Ok, I stole that quote from Robin Foster of Adaptive Animals. Because, let's face it, it's the truest of truths and if you've every lived with or spent a summer with a horse, you know what I'm talking about. There's nothing like it. Horses are magical. Summer is magical. It's that simple.
On that note, don't tell Clooney, David, or the cats, but a horse was my first love.
I grew up up in a podunk town in North Western Montana. I rarely admit this but we were California transplants (LA to be precise), and moved to Eureka, Montana when I was 8 years old. As you you can imagine it took me awhile to fit in and make friends. So my parents got me a horse.
Actually, my mom gave me her horse, Ginger, in exchange for my box turtle, Tommy. Well, Ginger was a bit of a handful and not very fond of our amateurish family. So, enlisting my 11 years of wisdom, I traded her for a 3 year old stallion, named Spunky, from a local Amish guy.
Yup, I'm pretty sure the local cowboys were laughing at me AND ESPECIALLY my parents for this decision.
But that three year old stallion turned out to be the gentlest of giants and the love of my life. Of course, gelding him helped.
So when Summer emerges, I think of all of those days and hours we spent in the Montana woods...just the two of us. Spunky and I. Me singing him songs, and him constantly stealing mouthfuls of grass. Or when it was really hot, we'd find a little back woods lake for him to roll in. Boy he loved rolling in lakes...especially when I was still on his back!
But you know what's sad?
This is the best of only six pictures I have of Spunky (and I).
Oh how I wish I had a picture of him where his face wasn't a black blob and his ears weren't pinned back. He was such a happy, fun loving horse whose gentle nature will simply be a memory in my head for the rest of my life.
So back to Robin from Adaptive Animals.
You can only imagine my delight when she approached me to photograph her horses and her. Given I regret not having more photos of Spunky, the opportunity to provide Robin with lasting memories of her horses, hit close to my heart.
Not only do I (obviously) LOVE horses, but I have a huge HUGE respect for Robin. She is a Certified Animal Behaviorist and a Certified Equine Behavior Consultant.
Her methods are humane and science based.
Robin gets animals. She loves them. She respects them. She has dedicated her life to studying them so that we (humans) can treat them with more kindness and live with them harmoniously.
If you are having a hard time understanding your horse, dog, or cat even, call Robin.
She will translate their behavior for you and help you enhance your relationship with your buddy.
You know what else she does? She smiles. A LOT. She laughs. A LOT. She finds humor in animals' quirky ways. Seriously. I thought I was happy around animals. But, Robin takes the prize.
I think this is why she is such a good behaviorist. Animals appreciate her sense of humor, and that she accepts that they are different than us. She encourages healthy relationships and mutual understanding. She also clicker trains AND kisses her horses! What's not to love about that?
What a wonderful photoshoot, and an honor to spend such a spectacular morning, capturing the special relationship between Robin and her lovely horses, Lady and Joe.