Sunday, October 14, 2007


It seems as if it was just yesterday that my sister and I started Horse of the Week back in 2005. We are not religious people, but we do believe in destiny when it involves horses. One day a few weeks ago, I wondered if we'd ever run out of horses for our Horse of the Week site. After a count of all these past equines, I realized, to my surprise, that we were fast approaching our 100th horse! Janet and I agreed that this was indeed an important occasion and the horse we chose for that week would have to be very special. As destiny would prevail, my sister and her husband happened to be on a short holiday on Manitoulin Island, in Lake Huron, Ontario.

While visiting an art gallery in Gore Bay, Janet learned of the unique horses owned by artist, calligrapher and author Lynne Gerard and her husband Kevin. After hearing of my sister's wonderful visit to the island, and the intriguing horses of Ravenseyrie Farm, I was soon corresponding with Lynne by email.
It didn't take much convincing to get my husband on board as he had always wanted to visit Manitoulin Island. It is well known for it's beautiful landscapes, waterfronts, dark skies and abundant nature. We made plans to visit on Thanksgiving weekend. We arrived in Gore Bay on a Thursday night just as the sun was setting. We had booked into a waterfront lodge and were welcomed by a beautiful deer standing beside the entrance drive.

The night sky was breathtaking! The milky way was as clear as I've ever seen it, due to a welcome lack of light pollution on the island. We made it an early night as we were to be at Ravenseyrie by 7 am, to meet the horses at the first light of dawn.

Lynne and Kevin welcomed my husband and I as if we had always been good friends. The greetings continued as the "pack" of dogs was released (only 4 I soon realized), various cats, and 2 geese which weren't quite as welcoming as we had obviously disrupted their feeding time. At last, there at the fence ready to have their morning feed and social time with their people, were the 4 distinct Grulla coloured horses, including Altamiro, the Sorraia stallion I had journeyed from Orillia to see. To add to this magical morning in the fields surrounding us a surreal table of fog was rising, moving fluidly in waves like a huge silk scarf blowing in the wind.

I spent the better part of the morning following and photographing the herd, which also included 3 impressive draft mules, an Arabian and a thoroughbred, through their daily roamings across 260 plus acres of field and forest. It was a very special day and I thank Lynne and Kevin for allowing me to visit with and photograph these special horses.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Forest Gait Farm

Yesterday the girls had a day off school so my youngest and I packed our camera bags and headed to my sister's in Palgrave. From there we, in addition to my niece (a horse lover as well), made the drive through the beautiful Caledon countryside to Georgetown, home of Forest Gait Farm Paso Finos. This is where my sister's horse, Alberto la Manana, resides with many of his Paso Fino friends. My sister's dog, Niko, came along for the ride also. Niko has been lonely since the passing of the other family dog, Lucky, this past February, so he likes to come and visit the resident lab, Lucy. Not to be forgotten is the barn kitty, Spooky, who was my constant companion throughout the day.

The weather was gray, and for the most part the rain held off. Days like these can make for some lovely atmospheric photography.

After a lunch of the best tuna melt I ever had, the girls headed to the barn where they got a lesson in grooming the very patient Pachanga, the senior horse at Forest Gait. Then all tacked up, they each got to be led through the forest on a trail ride. What fun!!

I was in horse heaven, and shot a couple of hundred photos throughout the day of horses, kids, dogs and cats.

Other than Alberto of course, my next favourite equine of Forest Gait is the resident stallion, Postin de Petrolero. Postin is a stunning example of the Paso Fino breed, and has the coveted disposition of the Petrolero line. A gentleman and a sweetheart, I could have photographed this horse all day. I made a promise to Postin that I would get him on the cover of a horse magazine some day ;o)

After grooming Postin for a bit, he did the natural thing and rolled in the mud...what a character! Even dirty...he's still pretty!

I will be back at Forest Gait as there will be a new baby soon that I will HAVE to photograph. Postin's first at this farm. The Mom is Captiva, a striking black Paso Fino mare that has been Postin's common law wife since they made a baby ;o).

Thanks to Jeannie for having us to her farm for the day!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Grandview Combined Test

After my photo shoot at Glen Oro, JT and I wandered over to Grandview, conveniently right across the road. The weather was amazing, and I'm pretty sure I got a bit of a sunburn as I always seem to at the beginning of my photography season (sunscreen, sunscreen, time...I promise!). Grandview was having a Combined Test, Dressage, and stadium jumping. While JT wanted to practice photographing the jumping, I was enjoying the view over at the Dressage ring. The warm up area is even more fun to photograph, many more possibilities to be creative; the riders, horses, trainers and spectators, and of course the ever present variety of canines. Here are some of my favourites from today.

Glen Oro Farm, Hawkestone

Oh happy day! A day filled with horses, and photos, and photos of horses...well ok ALL photos of a few dogs thrown in for good measure. I started at Glen Oro Farm where Kairos and Sheilagh were all prettied up for their shoot. We had a beautiful day which always is a good thing! Glen Oro is such a pleasure to photograph at, such gorgeous countryside, and everywhere you look, beautiful horses grazing, whinnying, or galloping along the fence line. I made a couple of new friends there in Norman and Strider, the resident dogs. Norman seemed to be a sweet lab/husky cross with his one blue eye, and Strider is a breed called a Lurcher. I'm only sorry I didn't get any photos of this beautiful dog doing what he does best...running. Here are a few photos from this morning.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Can Am

My sister and I headed to London, Ontario on the 16th of March to attend a couple of days of the horse expo, Can Am, as we did last year.
We saw lots of old friends and made some new. I saw several people from Orillia there including Lori, Carol and Sarah as well as Carol and Todd. Also some past clients from the Meadows in Uxbridge, nice to see you all again!
Lots of the Paso Fino group were there and my photos were on display at the ECPFHA booth. The beautiful Paso Fino stallion, Cavalier QC from Ambleside was there representing this wonderful breed.
I also got a chance to meet the some of the people behind Equine Wellness Magazine and they were even giving away free copies of the latest issue with my photo of Monty on the cover (my second cover with this magazine!).
The Friday night Extravaganza was wonderful again and despite my backbreaking seat in the bleachers, I managed to take quite a few photos of it.
Well the only downside to the weekend was my back failing me, and the hellish night at the Hilton on their soft beds. Thanks to my sister for being my crutch and putting up with my whining and tears.