Jeannie & Sierra
What a way to kick off 2020. Jeannie came to me a few months ago with my favorite kind of request: to capture the relationship she has formed with her horse, Sierra, over the past 26 years. Yep- you read that right. They've been together for a full 26 years. There's nothing quite like that. Now 70 and 30 years old, these two have reached a truly admirable milestone.
When Jeannie reached out about photographing her and her mare, she brought along a quote that she felt matched their milestone quite well. You might have heard it before:
"When I Am An Old Horsewoman
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on
white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.
I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead the flowers growing
inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
as if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to ALL
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old."
-Author Patty Barnhart
I'm not crying, you're crying.
We finally landed on a day that would allow a warm bath and a sunny, dry afternoon. A true rarity in February, under normal circumstances. It was just about the best day we could have wished for until the summer months came.
I should preface this by saying it is a normal occurrence to occasionally need to lunge a horse mid session. Especially in the spring and fall when that luscious green grass is coming back. And, to be fair, when you consider the fact that your horse is being led around on a giant beautiful salad, often close to dinner time, and being asked to just stand still and look "cute", I think they do their best.
All the same, it's not too often we need to lunge a 30 year old horse mid-session. That's always a good sign that spring is coming and this is one seriously loved horse. Just a few hot laps later, we were all good and Sierra was back to being perfect model- Jeannie was even able to hop on for a few shots!
We were able to take a lovely walk through the property and down the sun soaked driveway. This was no average "winter in Oregon" sunset. In fact, I'd say this reviled some of the most gorgeous sunsets I've seen down in California, mid summer. There were even bugs out already (which I have some seriously mixed feelings about).
The Invisible Halter
Here's an example of what images look like when shot with the invisible halter! This allows us to safely work out in the open, while still maintaining that "natural" look.