I’ve been a horse lover since I was 7yrs old. We lived out in the country with only two other houses nearby. My neighborhood friends (all 7 of us) would play horses in the apple orchard. We’d naaay like horses, run like the wind while the ‘mean’ horse trader (Carol, the oldest of our group) tried to capture us. It was fun, exhilarating, and always an adventure!
When I wasn’t drawing horses, I begged my parents to get one for me. I’d also walk 8K (5 miles) down the dirt road to feed apples to horses in a pasture. They always came for their treats when I whistled.
Eventually my parents got two horses for my brother and me. I never tired of taking care of them. And was sad to leave them when I went off to college.
So, when my friend Ineke Ann Pitts started rescuing horses in Sri Lanka, I yearned to visit them. Her, too, of course.
This last Sunday was the day to visit the now ten horses that she has. Some ponies; some giants. Ineke also started the Lakeside Riding Club - http://www.lakeside-riding.com - and trained the SL Army to take care of and learn to ride the six horses gifted to Sri Lanka by Pakistan.
I had imagined a sunny day at the ‘ranch’ but was greeted with dark stormy skies. I quickly said hello to Ineke and her other guests and took Lipton out to meet the horses and feed them the carrots we brought, before it rained. Lipton was afraid to feed them and worried that I’d get bit. Little did he know how experienced I am with horses. Some of the ponies were a bit shy, but not too shy to gobble up the carrots. One delicately bit into the carrot before she took it back into her stall to eat. White-faced Merlin, the biggest at 16hands (5 feet to his withers/shoulders), greedily ate his and insisted on more!
The rain came and the horses, Merlin, Tara and Firefly, were let outside into the paddock. First Merlin splashed in the water, amusing himself and his two girlfriends. Then he raced around the pasture with Tara and Firefly trying to keep up. Merlin ended up several times right in my face at the fence. Shocked, Lipton ran back. I tried but couldn’t get a close up of him as I was using the 200m lens. It was so fun to see them gallop around, kicking up their heels. I shouted encouragement and slapped the fence, all the while snapping photos, hoping for at least one good shot. I so wanted to go into the paddock with them, but thought Lipton and Ineke might have simultaneous heart attacks!
Enjoy some of the photos that did turn out (too many to post). Lipton took photos, too. Please share and if your have horse stories of your own, please write them in the comments!
Merlin playing in a mud puddle.
He's loving it!
Does this photo make my butt look big?
Mud spattered Merlin, insisting on more carrots!
Tara, kicking up her heels.
A short stop!
Ineke, Merlin and Antonio, owner of Santore Restaurant.
Firefly, sticking out her tongue!
Another rescue - black and white Great Dane - Molly.
Big mud-faced guy!
Until next time, Merlin.
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