Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Horsing Around in Texas

Horses have always intrigued me, but I've never spent a lot of time around them. I get excited to see their relatives like bighorn sheep, elk and moose in the wild, and horses are no less beautiful and interesting just because they've been domesticated.

Danelle's sister has owned horses for years, but I've never made the trip down to Texas to visit until her son got married last weekend.  So in between tuxedo fittings, rehearsal dinners and the like I spent some time in their pasture.

Pistol is wearing what's known as a fly mask.  I wanted to spare his dignity a bit and not post a picture of him wearing it.  But when you stick your tongue out to boot, you're kind of begging for it.

They have one mare, Bopper.  Between her black coat and slightly more skittish nature she was tough to photograph.

Pistol without his mask looks much more noble.

Their third horse, Breeze.  When I first met him he rested his head on my shoulder in a sort of "horse hug."  I was admittedly a little concerned he was going to bite my ear off or something.  They're just huge, powerful animals.  But I guess working with them is sort of like handling a piece of heavy machinery -- treat them with respect, and you should be fine.

The three didn't spend a lot of time close together, which made getting all of them in one photograph a bit tricky.  But they did give me this interesting arrangement.

It didn't take them too long to ignore the stranger with the little black box.  Once they realized the camera wasn't food, anyway.

Pistol has one brown eye and one blue eye.  The shape of a horse's head and where their eyes are set made it challenging to get both in the same shot.  A pile of hay to munch on did the trick.

Their neighbors have quite the petting zoo coming together -- peacocks, guinea hens, goats and even a couple of donkeys.

They say everything's bigger in Texas, and the grasshoppers were no exception.  Vibrantly colored, too.

Even with the overcast conditions that persisted throughout most of the weekend, there was a pretty sunset to close the day.

I hung out in the pasture for an hour in the afternoon just snapping away, then went back in just before sunset.  I can definitely see the appeal in owning horses -- they're interesting and affectionate animals with distinct personalities.  Looking forward to spending more time with them in the future!

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