that these photos are largely of my son and his horse, Henry, or of my Sunny’s ears. Because virtually all the riding I did this year was with my son. And truthfully, that is what I really want to remember—the happy hours my boy and I spent together horseback, the year he turned thirteen and his horse turned twenty-five. It’s actually one of my really joyful memories about this year—we kept on riding together on our good horses and saw some lovely things. I’ve tried to pick some pictures that capture that magic (at least a little).
            So here is my son and Henry last January. I like this photo a lot—a boy and his horse in the wild world. I especially like the completely unmarked sand—we were the first people to ride/walk down the empty beach this winter’s day.

            This photo is from the same ride—looking out to sea. A storm was coming in.

            Another beach ride—we took a lot of them last winter/early spring.

            The view from Sunny’s back—I never tire of these lovely views through the ears.

            A favorite thing we did—long trot the horses side by side down the beach. Henry has a very fast, very smooth long trot—Sunny often had to lope to keep up. 

            We rode at home in our riding ring, too.

            Sunny likes to gallop up our driveway from the gate to the house. I usually wear a helmet but my husband wanted to take a picture with my hair blowing, so I took the helmet off for this photo.

           During the summer we gathered cattle at my uncle’s roping arena with friends—many, many times.

            And we rode out my uncle’s back gate into the redwood forest. This dirt road is perfect for long trotting or a good gallop.

            Riding along the ridge.

            I took quite a few solo rides in this magical wood when my son preferred to stay at the roping arena and work cattle.

            We didn’t ride a lot in the fall—due to much schoolwork and other interests (like bike riding). But we did ride, sometimes just exercising the horses here at home. 

            And in December we got out for a few more rides. Here in the redwood forest of Nisene Marks.


            We rode on our local trails up to the Lookout, about a mile from our front gate, where we can see the Monterey Bay (looking towards Santa Cruz).

            Looking towards Monterey.

            Many of our rides included our friend and boarder, Wally, with his horse Twister. Wally is eighty years young and still riding strong. This photo was taken just a few days ago, up on the ridge near our place.

            And finally, today is Sunny and my anniversary. I brought him home six years ago today and we have been a steady, happy trail riding partnership ever since. So glad I made the choice to buy this little yellow horse. We are good together. Happy New Year!


whitehorsepilgrim said...

The image of riding upon the sand is lovely. If I were there I'd look back at my trail of prints and think: "goodness, what was I doing, that trail isn't straight".

Flying hair is so photogenic too. I shall not quickly forget the day a lady rode towards me, hair flying and shining golden in the low sun. It was almost a cinematic moment. For a few seconds she might have been an elf from the Lord of the Rings. It was on the edge of the Barrow Downs too.

You and your family have a great 2014.

Laura Crum said...

Thank you whp. I have very much enjoyed your riding photos over the years, and your sense of the magic to be found in the world around us. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Val said...

Happy New Year!

You are right. There are always good things to remember.

Laura Crum said...

Happy new Year to you and your family, Val. And yes, that is one of the main tricks to being happy, I think. Focusing on the good things. Because, just as you say, there are always good things. Our horseback rides were good things in what has been a pretty tough year for us overall. And when I look at the photos I remember the good things, not the bad things.

Dom said...

Happy new year! He's hoping to many more horseback adventures for you and your son :)

Laura Crum said...

Thank you, Dom. Happy new year to you, too. And may 2014 be a vast improvement over 2013--in all ways.

Alison said...

Love your photologue (that must be a word!) Is it that warm there now? We are shivering.

Laura Crum said...

Alison--Thank you. I love picking through my photos and selecting the ones that convey (to me, anyway) the feeling i am trying to communicate. And yes, warm and dry here. In the 70's every day and we have had virtually no rain. It's lovely weather, but the dryness is becoming very scary.

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