Last Saturday was such a blast. I honestly wasn’t expecting to have so much fun being in front of the camera instead of behind it. I was a bit nervous all morning during my last minute errands — I had to run to Dover Wellesley (coughandSmartPakcough…I live 10 minutes from the SmartPak retail store and 15 minutes from Dover Wellesley…yeah, I’ve got it good when it comes to tack shops!) and pop in at a family gathering before heading north to the barn. I got there and two of my coworkers, L (who has been mentioned here quite a few times) and M had showed up to be ground grew. M is another coworker (actually, my neighbor to the right!) who only recently joined our little department of 5. She is funny, kind, and quick with her comebacks. She reminds me very much of all the good parts of my mother, so we get along well! She was a hairdresser when she was younger, so she offered to come fix my hair for the shoot. I gratefully accepted her offer, because my idea of “getting my hair done” is getting the split ends cut off!
I pulled Image into the barn and was pleased to see his “special” suit (many people deemed it his SuperSuit, a la The Incredibles!) had done its job. He seemed a little sad when I took the hood off…I have a strange critter! I made sure everything was clean and brushed out, and gave his toes a quick sweep with some hoof polish. I haven’t ever used real hoof polish before, so I wasn’t prepared for how much it was like human nail polish! I had just purchased the bottle at Dover that morning, and it quickly went from me, all the way down the line to Barn Owner L to try and get the blasted thing open. Well, M must have loosened it just enough…because when Barn Owner L put all her might into twisting off the top, it kind of went…well, it went everywhere. M’s toes got bathed in it and L wore it all over her hands. Oops! I took the bottle back and immediately had it all over my hands as well. I quickly painted Image’s toesies, and went to wash off the polish…hah. Hahahaha. Yeah, that didn’t work so well. Fortunately, my hands were not super visible in most of the pictures!
Once Image was squared away, M dragged the mounting block into the aisle, plunked it in front of Image, and motioned for me to sit. I had wrestled (yes, wrestled…it was SO hot that undressing and redressing should’ve been considered an Olympic sport!) into my top at that point, and looked a little silly. I had this gorgeous, flowy top on…and a pair of black Danskin shorts. Snork!
Image was immediately concerned with what M was doing with the stuff on top of my head. He blinked a few times, and reached out towards me. I batted at his nose. He was only discouraged for a moment — before I knew it, he was inspecting my face with his muzzle and twitching his upper lip on my head. M waved at him reproachfully, as he was jeopardizing her braid work. He persisted. L eventually got up and shortened the cross ties, much to Image’s chagrin. He had us all laughing, the goober!
|“I can help!!”|
The shoot itself was a lot less nerve wracking than I thought it was going to be. I wasn’t worried about my horse looking cute…because seriously, have you seen him?! I also wasn’t worried about Kate doing her job, because she is fabulous at it. I was worried about ME! I’m not the most photogenic creature. I tend to make weird faces and hold really awkward, stiff poses. However, Barn Owner L followed us down to the small, unmowed side yard that a neighbor graciously allowed us to use, and proceeded to prance through the grass like a gazelle to hold Image’s attention. I found this highly entertaining…so, with my attention on L’s shenanigans, I looked much less tense and like I was actually having fun! I WAS actually having fun, so it worked out well.
I was still pretty jazzed up, and Image was certainly feeding off of that. He’ll stand stock still all day long for the most part, but he was a wiggly, fidgety mess. I’m sure having a field of grass under his face didn’t help, on top of the dreaded bit being in his mouth. I eventually switched him over to his rope halter to make him happier. Goofy horse!
|I still can’t pick a favorite!|
I am so thrilled with the pictures themselves that I have a hard time picking a favorite. Kate got them back to me, and I sat at my computer with tears running down my face. She captured exactly what I was looking for: the bond between the two of us, that grew very quickly and was much stronger than I could have ever imagined. I am so, so, SO glad that I did this, despite the fact that it was a million degrees out that day and
He and I have both been heat wusses this past week. I’ve been up to the barn more often than I expected to be, as L needed some help feeding. That, obviously, meant lots of hose time for the both of us. He stood there with his ears flopped out to the side with the water running off of his face. It sucks being a black horse in this weather!
I had picked up a bag of Brittany’s Bran Mash at Dover last weekend and decided a hot day was a good day for a soupy mash treat. Image stood, untied in the aisle, his head stuffed in the bucket without any indication of coming up for air. He was blissfully happy and made sure he was wearing a good amount of it as well as ingesting it!
Of course, Annie the Goat thought she should have some too. Image loves his Annie, so this happened:
Goofy critters! They couldn’t really stuff both their heads in there at once, so Image would take a mouthful and let Annie have some…and then nudge her out of the way so he could have some more. He was so gentle with her, even when she protested by headbutting his nose (I admit, I nearly fell over laughing when that happened!).
I’m back up in northern MA house sitting now, so I get to see him as much as I want. I am fighting an annoying summer cold (I tend to get sick when I’m stressed…ugh!) and I sound kind of terrible. I spent most of Saturday asleep, between tending to my first charge of the weekend (an adorable, tenacious Corgi by the name of Cooper) and moving on to my second house (three horses, two dogs, and a few kitties). Sunday, though, I went out to the barn to meet up with K, a coworker of mine who wanted to meet Image. I didn’t think anything of it as I “led” him from paddock to barn. I have a lead rope with me, but I hardly ever use it these days. Image quietly follows me, his nose at my shoulder, and sets himself up on the cross ties when I ask. K, on the other hand, thought that it was adorable that he ignored grass and all other temptations to stay by my side. I doubt it’s anything more than good manners, but it made me feel good to know that someone else got to see just how lovely he is.
I know Friday is going to approach quicker than I want. I still have so much to sort out in my own head about the entire situation. I’m honestly unsure how, exactly, I’m going to handle things on Friday. I haven’t ever done this before. I know, at the very least, I’ll keep it together until after he’s gone. The rest of it, though? I don’t know. I feel like I’m “prepared”…but can you ever truly prepare for something like this? I’m not sure.
So. I’m just going to stop thinking about it and enjoy the next few days as much as I can, even if it’s just like today and all I did was stand in the paddock with him and rub his forehead until he dozes off.