Fun Show!

Now, don’t get too excited about my prospects for horse showing, after my last post, lol!  Nothing has changed and the trailer is still a wreck.  Not sure how to proceed, or if I even want to fix it.  I think maybe the $ to do the repairs will be better put towards funding an eventual pick up truck maybe.

Anyway, as it was, I did already have a show in mind to do this weekend, weather dependent.  The day called for 70% chance of thunderstorms, but ultimately ended up being one of the most perfect days you could ask for to have a horse show on.

Originally, I had intended to take my car and haul the horse trailer and bring Jesse.  It would not be a show i would have taken Chewie to.  He does not enjoy arena competition I especially with other horses.  Luke could have gone, too and would have been awesome, but with the hauling trailer ruined…..  Well, that’s OK, I’m only 1 person and I had intended to go to the show myself.

After the trailer debacle the other day, I realized however that my Jeep is NOT up to the task of hauling something as weighty as the horse trailer.  The “little” trailer with wood chips in it was too much for the Jeep as it was, and that was only in the barn driveway!  This show was an hour away, so I was able to wrangle my husband into taking us.  Jesse’s cart disassembles and fits nicely in the horse trailer in 2 pieces, so it’s super easy to transport.  Minis are awesome aren’t they.

My plans had changed a little for the day and I could not spend the whole day at the show, but I was there until noon and participated in a variety of super fun classes.  It was a fun show with driving and riding and even in hand classes, all fun and games.  It was the first time I’ve ever done a show of just fun classes and I had a blast.

The first class I entered was Simon Says.  Jesse is getting to be an old show ham, and knows his job well.  He was on stellar manners and even stood at the halt as called for.  The class was tough, listening for directions with “Simon Says” before them and not getting mixed up.  Out of 16 people in the class, it ultimately got down to just 2.  Myself and one other person.

It was the one handed back up while patting your head that did her in!  We both ended up reversing so much, we had changed directions and when asked to walk on, of course, we needed to change again to continue the way we were.  I changed, she did  not, and Jesse was hailed Supreme Simon Says champion!  LOL!  We got the blue ribbon and a trophy! An actual trophy!  What a hoot!

The next class was crepe paper and Jesse and I with our partner team did not fare so well.  I lost the crepe paper at the very first call for reverse, and was in the class less than a minute total.
After that, Jesse and I took our stab at musical chairs (or , in this case, saddle pads on the ground).  We did alright, staying strong until there were just 7 left in the class and 6 pads.  I almost made it on to one, but the another competitor was also trying to get her uncooperative mini onto the pad, too.  Both minis were in a duel, and with little room to manuever, Jesse suddenly deciding he didn’t want to turn onto the pad, and the other mini nearly rearing, I did not want to risk crashing the shafts together of the cart, so I lost out.  Oh well.
We also did the obstacle course which went well.
The last class of the day was egg & spoon.  This was my first egg & spoon class ever.  I got my “egg” (a golf ball) and spoon upon entering the arena and immediately dropped it.  Yea, this class was not going to go well.  Fortunately we were not all in yet and the class had not began.  I had to get out of the cart and retrieve my fallen “egg”.  I had a moment of practice with it before the class began.

It was very hard to keep the ball steady in the little plastic spoon, especially when the wind started!  One by one people began dropping their eggs and soon it was down again to just 2 – myself and the same lady from Simon Says.  I was driving 1 handed, turning, stopping, trotting and backing as needed, and mostly concentrating on trying to not drop my egg.  Finally a stiff breeze blew and I thought for sure I was a goner.   Everyone piled in the middle of the arena started hooting and hollering at me.  The other lady had dropped the egg!  Jesse reigned as Supreme Egg & Spoon Champion!  LOL!  Second blue ribbon and trophy for the day.

What a fun day!  Trophies for egg & spoon and Simon Says.  All horse shows should be so fun.  We packed up since we had to leave, but everyone there – the driving bunch (16 minis in total) and all the riders – I think over 20, were having a blast.

So glad I got to get out to it and it will definitely be on my list for next year.

 

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Simon says ^ Patting head while driving.

A video of the whole patting head while driving experience:

 

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I think this was the end of egg & spoon, my victory wave, lol!

 

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On the right is the musical pads.  I’m in the back, checking to make sure we are standing on the pad .

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Champions for the day haha!  2 blues and 2 trophies.  So much fun.

 

 

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At a Standstill

September is flying by almost without my permission!  What a year it’s been.  I had a huge list of goals set up for this year, some of which I’ve accomplished, some still to come, and some I did not accomplish at all, nor will I.

I currently have 2 horses out of commission, leaving only Jesse currently working.  Chewie has his annual abscess we are addressing.  I hope he will be sound enough to do some driving later this week, possibly tomorrow.  I have tentative plans to take Jesse to a fun show on Saturday, but there are thunderstorms in the forecast, so we need to see what will happen there.

My hope of getting a truck (or of getting money saved up for a truck) has been a colossal failure and that has been the most disappointing of things out of this year.

In a bitter irony, I also destroyed the small flatbed trailer used for hauling the carts around the other day, so now, even if I could convince my husband to haul me to any trails or events, I can’t go because I have a destroyed trailer.

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I had a great idea to “help” around the farm by using my trailer to move woodchips for use under the gates to help with mud control.  (It’s been raining so much lately, creating a ton of mud, hence the abscess Chewie is dealing with.)

Unfortunately, moving the woodchip-laden trailer through the mud caused it to get stuck, which resulted in pulling the trailer apart by the frame trying to get it unstuck.  It may be reparable, but to be honest, I am questioning whether or not I even want to bother.

The whole point of having this trailer is to use to haul Chewbacca & Luke’s carts so we can go to trails, shows, or other events.  However, the whole hauling thing, which has always been a bitter point in my life, is totally contingent on getting my husband to haul the horses in the horse trailer with his truck.  So everywhere we go, I need 2 trucks, 2 trailers, and 2 people.

2014 was supposed to be the year that I “made it happen” – by way of getting my own truck… I would absolutely love to replace my 16 year old vehicle with a slightly newer vehicle, and I really want a GMC Yukon in white.  With that, I would have also wanted to get a stock trailer large enough to fit both Chewie’s cart and Chewbacca.  Thus, if I want to go somewhere, I can, and I don’t need a second, unhappy person who does not want to help or accompany in order to do so.

Obviously, buying a new truck and trailer, in time for being able to do something constructive with my horses in 2015, was a pretty unrealistic goal.  To keep a long story short, my husband has not worked in 2 years.  Yes, 2 years.  One income does not allow for any extra money, so saving up has been a matter of me making and selling crafts, even my photos when and if I can, and I had hoped to buy a pony to sell to raise the money for a truck.  That was a failure on a colossal scale.

So I had hoped maybe I could just buy a pick up truck. Something used, something old.  Something that could haul the horse trailer and I could load up Chewie’s cart (or Luke’s) into the bed and go where I want.  Buying a cheap, sound, but old pick up truck sounds a lot more reasonable, but not when the money just isn’t there.  Not only to buy, but to maange to a third vehicle, which means more insurance, more gas, and more potential for breakdowns, not to mention tires, oil changes and the like.

Now as if life threw me one more slap in the face, my only means of hauling the carts at all, has been destroyed.  Chewbacca is on the up and up but Luke is quite sore after his recent trim, so as of last night, I literally had just Jesse sound enough to work.  My recreational driving hours have tanked for this month, as I’ve barely driven since  Labor Day weekend.

Although I can say I have accomplished most of the things I had goals for this year, I really feel wholly unfulfilled this year, and truly feel like I have hit a complete stand still, which has left me questioning more than I want to question.

It’s true that the one thing I’ve always only ever wanted to do in life is to show my horses, and throughout the entire history of my 22 years riding, showing, and owning horses, that has been the exact thing that has been so hard to accomplish.

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the past, my poor decisions that have led me to where am I now, what I have always wished for, fantasized about and just how far away from those things I have gotten.   Things like owning a farm, showing my horses, even just hauling to trails, or anything like owning a truck and trailer of my own, are just so far gone from being possible in my life, it truly is depressing.

Years ago, I thought of nothing but owning a farm, I was certain I would be some kind of professional competitor or something, I guess.  When I did get married, the thought never crossed my mind that we would not work towards those goals.  That was what I wanted, but I never really stopped to consider the thought that we, as a team, a “partnership”, would not work towards those things, which would be good for both of us, right?

Now, it pains me every day to get up and go to work while my husband sleeps.  When I get home around 8 at night, after being gone for 12 hours, after working all day and caring for the horses, he is sitting on the sofa watching TV and  I have to cook dinner.  It pains me to know that without a second income, my paycheck cannot stretch the 2 week time-span to the next paycheck, and since I do not make enough to even pay the bills, I certainly do not make enough to ever hope to accomplish my goals – a truck/trailer, horse showing, and owning a farm.  The things I want so clearly in my mind are exactly the farthest thing from possible.

It kills me that *we* are not working together, in fact, half of us isn’t working at all, and our goals are not, nor have they ever been, the same.

I survived cancer 3 years ago.  He survived cancer 5 years ago.  We have much to be grateful for, but when you do not want to even get up off the sofa, it’s hard to truly appreciate how blessed you really are.  And for me, it is hard to try to stay positive and focused on a future that simply is not there, realistic, or in any feasible.

I am considering retiring Chewbacca, or at least to say, lowering his work load to 1 day a week in 2015.  Luke may perhaps follow the same route, as well.  It seems so pointless to me to drive them 2, or sometimes 3 days a week to pursue goals that simply cannot happen.

Chewbacca is still young; he will be 16 next year.  That seems way too young to retire, but at the same time, I believe that both Luke (who will be 18 next year) and Chewbacca are bored with their work routines, and losing zest for it.  I cannot offer them variety, challenge, or change of venue.

Chewbacca barely wants to work anymore, trying to motivate him to practice bending or lateral movements in the arena for 1/2 hour once a week has become a true challenge.  He barely even has enough gusto to keep a decent trot in the arena.  His road times have been slowing down.  He still enjoys trails, and I would love to get him out to some new ones, but that is impossible.

Luke, although pushing 18, still has some energy to spare, but I have started seeing the limits of that energy happen.  He’s still quick and feisty, but sometimes he just wants to be done with his work and that’s it.  For Luke to say “no I don’t want to do that”, is really a shock, because he is a workaholic.  Is it possible he is just getting bored, or starting to tap out on his energy resources… or just old enough to start doing less ?

And to what point is it to keep working them towards dressage tests I will never performs, cones courses I will never run, and marathons I will never navigate them around?

Is it me, perhaps, that has lost my zest?  I pulled out all the stops this year, and accomplished nothing.  And now it seems the stops have stopped and I don’t know what to do.  The prospect of getting a 2nd job part time is on the horizon – yes, I am thinking about working 2 jobs to try to help bring in some extra money to help me accomplish my goals because I have a husband who simply will not get any job.

It is easier to sit home and do nothing.  It is easier to have no responsibilities, no interests, no goals, and no ambitions, and no motivation.  But that is not the life I want for myself.

I think 2014 has been a terribly disappointing year, and has probably also been the year where I’ve come to the most grips with my reality.  I expect some big changes in 2015, but those changes will be unsatisfactory ones.  And of course, 2014 is not over yet.  If all goes as planned (which I admit, it rarely ever does), I will still have 1 big fiasco before the year is out, which I cannot wait for!

 

 

 

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Video!

It’s been a little while since I posted anything.  I can not believe that September is here and August has run out on me.  Wow, I feel like I’ve gotten absolutely nothing accomplished.  Incredible.

Well, I guess I really didn’t get that much accomplished in August after all.  The boys have been working as usual, but it is kind of a bummer not getting to “go” anywhere.  Well, I did have that show at the fair I made it to with Jesse with 8 minutes to spare before my class. haha.

Fairs are done for the year, but the year is not done.  In just 4 short weeks, I have plans… BIG plans at a BIG show and I cannot wait!!!!!

In the mean time, someone I know came out to the barn to meet the horses, and we went out on the trails over Labor Day Weekend.  It was a beautiful, absolutely beautiful, day and I let her drive both boys for a few minutes, and she obliged me by getting some video and pictures!  YAY!  Actual real video of the horses at work NOT taken by ME!  Whoo hooo.

It’s been over a year since I got video like this of Chewbacca or Luke, and happily, it’s out on the trail.  So without further ado – my horses at work:

 

 

Have a great day and enjoy what’s left of the beautiful weather!  Winter will be here before we know it.

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2014’s Fair Line Up and Final Results

I was just looking back through old blog posts about my previous county fair entries, and I realized that although I talk about whether or not any of them got ribbons, or whether or not I was happy or disappointed, I don’t actually have posts that show what photos were entered.

So, here’s a new tradition!  Here are the photos I entered into fairs, and the final results of them, complete with my comments and thoughts on them.

 

leavessm  1st place at County Fair.  I was shocked with this 1st place win, because I really just sort of “threw” this image into the bunch for no reason.  It’s nice, but I did not think it was anything special.  Funny how the ones I am so sure about it did not place at all, and then something I randomly tossed in there ended up coming home with the blue.

It did not win at the Wisconsin State Fair.

heron  1st place at County Fair.  This is another one of those I-can’t-believe-it-won images.  The 8 x 10 print of this is not a good image.  In fact, once I saw the final print, and mounted it and brought it to the fair office for entry, I actually felt a little “sick” over entering it.  It’s a great moment of a beautiful bird, but the image was taken from such a distance, it is grainy and dark.  I was over 100 feet from this bird when I took the image with a lens not meant to cover that kind of ground.  I actually felt that this was my 2nd worst image of the lot, and yet, it ended up bringing home the blue from the County Fair I entered it in.  Amazing.

It did not win at the Wisconsin State Fair

lion  2nd place, County Fair.  This image won 2nd place at the County Fair.  It did not get a placing at Wisconsin State.

hawkmoth  2nd place, County Fair.  No placing at Wisconsin State.

wasabi 3rd place County Fair.  No placing Wisconsin State.

bridge2small 3rd place County Fair.  No placing Wisconsin State, and no placing Illinois State.   We were only allowed 1 entry to Illinois State, and this was the image I chose.

Luke2014Janfsmall  1st place, Wisconsin State Fair. Here is an image that I just thought was so cool and fun.  Luke and Chewie had so much fun playing in the deep snow over this winter.  I love the “dance” they are doing here and the flying mane and the colors.  This image won 1st in “horses” and when I went to the Wisconsin State Fair for the first time just to check out the photo entries, I could not believe the humbling quality of the “amateurs” that submitted photos.  The images at the Wis. State Fair were truly unbelievable and “amateur” got a whole new meaning for me that day.  I realized that not only do I need to “up my game” and get better at my images in general, but I also need to be more selective about what images I send in to the State Fairs, and I realized most of all, that I was incredibly incredibly lucky to end up with a blue ribbon against the quality of the amateur entries.  It was a very humbling experience to say the least.

Surprisingly, this image did not get a placing at the County Fair, and as I mentioned before about how I have questions about the judging decisions from the county fair, this was definitely one of those images.  It was a lucky shot at a great moment and came out well.  The judge’s choices of winners in “horses” for the County Fair really left me scratching my head.

beetle1 4th place, Wisconsin State Fair.  I really love this image.  I saved this little guy from Chewie & Luke’s water trough, and then remembered I had my camera with all new macro magnifying attachments in the truck, so I ran over and took this little guy with me.  I put him on the hitching rail and did a little “beetle wrangling” as I tried to position him just right for a good, sharp, and well magnified photo.  I was very happy with the results, and very thrilled with the 4th place ribbon.

The nice thing about entering classes like these at fairs, is that you get prize money.  I won enough at both fairs to cover my entry fees.  I also showed Jesse at the County Fair and won a 3rd and 4th place, with enough prize money between those to pay my entry and have a little extra left over.  Other than the cost of printing over 30 images, the cost of the foam core to mount them and shipping  as applicable, I basically entered for free.  Now I have 30 prints that I don’t know what to do with, so I think I am going to try to sell them.

 

The images below are all ones I entered to both the County Fair and the Wisconsin State Fair.  They did not receive any placings at either.

Flower1smalljpg I was extremely surprised by this image not receiving anything.  I was also disappointed with the quality of the print of it.  When I received the 8 x10, both copies had a “blob” on one of the petals that just isn’t in the digital version.  I was very unhappy and did not have time to deal with getting them redone.
When I posted this image on a group of professionals and experienced amateurs, this photo was raved about.  It is so far my 2nd highest “liked” photo I’ve ever posted on FB.  I really anticipated that it would produce a ribbon at the fair.  I wonder if the “blob” printing error had anything to do with it?  Or maybe it just isn’t that good of a photo…..

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Both of the above were from our vacation to Door County Wisconsin. It was cloudy that day. These images are flat and not the way I had hoped they would come out (I was hoping for sun!), but I thought I would enter them to try something different.  No placings.

The same with all the photos below, nothing received a placing.  Kind of a bummer, but it served as a definite learning experience….  2015’s fair plan is definitely to be more discriminate about what I enter…. and take better photos between now and then of course!  :)

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Have a great day!

 

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Another Wildlife Photoshoot

The weather took a bit of  a turn and our warm summer quickly disappeared.  Amazingly enough, the temperatures dropped into the 60’s and Monday and half of Tuesday were full of rain.  … well at least that got me out of watering the garden ;)

I opted to give the boys Tuesday night off work and instead take photos.  The arena was too wet anyway and of course, the muddy goofballs were quite happy to run and play.

chewie2  chewie1

chewie3  luke2

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I did not take any photos of the minis on this particular evening.  They just stood around at the gate to their paddock with a wishful look for cookies from me.  Not very interesting photographs, and getting them to run is way toooo challenging. I practically need 1 person in every corner and someone in the middle, too, to make them run.  lol!

So, after a little play time and down time with the boys, I ventured out to take photos of local wildlife.  I specifically went in search of hawks, but found none.  Before I even left the barn, I saw this butterfly flittering around.  I do love Monarchs.

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The rest of my barn-area photographic adventure did not yield much.  I got a photo of a Monarch caterpillar, which I took with completely the wrong lens, of course, since I had my super long lens on to shoot birds.  I did manage to spook up a Great Blue Heron and a deer that were together down in a gulley where the stream runs along the horse trails, but I did not get any decent photos of them, save for the heron flying away.

caterpillar    gbh

… actually that heron photo really isn’t that bad.  at least he was at the right distance from the lens to be sharp.  lol!  just kind of wish he was facing the other way.

So, after walking nearly a mile around the trail at the barn, I headed off to a local park where there is usually at least *something* to be found to photograph.  This particular night “something” would be an understatement.

This lovely egret was sitting just off the shore, barely 40 feet from me, and he stood for a good long while.  I must have taken 50 photos of it.  No, I will not post them all, lol!  Here are a couple of my favorites.

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Then I went from Great Blue Herons and Great White Egrets to something totally new for me!  Green herons!
I’ve never seen one live in person before, but I knew what it was because I had seen other people’s pictures of them.
Amazingly, there were green herons everywhere on this night… So I went from having never seen one before, to having a plethora of birds to photograph.  And even better, many of them were just happy to sit yards from the shoreline and not move, so I was able to get really nice images!

greenheron1 greenheron2 greenheron3

I have way too many green heron photos than I want to post here, so these were a couple of them that I really liked.   I am loving this 500mm lens for sure!

muskrat

That is a muskrat.  It was on an opposite shore line about 40 feet from me.  Somehow I managed to spook it, and as it retreated, it went for a swim, so I was able to snap a photo of it.  I have never really seen a muskrat live and in person either, and only had a few seconds to photograph it.  It was also in heavy shadows, so it was a bit of a challenge getting a decent shot.

Also in heavy shadows was this little dude….

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I do not normally strive to photograph common critters at all, but he was so cute up in the tree munching on his acorn, I just had to take the shot.  Notice, in the right picture (blow it up by clicking on it), I even got his little front teeth.  Aw!  Cute!
have a great day!  More updates soon.

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Another Fair and More Photos

I can barely believe it’s the middle of August already.  I feel like time has just gotten away from me.  Oddly, although I’ve hit nearly every single “goal” of mine for the year so far, I still feel concerningly unsatisfied about how this year has turned out.  I’m not really sure why.

Perhaps it’s just because some of my goals did not pan out the way I hoped or anticipated, and the weight of how wrong I was in some of the decisions I’ve made just holds me down.  Some of the issues I’ve encountered this year will put a huge hold on progress next year, so I think yet again, my hopes of getting to horse shows or just hauling out to the many parks nearby are out the window again for 2015.  It is very disappointing, but it’s also a truth in my life, that the things I truly want the most are those that just dangle just out of my reach, and no matter what I do to try to get closer, I just never can.

But, we press on, don’t we?  2014 isn’t over yet, and there are still some major plans in the works that I am very excited about.

In the mean time, this past weekend, I went to the Wisconsin State Fair and checked out the photo entries, to see if any of mine were awarded any ribbons.  This was the first State Fair I have ever entered.  I’ve entered only 2 of the local county fairs over the past several years, so that’s pretty much been my fair-entering photography experience.

I have to say, I learned some very huge lessons about State Fair “amateurs”!  Suffice to say, if I enter the Wi. State Fair next year (and I do plan to), I really need to up my game… perhaps send in less, better, entries instead of the variety pack of quasi-questionable entries like I did this year.  WOW, the winning photos there are amazing.  “Amateur” suddenly took on a whole new meaning after this weekend, and I mean a whole.new.meaning.   I did not really take photos (photos of photos, lol!) of the entries there to share, but suffice to say, some of the images were simply some of the best photographs I’ve ever seen.  Outstanding work… and a really eye opening experience for me!  Glad I expanded my horizons this weekend!!!!

That being said,  out of 15 entries, 2 of mine actually did receive ribbons – amazingly!  I was awarded a 4th place photo for a beetle I took with my new magnification lens attachment.  I had found the beetle floating for its life in Chewie & Luke’s trough, saved it and happened to take it’s photo, and let it waddle away in the grass after that.  That beetle earned me a 4th place ribbon at a State Fair, who would have known  ;)

And, Luke has many many many 1st place ribbons from all his years horse showing (which due to lack of transport capabilities, he’s essentially retired from).  Chewie has some ribbons, too…  And now, I can say Chewie & Luke have won at State.  lol!  A photo I took of hooligan 1 and hooligan 2 playing out in the snow won 1st place in horses!  Yay!

Luke2014Janfsmall

^ 1st place winner at Wisconsin State Fair.   I think I should rename this photo The Dancing Hooligans.  lol!!

beetle1

^ my 4th place beetle.  I’m so glad I saved his life :)

And this past weekend in addition to going to the State Fair and driving Luke, Chewie, and Jesse, I also got out and did some practice.  I missed all the 4th of July fireworks, but luckily, a local town had a festival this past weekend and put on a large fireworks show.  I spent most of the show changing settings on my camera and trying to manually focus.  Yea – that was challenging!  Anyway, I got a few that I really was happy with … and they will probably end up as entries in fairs next year :)

I do not know the result of the Illinois State Fair, nor will I until I get my photo back (just 1 entry).  Given the quality of photos at Wisconsin, and the fact that my entry for the Illinois State fair did not place at all in Wisconsin, and just managed to get a 3rd at a county fair, I do not expect it to receive an award at Illinois.

 

fireworks1 fireworks2 fireworks3 fireworks4 fireworks5

and also at the same time as the fireworks show, the supermoon rose over head, and I put my 500mm lens to the best use since I purchased it on July 4th!  I love this lens, it’s definitely making good use as a wildlife lens once I get a little more comfortable with it!  I’m really happy with the moon photo.

supermoon

The next thing I am looking to try is a photographic style called High Dynamic Range (HDR).  I tried shooting an HDR of the moon, but probably something new at 9:30 at night by the light of a cell phone wasn’t the best idea.  I did not set the camera up correctly, so HDR attempt 1 was a failure.
Fortunately, there are other supermoons this year, and another blood moon eclipse as well, and of course, I can take an HDR photo of any other nature scene.  I’m also going to attempt HDR of my husband’s truck in the next month or so.

 

Well, till next time!

 

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Impromptu Horse Show & 1st Fair Photo Results

Well, where to begin?  It’s just busy busy busy and even though I’m not (really) showing horses this year, and somehow my driving hours have tanked dramatically, I’m still running around like crazy and exhausted.

Seriously, usually by now, I have about 80 driving hours, and I will end the year with around 130 total.  This year, I have just barely over 50 driving hours, and I won’t even hit 80 before the year is out.  I guess that’s in part because I’m just not working the horses as hard since they aren’t showing.  I also think that they are all a little “too broke” if that’s possible.  At least, they’ve hit the point (or I have hit the point with them) where I can’t teach them anymore, but I just don’t know any more to teach them, so we just practice what we know, and I just don’t think they need as much work with that.  It’s been a very disappointing year in that I haven’t traveled anywhere with the horses, except for the one trail back in May, and I managed to get Jesse out to a show Sunday.
I really think Luke & Chewie could use a change of pace & scenery, because our trails and our roads have been so well traveled by them, I simply cannot provide them with anything new.

Anyway, part of my very busy summer included sending off photos to different fairs.  I got the results of one fair.  Another I should know Saturday and the last one, I won’t know until maybe the end of the month.

I received 2 1sts, 2 2nds, and 2 3rds in the local county fair.  6 ribbons out of 15 photos.  Wasn’t too bad.  I am actually a little disappointed, NOT in the ribbons I received, but just that I really question the judge’s decisions on some of the photos he did ribbon, in all categories.  I wasn’t there for the judging, so I don’t know, but apparently someone said the judge disqualified some images because he said they looked like they were professional photos.
Now, the fair is for amateurs only, so based on “the honor system”, it can be assumed that only amateurs are entering.  In addition, the photos are all anonymous.  The judge doesn’t see our names until after he’s awarded ribbons.   Some of the photos that were awarded ribbons were seriously questionable, and some of the ones that did not receive ribbons were also astounding.  There were some truly beautiful images there that got passed over, and apparently the ribbons were given to “lesser quality” images.?

Wait, isn’t it the point of an amateur to improve on their photography?  So over half of my images, I am left questioning why they were passed over… were they not good enough or were they too good?  I find the idea of them being “too good” hard to believe, but I do have serious questions about some of them.  One of my flower photos was raved about by a forum on FB full of professionals, and I thought for sure it would get a ribbon, and it did not.  TWO of the photos I entered just because I printed out extras, I thought were terrible… I didn’t even feel they should have been entered and I felt a little sick putting them up because they are so bad, and they both got ribbons.  In fact- they were BOTH my first place wins.

I find that this round of fair entries really left me scratching my head.  But none the less, I have been photographing away, already planning 2015’s entries.

On the last day of the fair, was a horse show with driving classes.  It’s one that I have never competed in, but Luke was in with my husband 6 years ago.  For a while after, they stopped holding driving classes due to low turn out.  Finally the driving classes returned and the fair is so close to the barn, I wanted to try to head over if I could.

The driving classes were the last of the day and based on how the show was running and what the show organizer told me, I thought if I got there by 3pm, that would be good.  I was anticipating that the driving classes would start between 5-6pm, and I was told earlier in the day that all the riding classes had strong turnout.

Apparently I wasn’t told that the classes were running smoothly to quickly!  We arrived at the showgrounds at 3:10 and the driving classes were in line waiting to start!  I got there when the class before the driving was just about finishing up.  You have never seen me run across a show grounds, register, run back, dress, and hitch so fast in my life!!!!!

I had about 8 minutes in total to sign up for classes, hitch and get into the ring.  We did not place in the first class, which I suspect had something to do with Jesse getting sassy during the line up and not wanting to stand.

The second class was a pleasure class and Jesse earned a 3rd out of 7.  After that was a fun and short cones class, and unfortunately, we went off course a bit, because Jesse attempted to dive around the outside of a cone instead of going through the cones, and we ran the cone over and dragged it with us for a while.  We got eliminated for that one.  Bummer.

But it was fun and I was glad to get out and show.  First time in a year that I’ve been in a show ring.

JesseMcHenryCoFair2014 Jesse1 Jesse2

I may have slightly better photos on the Nikon, which I gave to my husband.  I didn’t have time to set it up for him to use, though, and I have not yet had time to go through them and see if any of them came out.

Till next time!  Enjoy the day!

 

Posted in Driving, horse, miniature horse, Photography | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment