April 23, 2009

A Hoof and Hair day

When I woke up Monday morning I had nothing specific to do for the day except get my pearly-whites polished at the dentist. By the time I got dressed, my day was full. First, I was asked by my farrier to help him find some images I had taken over the last few years to illustrate a piece he was submitting to the American Farrier's Journal. After my dentist appointment and he came over and we found the images he needed.

I am very, very fortunate to have such a talented and passionate farrier who understand equine conformation like no one else I've met. With his 40 years of experience he's seen just about every hoof and conformation combination out there. He is also one of the rare farriers that has no issues with working with a veterinarian to get to the desired goal: A sound horse with a true as can be hoof flight pattern. He understands wholly and fully how important hoof balance is. Not just the toe to heel balance, but also how critical the medial to lateral balance is as well and that getting that balance requires one to understand conformation thoroughly. Every horse is an individual with individual needs based on the way they are built and the tasks required of them.

Next on the roster was an impromptu photo shoot. I rarely have to get the photos taken the day I was booked! So later that afternoon, I headed out to a small farm to get some nice images of some Gypsy Vanners that were going to be put on the market. I was excited, like, OMG! Hair! Lots and lots of hair! Nice horses under all that hair to boot. Three of the four go under saddle and in harness too. The fourth was a youngster, not yet a year old. A mellow & agreeable sort they all were too. I arrived just as the grooming was coming to an end. Perfect timing!

First I took conformation pix of each of them and some head shots, then it was just about time for the really fun part... galloping in a field! But, alas, the sprinklers came on! No worries, the groundskeeper was still around so we requested that he turn them back off for a little bit. First I had 2 turned out together and after a a few shots the other two joined in to make a herd. There was flyin' hair everywhere! I didn't get to send them around too many times. It was their dinner time, they weren't yet allowed to be on fresh grass for too long lest they eat too much and set themselves up for a bout with laminitis and it was long past the barn help's time to clock out. Fortunately, it didn't take long to get what I wanted because they are darned photogenic, even more so as a group.

After the shoot, of course I had to go home a prepare the images for the client. That is always the most time consuming part of the job. By the time I got done with that, the day was long past over and I was about done too.