As promised : Reining pics… and a thorough update

Reining2014-01Sorry guys, I’ve been really quiet of late. I was engaged in an unlikely marathon to secure a job. It took longer than it should and was way more complicated than I would have liked it to be… but it’s done. I’ll be starting at the office on Wednesday ! I was finally able to secure a position in respect to the course I followed in May, in air freight. So I’ll basically be giving quotes, making pick-up arrangements, seing to packing in accordance to safety norms, making airline reservations, etc

Reining2014-02Aside from that, I went to the Reining European Championships yesterday, which happened to be held about 30 minutes from home ! I had a plan to met my former Western riding coach, whom I hadn’t met in person for (brace up for this one)… 26 years !

Reining2014-22And here he is ! M. Dominique Blanc-Dumont

Reining2014-08I was also eager to watch the competition as from age 12 to 19, I was throughly involved (though in quieter forms of the trade, I never did Reining myself, I probably couldn’t stay on the horse !)

Reining2014-06My disappointement, and very soon my anger, were huge

Reining2014-03I had not watched the warm up arena for two minutes that I spotted just about every effing rider abusing their horse one way or the other. See this guy up there ? That upward motion on his reins was done in a sharp jerk, on a wickedly long shank bit, and with a good “kiss” of big spurs, to boot. I was an inch from rushing to the guy and calling him names, but I remembered why I had come, meet my old time teacher, and I realized that getting kicked out of the premises would do nothing towards softening the industry. There is SO much money, ego, reputations etc at stake, that the well being of the horses is the very LAST thing on everybody’s mind…

Reining2014-17Look at the face of this horse ! What really bothered me the *most* (and a LOT of things bothered me last night) was that there were extensive Youth classes (10-14 and 14-18), and all those kids go through the motions and do this to their horses without even knowing it’s wrong. It has become the norm for them, none of them question it, none of them even realize it. Very sad

Reining2014-15This young lady must have been must nicer to her horse, because he kept his mouth shut, and his face serene, during her whole performance (except when she slide stopped him, which was even to ugly to share in pictures….)

Reining2014-10Otherwise I saw a lot of beautiful, well groomed, well fed, outrageously expensive horses

Reining2014-11And on a photographic note, I was VERY pleased with how the D7000 and 50-150/1.8 handled the situation. Lots of very harsh backlighting, need for pretty high shutter speeds, yet the metering and noise performance were very satisfying

Reining2014-12Check out that face again : not a happy horse

Reining2014-16Much better

Reining2014-19This young guy in green had one of the most heartbreaking horses I got to see

Reining2014-20And he unmercifully spurred it around for the win (which I don’t think he got, though)

Reining2014-21All business on top. All suffering beneath. Sickening (and don’t even start telling me it’s the normal expression of a horse engaged in athletic effort. It’s not. Anynone can read that face and know it’s not right)

Reining2014-24

Reining2014-25Otherwise it was a nice, generous, warrior of a horse

Reining2014-26Caught the flying changing leads

Reining2014-27One thing this horse seems to like was to stop. He charged to it and slided with his mouth relatively neutral and an ok face

Reining2014-28Speeding up

Reining2014-29Rear end perfectly engaged beneath him

Reining2014-30Sliding…
Reining2014-31Nice and clean

Reining2014-33Now this fat young Dutch girl was a blast to watch. The fleshy parts of her face kept jiggling around to the speed of the various horse’s moves. Hilarious

Reining2014-32And her horse was a *real* solid stopper

Reining2014-34A welcome moment of peace in the life of a Reining horse

Reining2014-36The most amazingly stupid component to Reining in 2014 is the fact horses are supposed to perform with their noses to the ground. We used to call Western Pleasure horses “peanut rollers” in the 80’s, but it seems the trend has contaminated Reining too ! This is JUST AS useless, unnatural and annoying as the extremely and forcefully tucked-in chins known as “Rollkür” in classic Dressage. Why people can’t let horses perform with a moderate break at the poll, and relaxed slightly below horizontal neck position is beyond me…

Reining2014-35Now that’s more like it. And the Nikon did pretty well with this scene, too

Anyway folks, I’m leaving to pick up my daughter from her Brittany vacation. Making a one day stop over there and rushing back to Paris to start the job on Wednesday. That’s is going to mean a *whole* lot less photo -and blogging- time. I sure hope you faithful ones will keep on checking this place out on a regular basis. I promise to keep up with you guys as much as possible, but I expect a lot of workload ahead, so don’t worry if posting schedule gets a little thinner. So more than ever my friends… Stay tuned 😉

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About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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4 Responses to As promised : Reining pics… and a thorough update

  1. Flash says:

    Congratulations for your new job !
    🙂

  2. Congrats for the new job. That seems like an intriguing sport. Is it a race, or simply a judged event?

  3. MJWC1 says:

    Congratulations on the job, Claire – very best wishes. You will be missed, but I have joined the ranks of the faithful and will keep checking in. As for the treatment of the horses in your photos – I don’t know much about horses but I can tell when another living creature is clearly suffering. Just horrible.

  4. Tom Coiro says:

    Congratulations (?) on your new job in freight dispatch. I realize that we all need to earn a living, but isn’t there some way for you to turn your passion and incredible talent for writing / photography into a commercially rewarding occupation? Sorry for getting personal,but I couldn’t help wondering just how successful you would be.

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